Some Members of Parliament for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament are threatening fire and brimstone to resist the dubious Agyapa Royalty deal that President Akufo Addo has promised to push through the legislative chamber soon.
“Agyapa coming back means corruption is back. We will not support it. I am very certain in my mind and I remain unconvinced,” said the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu in an interview with Accra-based Citi News.
Shortly before that interview, the NDC MP for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor responded to President Akufo-Addo’s shocking announcement saying the NDC will not allow the deal to sail through.
“The level of opacity with that agreement and the attempt to rush it through within 24 hours, despite all the issues we [NDC] have raised, gives cause for concern. It should be considered dead on arrival from our side. We don’t have to go through the whole process again. This whole Agyapa thing should be shelved,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.
However, critics have become skeptical about the supposed opposition to the Agyapa deal being promised by the NDC, particularly given the “betrayal” of some NDC MPs by secretly voting to pass some controversial ministerial appointments made by President Akufo Addo.
Some of these MPs were reportedly bribed to the tune of GHC 5 million to vote for the appointees, including the gun-totting Hawa Koomson and the alleged lying Kojo Oppong Nkrumah of the Information Ministry.
The Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal is an opaque one cook by a closely-knit family and cronies of the Akufo Addo administration to reportedly hijack Ghana’s mineral royalty resources of over US$2.5 billion but is being valued at a paltry US$ 1 billion.
In 2020, the deal was assessed by then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu who concluded that it was a masterpiece of corruption, with the devils in the details including money laundering, insider dealings and bid riggings to enable the President’s cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta set up his private company, Databank Financial Services as a Transaction Advisor for the deal whose true private interest has been kept secret by Mr. Ofori-Atta.
Amidu’s assessment of the deal concluded that President Akufo-Addo is the “mother serpent of corruption” who is directly conducting the symphony of the deal.
After the controversial findings, Amidu resigned and fled the country for dear life after his life came under threat.
However, rather than discard the deal, an adamant President Akufo Addo is vowing to return it to Parliament which is split 50-50 with the biggest opposition that has vowed to resist it.
However, critics think the President is confident about the deal going through despite his clear disadvantage in Parliament because the governing party knows that some NDC MPs are compromised.
In the Agyapa deal, Mr. Ofori-Atta and the cabinet of the Akufo Addo administration had attempted to use the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) to set up Agyapa.
However, the convoluted processes of setting up the company, the tweaking of the MIIF Act and the “unconscionable” agreement between the Government of Ghana and Agyapa Royalties Limited raised instant suspicion.
The Finance Ministry also refused to release details of the transaction assessment to neither the general Ghanaian Parliament when they demanded it, nor did they do so for the countless civil society organisations who raised red flags about the fraudulent nature of the deal.
Meanwhile, Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organisation has warned British authorities not to allow the listing of Agyapa on the LSE because of its dubious background.