I Did Not Bribe NLA Boss — ‘Money Man’ Kojo Graham
‘Money Man’ Kojo Graham, has said never, at any point did he attempt, overtly or covertly, to use his money to influence, bribe or compromise the Director-General of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA), Kofi Osei-Ameyaw as some are scheming in multimedia circles to make the public believe.
Mr. Graham, Vice Chair of LOTS Services, a company that does some lucrative business with the NLA, confirmed on Citi FM’, Eye Witness News, a report by THE PUBLISHER, that he had given an interest free loan amount of $60, 000 to Mr. Osei-Ameyaw and that the money has been repaid him in full.
“There would be no need for myself or for anyone to give a loan to the Director-General of the NLA to influence him when LOTS Services already has a contract with the NLA and we were delivering on that contract. There was absolutely no base…. It was not anything that was meant to bribe or influence him in anyway”, Mr. Graham stated when Richard Sky probed him over the loan.
Mr. Graham, narrated that contrary to reports that he overheard Osei-Ameyaw saying on phone he was in need of a loan and therefore offered to give that succor, it was the Director-General who rather approached him for the loan amount and promised to repay within a specified period.
The issue of the otherwise private loan between the two became public after the newly appointed Director-General of the NLA started to take steps to block leakages and avoidable costs in the operations of the NLA so the Authority can increase the amount of money it pays into the Consolidated Fund.
In 2016 for instance, the NLA was able to pay a little over GHC16 million into the Consolidated Fund but in 2017 under the new Director-General, almost GHC30 Million has been paid by the NLA into the Consolidated fFund.
Interestingly, Mr. Graham’s company, LOTS Services started to receive lesser amounts of money from the NLA in 2017.
For instance, in 2016 he was paid an amount of GHC16, 166,051 for some works his company, LOTS Services, did for the NLA and then he was also paid an additional GHC3,638,888 for some thermal paper roll his company supplied the NLA, raising his cash to over GHC19 Million for that year alone, whereas NLA made just GHC16 million for the State.
But with Kofi Osei-Ameyaw as Director-General in 2017, Mr. Graham’s company has been paid a little over GHC8 million and then some GHC266, 785 for the papers he supplied.
In 2015, his company was paid over GHC23 million, in 2014 his company was paid well over GHC19 million and in 2013 his company was paid over GHC11 million. It was only in 2017 that the company was hovering around a figure of GHC 8 million
It is therefore difficult to support the school of thought that the loan from Graham to Osei-Ameyaw influenced the latter in favour of the former.
Still speaking on Eye Witness News, Mr. Graham confirmed that while he was serving as a member of the Governing Board of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA), he, the same man was serving on the Entity and Tender Committee of the NLA, and he the same man was also the external retainer lawyer for the NLA and at same time, his company, LOTS, was getting juicy contracts from the NLA.
Graham however opined there was no conflict of interest in the arrangement because he recused himself from any discussions that had to do with contracts and tender.
THE PUBLISHER, has sighted several documents which suggests that although Mr. Graham had written to the Board that he would recuse himself from such deliberations, he was still privy to crucial information which gave him and his company for that matter, an advantage over other companies which did not have representatives on the Board or on the Tender Committee.
There have been growing calls and mounting pressure from pressure groups that the 15-Year contract Kojo Graham’s company has with the NLA should be reviewed especially when the contract was signed under what seems to be a disturbing conflict of interest scenario.
THE PUBLISHER is meanwhile studying documentations on what seems to be a money laundering scheme where the NLA paid for a contract sum into a foreign account outside Ghana but the money ended up being rerouted into a bank account at East Legon in Accra.
The paper is also studying legal documents of how Kojo Graham acted as lawyer for the NLA when SIMNET, a rival company of LOTS, sued the authority.
By: Halifax Ansah-Addo