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‘I almost died’ – Tsatsu Tsikata recounts prison experience 12 years ago

Legal luminary and former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr Tsatsu Tsikata, has said he almost died in prison after his controversial incarceration 12 years ago.

According to him, although his prison experience was painful, he reflects on it with gratitude to God for keeping him alive.

“When I look back, I don’t think of it as something terrible that I went through and feel bitter or angry. Rather, I am thankful to God that I went through that valley and was able to come out still alive,” he said.

Mr Tsikata was speaking on TV3’s Hot Issues on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

“I could have been dead because I had an asthmatic attack at the end, but by God’s grace, I am still alive. I have a lot to be grateful for in terms of the support that I received from my wife, my siblings, my mother, my family and all the people who I have never met before in the country and other parts of the world,” he recounted.

Tsatsu Tsikata was sentenced for willfully causing financial loss to the state through a loan facility the GNPC guaranteed for Valley Farms, a private cocoa-growing company.

Following a legal tussle between his lawyers and the state, he was eventually found guilty on three counts of willfully causing financial loss of GH¢230,000 to the state and another count of misapplying public funds.

The June 18, 2008 conviction, according to Mr Tsikata was politically motivated.

“This is not a case in which an independent judicial decision is being given. It was a politically driven agenda and [Justice Henrietta Abban] was, unfortunately, a tool for that political agenda,” he said.

“It was such an unexpected and extraordinary event that day on June 18, 2008, but as I look back now I take it as something that happened, unfortunate as it was, it took me through a further five months in which I experienced what I can only call a lot of blessings from God,” he told TV3’s Hot Issues.

While Mr Tsikata was in prison, former President John Agyekum Kufuor granted him a presidential pardon but Mr Tsikata rejected it.

He rejected it on grounds that he did not do any wrong in the first place to be incarcerated.

He later appealed his sentencing and was acquitted and discharged. The Appeals Court ruled that he was denied a fair trial.

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