Forestry Commission’s attention has been drawn to an Article in the media, which was published on 30th April, 2019 with above heading.

We want to inform the
general public that the story is a total misrepresentation of what actually
happened. After conducting thorough investigations into the matter, Forestry
Commission will like to set the records straight as follows: –

  1. The officer in this case, Mr Ebenezer Bekoe,
    is a staff of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the
    Commission, stationed at the Head Office near GIMPA.
  2. Mr Bekoe established acquaintance with one
    Justice Fiagbor, a worker with a timber exporting company (Debo Gab Descendants
    Ventures Limited) when he was stationed at the Commission’s Checkpoint at
    Afienya. Through that, they became friends and the relationship continued even
    when Mr Ebenezer Bekoe was transferred to the Head Office.
  3. Justice Fiagbor Company’s truck with
    registration number AS 2969 X, which was carrying banned Rosewood was arrested
    by Forestry Commission Monitoring Team on 12th March, 2019 at the
    Nsawam Check Point and was brought to the Commission’s Depot at Achimota on 14th
    March, 2019.
  4. Debo Gab Descedants Ventures Limited, was subsequently
    asked to pay a penalty of Fifteen Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC15,000.00) on 17th
    April, 2019 before their consignment will be released for shipment.
    Unfortunately Justice Fiagor had only Seven Thousand Cedis (GHC7,000.00) on the
    said date, and wanted the truck to be released before the Commision break for Easter
    on the same date.
  5. Knowing
    the type of relationship Justice Fiagbor had with Ebenezer Bekoe, he requested
    for Mr Bekoe’s help; he asked that Ebenezer Bekoe  gives him his bank account details, so that
    he  (Justice Fiabgor) will inform his
    sister (Madam Doris Agyekum) at  Keta,
    who actually bought the Rosewood consignment from Debo Gab Descendants Ventures
    Limited, to pay Eight Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC8,000.00) into the account for
    withdrawal by Mr Bekoe on behalf of Justice Fiagbor to add it to the Seven Thousand
    Cedis (GHC7,000.00) to enable him make payment of the Fifteen Thousand Cedis
    (GHC15,000.00) penalty at the Commission.
  6. This,
    Ebenezer Bekoe gladly agreed and one Victor Quarcoopome at Keta paid the Eight
    Thousand Cedis (GHC8,000.00) into Ebenezer Bekoe’s account number 1361010015935
    with GCB Bank, Kisseman Branch on 17th April, 2019 (Bank Statement – Exhibit 1) from GCB
    Keta Branch.
  7. On that same day that is, 17th
    April 2019 Ebenezer Bekoe and Justice Fiagbor went to the Gulf House Branch of
    GCB Bank to withdraw the money, which Ebenezer Bekoe handed over to Justice
    Fiagbor right in the banking hall. Justice Fiagbor subsequently paid the penalty
    charge at the Forestry Commission Headquarters (Forestry Commission Receipt No 0311524
    Exhibit 2), after which the seized
    Rosewood consignment was released to him.
  8. In
    the course of investigating this case, the Forestry Commission received a
    letter from Mr. Christopher Opoku Abankwah, Managing Director of Debo- Gab Descendant
    Ventures Ltd. In the letter addressed to the Chief Executive of the Forestry
    Commission, Mr. Abankwah sought to protect the reputation of his company by
    establishing his company’s innocence in the allegation. He also stated that his
    company was not connected in any way with the said allegation leveled against the
    Forestry Commission and its officials. Mr. Abankwah therefore, directed that
    all enquiries about the said publication be directed to Madam Doris Agyekum, who
    is one of his Company’s clients. (Debo
    Gab Descendant Ventures Limited’s letter dated 3rd May 2019 –
    Exhibit 3).
  9. Furthermore,
    Mr. Abankwah made a report of the case at the Achimota Police Station in Accra,
    a copy of which is attached. (Achimota
    Police Report – Exhibit 4).
  10. Forestry Commission called Madam Doris
    Agyekum on Monday 6th May 2019 to listen to her side of the story.
    She vehemently denied having any knowledge about the said publication on Ghanaweb and promised to visit the
    office of the Commission in the company of Victor Quarcoopome before Friday 10th
    May, 2019 to present a formal letter about her non–involvement in the said
    publication.

Madam
Doris Agyekum could not make it to the Forestry Commission office as she
promised but rather, sent two letters, one from herself, and the other from
Victor Quarcopome, stating their innocence of the said publication. (Exhibits 5 & 6)

We will therefore like to state emphatically that the money paid into Ebenezer Bekoe’s account was not a bribe and that we will cause Justice Fiagbor, Madam Doris Agyekum and other accomplices to render an unqualified apology to the management and staff of Forestry Commission and Mr Ebenezer Bekoe for the embarrassment and harm caused him, which could have affected his career.

Forestry Commission is also
ready to cooperate with the police to conduct any investigations they deem
appropriate on this alleged bribery issue, so that the issue will be brought to
its logical conclusion.

Issued
by:

The
Chief Executive

Forestry
Commission