Whatsup News has uncovered a damning document showing that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta used his office to select a proxy to front for him as the transaction advisor for the scandalous Agyapa/Asaase Royalties deal.
The company that is helping the Finance Minister’s company to seize Ghana’s mineral royalties is a South Africa-based company called Imara Corporate Finance (PTY) Limited.
The controversial transaction has raised serious eyebrows as it was channelled through a notorious tax haven in Jersey where the true private puppet masters seeking to usurp Ghana’s mineral royalties are hiding their true identities.
It is Ken Ofori-Atta’s private company, Databank Finance Services Limited that caused the true value of the monetised royalties to be debased from US$ 3 billion to a paltry US$ 1 billion.
Whatsup News has intercepted the document signed between Ken Ofori-Atta on behalf of his Databank and Imara.
The mandate agreement between Databank and Imara is dated April 30, 2020, where the two companies explicitly agreed that Imara Finance would represent the interest of Databank, a company belonging to the Finance Minister who is the main champion of handing over Ghana’s Mineral Royalties to obscure individuals in a notorious tax haven.
Essentially, what this means is that Ken Ofori-Atta used his privileged position to contract Ghana’s entire mineral royalties to through secret conduit that ultimately leads to himself.
The agreement between Databank and Imara commenced on May, 1, 2018, just about the same time the Act for the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) ACT, 2018 (ACT 978) was being concluded but was extended when the “transaction did not conclude”.
“The Mandate Agreement, therefore, expires again on 1st May 2020, but to date, the transaction [Agyapa/Asaase Royalties deal] remains un-concluded and the Parties desirous of continuing and concluding their relationship and the transaction under the Mandate Agreement as though it has never expired, have agreed to further amend and extend the Mandate Agreement…,” the clandestine document intercepted by Whatsup News states.
For fronting for him, Mr. Ofori-Atta arm-twists the Finance Ministry to pay for out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Imara since 2018. Imara is paid some US$4,000 monthly for these personal expenses.
For instance, Clause 3.3 of the proxy agreement between Databank and Imara states: “MoF [Ministry of Finance] will be required to reimburse the Transaction Advisors [Imara and Databank] for all reasonable and documented out-of-pocket expenses necessary for the Transaction Advisors.” It goes ahead to then cite some payments, including US$50,000 paid from May 2018 to April 2019. MoF also paid Imara US$20,000 from May to December 2019.
Whatsup News is certain about the veracity of this document because another relative of Ken Ofori-Atta involved in the scandalous Agyapa deal, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has unwittingly confirmed this fronting by Ken Ofori Atta.
Apparently, Gabby, President Akufo Addo’s nephew and chief advisor was attempting to tackle the Herald Newspaper for misinformation.
In the letter of notice to Herald Newspaper signed by Mr. Otchere-Darko’s lawyers, Kissi Agyabeng, Gabby explained that his private law firm which is also part of the Agyapa transaction advisory board was engaged by the company fronting for Databank, Imara PTY.
“It would have also revealed that the international law firm did not outsource legal work to Africa Legal Associates on the Agyapa Royalties Limited transaction. But that Africa Legal Associates was engaged by Imara Corporate Finance (Pty) Limited,” Gabby’s lawyers wrote to Herald Newspaper.
Afterwards, Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank also contracted the law firm of the infamous lawyer, Ace Annan Ankomah- Bentsi-Enchil Letsa & Ankomah (BELA) to work on the transaction in a tight web of conflict of interest by close relatives of President Akufo Addo.
The triangle around President Akufo Addo that set up the questionable Asaase/Agyapa also involves President Akufo Addo’s close family members and friends, in what has created suspicions that the President himself may be in on the deal.
The MIIF is seeking to give over 75% of Ghana’s mineral royalties to Agyapa Royalties, a company whose true background has become a closely guarded secret by the Finance Minister.
Already, the Akufo Addo administration has been fingered to have systematically hatched the plot to hijack Ghana’s mineral royalties of almost US$200 million annually.
Whatsup News can report that President Akufo chaired the cabinet meetings that initiated the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) ACT, 2018 (ACT 978). Consequently, the legislation birthed a special Fund headed by George Mireku Duker who was directly appointed by President Akufo Addo.
In turn, the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) idea to ship the country’s mining royalties through the notorious tax haven was reportedly hatched by the President’s cousin and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who went ahead to commission Imara to contract companies belonging to his family members and friends of President Akufo Addo.
Investigations by Whatsup News at the Registrar-General’s Department indicates that the supposed subsidiary of Agyapa/Asaase Royalties called ARG Royalties Limited had its first CEO and director named as Yaw Baah, while Agyapa’s CEO is the son of President Akufo Addo’s bosom friend, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who is incidentally Ghana’s Senior Minister.
Mr. Yaw Baah, a lawyer who lived in the UK, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Danquah Institute (DI) founded by Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko. He also worked closely in the research department of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s 2016 campaign.
Again, checks reveal that another director of ARG Royalties is called Felicia Ashley. She was the Vice President and Head of Human Capital and Administration at Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank. Ms Ashley was later moved to the Finance Ministry headed by Mr. Ofori-Atta to be the Head of General Administration of the Ministry of Finance.
This closely-knit triangle linked to the Presidency and Finance Minister Ofori-Atta has reinforced agitations from Ghanaians that the “Family and Friends Mafia” and the “Akyem Sakawa Boys” at the Jubilee House have indeed completely appropriated Ghana’s multi-million funds from gold and other mined minerals for themselves.