Ofori-Atta To Take The Hot Seat of Vetting, March 25

The Parliamentary Appointments Committee has scheduled Thursday, March 25 to vet the scandal-ridden Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta.

According to official information from Parliament, the vetting will be telecast live on the state broadcast network, GBC by 10 am.

Ofori-Atta could not feature in the regular vetting scheduled because he was mysteriously flown out of the country to the US a day before his scheduled parliamentary vetting. He was alleged to have suffered COVID-19 complications requiring urgent medical attention abroad.

Other critics dismissed the official narrative saying he was attempting to evade the process due to the many scandals linked to him in the past four years.

Already a serious petition against him had been tabled before Parliament and is set to feature in probing by the Appointment Committee.

The petition from a group of private citizens joins former Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu who has been designated to the Railways Ministry.

The petition raises issues about how the two reportedly used their previous Ministries to cook up corrupt deals that led to the Government shedding its stake in Ghana’s oil as a sacrifice to ensure that a company associated with Ken Ofori-Atta would come to own 5% in Ghana’s oil.

In the shady oil deal, Ofori-Atta got John Peter Amewu to use his position as Minister of Energy to force GNPC to shed as much as 39% of its stake in the country’s oil to AGM/Aker Energy, so that Aker Energy would adopt Quad Energy, the company linked to Ofori-Atta, as its local partner.

AGM/Aker was also granted half a billion dollars in tax waivers, just so that Quad Energy would be adopted, according to the petitioners.

Quad Energy is credited to David Tanoh Adomakoh, who is an uncle to Joseph Babatunde Ampah, both of who have close ties to Mr. Ofori-Atta. 

Babatunde Ampah is a former Vice President of Databank Financial Services, which is owned by Ken Ofori-Atta.

It is believed that Ofori-Atta is the actual owner of Quad Energy; the long rigmarole of having David Adomakoh and Babatunde Ampah as Directors of Quad Energy, is just a shrewd camouflage to cover Ofori-Atta’s ownership of Quad Energy, the petitioners allege.

Amewu and Ofori-Atta, the petitioners said, set up the shady deal in April 2019, by renegotiating Ghana’s petroleum agreement with AGM/Aker Energy. The two had written a joint memorandum to the Akufo-Addo cabinet asking to be allowed to renegotiate the agreement.

President Akufo-Addo had hurriedly approved their decision and asked them to forward their memo to Parliament, which was then dominated by the NPP, for approval.

In April 2019, Amewu and Ofori-Atta then authored another joint memo to Parliament asking to renegotiate the petroleum agreement. Parliament per what the two Ministers were proposing, observed that the additional participating interest of GNPC had been reduced from 15% in the original agreement to 3% in the renegotiated agreement.

Also, the 24% Commercial Interest of Explorco, a subsidiary of GNPC had been abandoned.

 “We are of the candid opinion that the repudiation of the earlier agreement and the effect of the review memorandum by the Nominee and colleague with the support of Cabinet was to path the way for the introduction of a new company to become the local partner of AGM/AKER. The Finance Minister displaced the original local partners in 2013 and gave the AGM/Aker a huge tax concession and the give-away of GNPC’s additional commercial stake in the oil. This action was just to soften the grounds for a new company called Quad Energy Ltd.,” the petitioners wrote.

The Petitioners point out that there is no evidence whatsoever that Quad Energy did any work to merit a whopping 5% stake allocated to it.

The scenario, they pointed out, is even murkier when the vail around the ownership of Quad Energy, local partner to Aker, is lifted. “According to records from the Registrar General’s Department, Quad Energy is a sole proprietorship enterprise owned by David Tanoh Adomakoh, who himself was a sitting board member of Aker Ghana Ltd as the sole shareholder. Quad Energy has two directors namely David Adomako and a Joseph Babatunde Ampah,” the petition read.

Based on the allegations of insider dealings, they want the ministerial nomination of Amewu and Ofori-Atta to be rejected by the appointment committee of Parliament which is dominated by MPs of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

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