“Unfortunately, the Ministry of Finance has not been forthcoming with documents it submits,” the Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Amidu, has fired the Ken Ofori-Atta-headed Finance Ministry for what is increasingly becoming clear a pattern of cover-up in the scandalous Agyapa Royalties deal.
In an interview on Citi News monitored by Whatsup News, the embattled Martin Amidu blamed the delay in completing the corruption risk assessment of the stinking Agyapa deal on these subtle hurdles laid out in front of him by the Finance Minister and his Deputy Charles Adu Boahene.
This is not the first time, the Finance Ministry had slammed shut the doors on prying eyes, seeking answers to obvious questions in the Agyapa Transaction. For instance, about a month ago, representatives of some 22 civil society organisations (CSOs) met with the Finance Ministry, which claimed it wanted to ensure transparency in the deal.
However, the meeting turned out to be a mere window dressing, as the fuming CSOs came out to charge the Finance Ministry for deliberately withholding important information from them.
For instance, the group wanted to know what specifically went into the calculations of the Finance Ministry to estimate that the lifetime minerals deal between the government of Ghana and Agyapa was worth a mere US$ 1 billion when other calculations by international investment experts and CSOs like Ghana’s IMANI put the true worth of the deal at some US$ 3 billion.
A rather uncharacteristically meek-sounding Martin Amidu complained in the interview that the Finance Ministry had stonewalled his office in every attempt to get detailed information about the transaction.
“We wanted them to give us all the payments made through approved banking channels to show us how much has gone into the transaction so that once and for all, we can make an assessment based upon the quantum of money being paid. That is why we are telling him [Deputy Finance Minister] to give us the evidence that the quantum you have paid is not substantial. I haven’t had a reply and that is the only thing holding the assessment report.”
Mr. Amidu said his outfit “intended it [the assessment] to be out by the end of September,” Amidu, who is believed to have become a monumental failure as a Special Prosecutor lamented.
“…The stonewalling and delays have come from the Ministry of Finance, particularly the Deputy Minister [Adu Boahen]. He is the one who has held us up.”
On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Whatsup News published contents of an intercepted mandate agreement between Imara and Databank as the transaction advisor for the Agyapa deal.
The agreement dated April 30, 2020, saw Imara and Databank explicitly agreeing that Imara Finance would front for Databank in the transaction. Incidentally, Databank Finacial Services is an investment brokerage firm belonging to the Finance Minister who has been the main champion of the murky Agyapa deal.
The transaction has been flagged as fraudulent by several international fraud watchdog organisations such as the Tax Justice Network, the Economist Magazine and countless CSOs.
The triangle of crusaders of the deal appear to revolve solely around President Akufo Addo’s close family members and friends, in what has created suspicions that the President himself may be in on the deal.
In 2018, the Mineral Income Investment Fund (MIIF) was set up by the Akufo Addo administration and is sought to give over 75% of Ghana’s mineral royalties to Agyapa/Asaase 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.
Consequently, the MIIF ACT, 2018 (ACT 978) 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.