Governance think-tank, Alliance for Social Equity, and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over the Akufo Addo administration’s use of public funds to finance a notorious international espionage cum lobbying company as key strategists for its 2016 Presidential campaign.
ASEPA’s petition specifically mentioned Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and accused him of conflict of interest for using his office as Ghana’s finance minister to draw public funds into campaign coffers, some of which was used to pay the shady international lobby firm, KRL International.
Mr. Ofori-Atta was responsible for finance in President Akufo Addo’s 2016 campaign themed ‘I am for Nana campaign’.
“We write to your office Pursuant to Section 7(a)(e) of the CHRAJ Act to commence investigations into the KRL-NPP in which Public funds were allegedly used to pay for contracted private services rendered by KRL to the I am for Nana Foundation, a foundation created by the NPP to fund the 2016 campaign of President Akufo Addo,” the petition read in part.
Already, the United States Justice Department has launched an investigation into the activities of KRL in connection with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration because it is officially illegal for US firms to influence elections in foreign companies. It is also illegal for foreign interest to be involved in Ghana’s elections.
The damning revelations were made by an International Investigative Body called Open Sources Investigations (OSI) which described KRL as an economic “Hitman” which has actively engaged in sabotaging the economies of several African countries and have supported countless dictators and despots on the continent.
According to the OSI report posted on its website on August 10, 2020, KRL International has used a string of American spies (possibly CIA operatives), White House contacts and US Congressmen to target Ghana since 2003.
The company founded by the renowned lobbyist Riva Levinson reportedly operates by using fake news and propaganda, to undermine Ghana’s interest internationally.
Some of its victims are the John Agyekum Kufour’s government in 2003 and subsequently the Mills/Mahama administration between 2009 and 2010 when it bastardised Ghana’s interest in the multi-billion-dollar oil fields offshore Ghana.
According to OSI, KRL in 2003 had targeted the Kufour administration with an international smear campaign when it tried to terminate a loss-making power supply contract with a foreign power company.
ASEPA is by its petition, invoking the jurisdiction of CHRAJ to enforce the law against such election manipulations by foreign interests.
In June 2016, KRL International was engaged by the I AM FOR NANA, FOUNDATION headed by Ken Ofori-Atta and was contracted to help the NPP campaign strategy.
KRL reportedly provided lobbying services with the US Government, Donor Communities and the Media)-provide “in-country support” throughout the electoral process.
After President Akufo Addo won the elections on December 7, 2019, KRL assumed a strategic role for the new government, with payments running into several thousands of US dollars.
Since assuming power in 2017, payments have been made to KRL for the obscure services directly from the Office of the President using State funds.
KRL has in a statement denied the allegations. It claims its current work was a different contract with the Finance Ministry.
However, OSI has said the conspiracy runs deep. “It was a desperate attempt to cover-up the fact that for four months (from February 27 to June 28, 2017), Ghana’s Government paid KRL for services provided on behalf of the New Patriotic Party. By June 28, 2017, KRL had referred to the Office of the President-elect for Ghana as a client in three forms filed with the US Department of Justice,” OSI wrote.
“The foreign consultants played a key role in Nana’s campaign. KRL integrated into operational units of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), spending an “extensive period on the campaign trail”. KRL worked directly with Nana, preparing him for speaking events, coordinating the campaign team, crafting the communication strategy, managing local media, arranging interviews.”
It has also emerged that KRL consultants also deployed the shady hacking tactics of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica by illegally mining data of Ghanaians to influence the 2016 Presidential win of President Akufo Addo.