Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman for the finance committee of Parliament has started mounting subtle pressure to influence the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu who claims he is launching a probe into the scandalous Agyapa Royalties Limited deal.
According to him, he would be surprised if Martin Amidu discovers anything wrong in the entire Agyapa deal.
In what appears to be a nuanced attempt to preempt the outcome of the SPO’s investigations, Assibey Yeboah said he is confident the Special Prosecutor would not discover anything significant against the deal.
Assibey Yeboah is the Chairman for Finance Committee which questionably fast-tracked the Agyapa deal, despite the scandalous discovery afterwards, which pointed to the fact that Ghana will significantly loss out in the deal to some faceless private partners domiciled in a notorious tax haven-Jersey.
This is another major investigation attempted by the SPO that is becoming apparent that he will have an uphill task to navigate interference from government appointees, who may have some vested interest in the deal being cleared.
Earlier, Martin Amidu had attempted to investigate serious evidence of illegal mining cartel within the Jubilee House, however, the Science and Technology Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conspired against him to scuttle the investigations.
Mr. Amidu himself made this known as he expressed his frustration at the roadblocks mounted before him, preventing him from exposing serious scandalous dealings with the Akufo Addo administration.
A few days, ago, the SPO decided to finally investigate the Agyapa deal, forcing the Akufo Addo government to suspend the planned listing of the transaction on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
A letter from the Finance Ministry to the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, communicated the abortion.
“Kindly note that this Ministry does not intend to proceed with the IPO ahead of the results of the corruption risk assessment by your Office as you may well be aware,” a letter from the Finance Ministry read.
It did not communicate a new date for listing Agyapa, which has been perceived as a corrupt deal by many Ghanaians, after it became apparent that the champions of the deal: Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko are the President’s close relatives and that they may have been using their influence to personally benefit from the deal.
The deal entails the Akufo-Addo government converting Ghana’s mining royalties received by the Minerals Income fund into a special purpose vehicle to borrow US$1billion, using the royalties as collateral for 15 years.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) believe that the deal is aimed to put control of Ghana’s minerals royalties into the hands of the “Akyem Sakawa Mafia”, made up the President’s family, Akyem tribesmen and a few friends.
The deal has been protested by many Ghanaians, especially CSOs who have said that they have been stonewalled by the government after they requested for documents covering the deal.
Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, eventually launched a corruption assessment risk demanding documents covering the deal, but the Finance Ministry headed by the President’s cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta, refused to hand over all the appropriate documents covering the deal.
The SP insisted on getting all the necessary documents, along with an opinion from the Attorney General, before the initial Public Offering of Agyapa on the LSE would be allowed to go through. The SPO’s stance meant that the government’s obscurantism ended up eating away the window of time available for the listing which was scheduled for September.