Civil Society Organization, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has beefed up a petition to the Speaker of Parliament asking for the august House not to approve Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta.
In an addendum to the earlier petition which was filed on the 25th of January, ASEPA lists seven names as witnesses that it wishes to call up to testify against Ofori-Atta who was scandal-prone as Finance Minister in Akufo-Addo’s first term.
On the list, former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, is listed as the second witness. And ASEPA wants Parliament to summon him if he refuses to turn up to testify.
“Some have agreed to voluntarily testify to the issues; others we believe need to be subpoenaed by the house to testify in accordance with the law,” a 2nd February letter signed by ASEPA’s Executive Director, Mensa Thompson, said.
Among the manifold corruption scandals that Ken Ofori-Atta had stirred as Finance Minister, it is widely believed that his role in the Agyapa Mineral Royalties scandal was probably the most daring, shady and dramatic.
Ofori-Atta had been central to the alleged attempt to have a group of close circled family and friends have control over Ghana’s mineral royalties, using a convoluted set up that involved a conversion of the country’s mineral royalty receipts into a Special Purpose Vehicle which would then be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The shadiness around the arrangement had led to flagging of the deal by the then NDC Minority in Parliament, but the Akufo-Addo government had used its majority advantage in Parliament to push it through with President Akufo-Addo quickly assenting to it.
However, then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu also flagged it and asked for the deal to be put on hold until he had completed a corruption risk assessment. During the assessment, Amidu came to the conclusion that the deal was shady and that Ofori Atta and his deputy, had vandalized a number of laws to set it up.
As part of the shadiness, the Finance Minister had set up his private banks as transaction advisor to the deal, criminally rigging a bid process to eliminate more qualified companies.
Amidu’s corruption risk assessment also found out that Ofori-Atta had gotten the Bank of Ghana to launder money to an alleged collaborator company based in South Africa.
While working on the Ofori-Atta had visited Amidu at home and apparently, attempted to use his personal friendship with him to water down the contents of the assessment.
After he released the report, Amidu’s life came under threat, and he eventually resigned and fled the country to the UK in a scandalous melodrama that included his description of Akufo-Addo as the mother serpent of corruption.
ASEPA wants Amidu to come down and testify in its petition against the nomination of Ofori-Atta again, by his cousin President to head Ghana’s exchequer.
Meanwhile, the six others that ASEPA has named as witnesses are, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Johnson Asiamah, Deputy Auditor General, Mr. George Winful, who is said to have been named in connection with Ghc52billion that Ofori-Atta allegedly diverted from the Ghana Commercial Bank.
Others are Mr. Seidu Kotoma, former Controller and Accountant General, Mr. Isaac Crentsil, former Commissioner of Customs, Mr. Ezekiel Akagbo, Secretary to the Coalition of Affected Savings and Loans Customers, Mr. Simon Dornoo of the KPMG which is Administrator of Unibank and Hon. Isaac Adongo, MP for Bolgatanga Central and member of the Finance Committee of Parliament.