Mr Tsatsu Tsikata
Former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation
Education: LLB, first
class honours, University of Ghana; Bachelor of Civil Law, first class honours, Oxford University; Junior Research Fellowship, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University.
Career: Lecturer, University of Ghana law faculty, 1974-88; Advisor to Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings (then Chairman
of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council), 1979 and 1982; Legal Representative, Jerry Rawlings, May 15 uprising treason trial, 1979; Chief Executive Officer, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), 1988-2000; advised Equatorial Guinea on the formation of national oil company GEPetrol; advised Benin on developing the Seme oilfield.
Commentary: In June 2008, after a six year trial, Tsikata was sentenced to five years in prison for wilfully causing financial loss to the State of US$230,000 and misappropriating public property. Tsikata had guaranteed a loan from Caisse Française de Développement to private company Valley Farms, on behalf of the GNPC. When the company defaulted in 1996, the GNPC was, as guarantor, forced to pay the debt.
In January 2009, Tsikata rejected a pardon by outgoing President John Agyekum Kufuor, saying he would clear his own name in court. He was subsequently released by President John Atta Mills, days after his inauguration. In prison, he had suffered severe bouts of asthma, a lifelong ailment.
Many viewed the charges against Tsikata as politically motivated and an attempt by the Kufuor government to tarnish a key member of the opposition. President Mills agreed, saying that Tsikata deserved a national award, not prison.
As the Accra government decides how to develop its oil and gas sector, Tsatsu
Tsikata has re-emerged in public life, this time as a key advisor
to President Mills on GNPC reform.