By Confidente Reporter
THE Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), Tuesday, finally lodged court papers at the High Court of Namibia against West African con-artist Ernest Adjovi who allegedly swindled the parastatal of nearly N$30 million under a supposed Kora awards marketing deal that turned sour.
Adjovi is the founder of the Kora awards.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, Tuesday, confirmed the lodging of the court papers.
Shifeta said NTB had instructed its lawyers, Kangueehi and Kavendjii Inc to recover the swindled money at all costs.
“The problem the process took so long was because there was no place to serve him (Adjovi) the court summons. It didn’t make sense for us to do all the court paper work yet there is no place to serve the court papers. He (Adjovi) has a lawyer now whom he gave power of attorney so the process is now easier for us,” Shifeta said.
The lodging of the legal action comes after the media had repeatedly warned the Ministry of Environment and Tourism last year to tread with caution around Adjovi who has left governments in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa among others counting their losses after he swindled them of millions of dollars under the guise of hosting the Kora awards or the Miss Malaika pageant.
The Ministry of Environment while using NTB as its middleman had secretly paid an initially N$21 million to Adjovi before an additional N$8 million was paid into his offshore accounts.
The huge lump sum is said to have been paid to the West African businessman by the Ministry without the approval of Treasury amid allegations that high ranking officials within the Ministry of Environment and Tourism were reportedly not cooperating with officials from the Ministry of Finance who were conducting an investigation into how the money was paid into Adjovi’s offshore accounts without Treasury’s approval.
The Ministry of Finance detected the irregularity after a whistle-blower tipped Minister Calle Schlettwein who launched an investigation and wrote a letter to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism demanding answers. The N$21 million was transferred in four batches over a period of a month. The first three batches were of N$5 million while the last one was of N$6 million. On top of that the money was transferred to an off-shore account first via Germany while the last transaction was sent via Spain after Germany authorities raised red flags over the transfers which they suspected were being used for money laundering purposes.
The payment of the millions came amid spirited denials, countless times by Shifeta that not a single penny in taxpayers’ money will go towards the dubious awards which had been postponed to an unknown date.
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