Mr. Peter Mac Manu has given a 10-day ultimatum to the chairman of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority’s Senior Staff Union to apologise and retract what he described as ‘spurious allegations’ against him or face legal action.
Mr. John Aseeph and the various unions of the GPHA on May 24 accused Mr. Mac Manu who is the board chair of the Authority, of conflict of interest and bad corporate governance practices.
They claimed to have gathered “enough evidence” to back the catalogue of allegations, which they argued, warrant Mr. Mac-Manu’s removal from office.
Mr. Mac Manu has awarded contracts to his wife and children who are pricing services they are rendering to GPHA at cut-throat prices, the workers claimed.According to them, the board chair has seven companies all of which have been given contracts at the Port. Five of these companies they say, are into stevedoring while the two others are into cleaning.
“Three of his children are the biggest suppliers now to the Authority” the workers alleged.
Mr. Mac Manu, they claimed, has obtained for himself a GHC4 million wiring contract for the newly constructed Electrical and Material Block of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
But Mr. Mac Manu on May 29 denied all the allegations describing them as “ false and bogus and have no merit”.
He indicated that the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority had already contracted the services of his wife, long before he was appointed the board chair.
“Let me put on record that my wife’s travels and tour company, Special T Travel, first secured a contract to issue tickets for GPHA staff travel in 2005.”
He explained that the contract was abrogated in 2009 by the NDC but was re-engaged by the Authority in March 2017 when he was not sworn as board chairman yet.
The 2016 Campaign Manager of Mr Akufo-Addo also dispelled the allegation that he forced the Authority to be shortchanged in a concession by forcing management to accept a near $200,000 LNG terminal project.
He explained that the project was in the interest of the nation, adding the board only directed management to expedite action on the concession because it was critical in nature yet promised higher returns.
Retract and Apologize in 10 days
Notwithstanding the denial, he on May 29 caused his lawyers, AB Lexmall Associates, to demand an unqualified apology and a retraction of the allegations by Mr. Aseeph and the various unions.
“We hold our client’s firm instructions to demand immediate retraction as well as an unqualified apology for the false allegations made against him,” a letter to Mr. Aseeph and the unions stated.
It added: “You, as well as the Unions involved, are by this letter put on notice that should you fail to meet our client’s demands herein within 10 days from the date of this letter, we have unequivocal instructions to take all necessary legal steps including but not limited to commencing legal action against you and the unions involved to salvage our clients reputation”.
The lawyers described the said allegations as “highly defamatory and toxic” to his reputation which he has as a businessman and a politician worked decades to build.
“Your malevolent and unwarranted allegations have therefore caused him a great deal of reputational damage,” they added.