The noose is tightening around the neck of President AKuffo Addo and his two cousins and their friends as whatsupnews have uncovered their big-foot in ensuing Asaase/Agyapa Royalty deal.
To begin with, Akufo Addo as the head of the administration is responsible for the conception of the formation of MIIF, which reportedly seeks to monetise some 75% of Ghana’s mining royalties.
As the Head of Cabinet, he chaired all discussions around the formation of the Fund.
The discussions culminated into an Act called the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) ACT, 2018 (ACT 978), which was pushed through to Cabinet and passed into law in 2018.
On October 7, 2019, President Akufo Addo inaugurated the MIIF Board responsible for the Fund which was established to manage the equity interests of the country in mining revenues by receiving royalties consisting of 10% of all mining profits in the country and monetise them on the capital market locally and internationally.
At this point, two influential cousins of the President namely Ken Ofori-Atta working with the Ministry of Finance and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the out-of-government but government insider respectively, grabbed and pushed the idea of setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with stealth.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko leading of a pack of law firms; White & Ace from the United Kingdom and two others from Ghana: Ace Ankomah, of – Bentsi-Entchil, Lesta & Ankomah (also Occupy Ghana Group) and Africa Legal Associate belonging to Gabby himself, (Also of Danquah Institute) not surprisingly landed a juicy deal on the blind side of Ghanaians as transaction advisors.
Together, they hatched how the structures of the SPV’s relationship should be with the MIIF.
The strategy will be systematically planned and for it to work, they needed to amend the existing legislation of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) ACT, 2018 (ACT 978). The amendments saw the insertion of questionable clauses, including the SPV not subject to Ghanaians tax laws or Ghana’s Public Financial Management Act that is responsible for probing potential financial malfeasance of public funds.
Ghana’s Sovereign Immunity was also waived in the amended Act, leaving the country vulnerable to serious lawsuits in the event of disagreement.
On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the Parliamentary Finance Committee presented its report for the amended clauses in the MIIF Act and it was rushed through for approval, even though the Minority in Parliament resisted it.
A local subsidiary of the offshore Agyapa/Asaase was established in Ghana on March 12m 2020 and called ARG Royalties Ghana Limited. ARG Royalities Ghana is also 100% owned by Asaase Royalties Ltd.
The company has only two directly, one with very strong ties to Gabby Asare Otchere Darko and the other with very strong ties to the Finance Minister.
One of its directors believed to have been hand-picked by Mr. Otchere-Darko is Lawyer Yaw Baah, a lawyer who lived in the UK; and served as Senior Research Fellow at the Danquah Institute (DI) founded by Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko. He also served as the NPP’s director of research working closely with Gabby in the 2016 which brought the president to power.
Yaw Baah interestingly, is also the Chief Executive of MIIF
Ken Ofori-Atta on the other hand, also said to have selected one Felicia Ashley as the other Director of ARG Royalties Ghana Limited.
Ms Ashley worked as the Vice President and Head of Human Capital and Administration at Databank owned by Mr. Ofori-Atta.
When Ken Ofori Atta became the Finance Minister, She was also moved to the Finance Ministry to work closely with him as Director Human Capital and Administration, Division, of the Ministry of Finance.