Mr. Gregg Frazier, an American businessman on Wednesday said Ghana could lose about 47 billion dollars in the accounts of Oman Ghana Trust Fund when government abandoned efforts to retrieve the money from a Swiss Bank.
“The claim by the NDC Government that ownership of the money is in doubt and there is no evidence that the fund existed are untrue, “he added when addressing a press conference in Accra.
Mr. Frazier was reacting to statements by Senior Economic Advisor to the NDC Government, Dr Cadman Atta Mills, “that government is no longer interested in pursuing the money, which was lodged in eight separate accounts with the United Bank of Switzerland over 60 years ago”.
The Oman Ghana Trust Fund, is a compensatory fund to be paid to farmers in Ghana who released lands for development activities in the 1970’s and the press conference was organised by Friends of Oman Ghana Trust Fund, a group which has being pressuring government to initiate efforts to retrieve the money.
Mr. Frazier said “Dr Atta Mills, leader of a team set up by the NDC Government to trace the money, told the media in Accra on Tuesday that investigations so far had failed to provide any evidence that such a fund existed”.
“Based on his advice, government has decided that until any evidence was found to the contrary it would not pursue the money any longer.”
However, Mr. Frazier said he became aware of the fund when he witnessed the late Mr. Ackah Blay-Miezah, sole trustee of the fund, signing a Will in London in 1988 for the release of the money to his children and the farmers.
He said “Dr Atta Mills was misrepresenting the facts because he had provided him with enough proof and compelling evidence needed to retrieve the money for the development of the Ghanaian economy”.
Mr. Frazier showed to newsmen text messages exchanged between him and Dr Atta Mills and said “instead of dealing with him (Frazier) who knew the pass-number and the code word to the accounts, he rather chose to deal with people who falsely laid claim to the money”.
He said “I proposed to Dr Atta Mills that a team be formed comprising the President’s representative, a financial analyst, a security personnel and a journalist to travel to Switzerland to retrieve the money but Dr Atta Mills refused and decided to remain secret with the deal”.
“According to the terms of the accounts, the government needed to present a diplomatic passport for a Ghanaian of 65 years or above, a pass-number and a code word, items known to him (Frazier) only”.
“What is necessary now is for Dr Atta Mills to collaborate with me to constitute the team and I will bear the cost to travel to the bank and provide the details to retrieve the money but I don’t know what is preventing him from doing that,” Mr. Frazier said.
Mr. Frazier said over the years, some top government officials secretly approached the bank to cash the money but were denied access because they could not present the required documentation.
Meanwhile, Friends of Oman Ghana Trust Fund have vowed to continue to put pressure on the government to agree with Mr. Frazier to enable Ghana retrieve the money.