- The Agyapa Deal has been criticized by anti-corruption crusaders who want it terminated
- Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu said the deal was designed to facilitate illicit financial flows and money laundering
- Ken Ofori-Atta is expected to answer a litany of questions on the controversial deal
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Former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo, never opposed the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal, Godfred Dame has said.
The Attorney General and Minister for Justice nominee made the disclosure on Friday, February 12, 2021, when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
“I am indicating for the record that the former Attorney General [Gloria Akuffo] was never opposed to the transaction and that is clear in all the documents available to me,” Dame stated.
The Attorney General’s office in 2020 declared that the agreement was not in the interest of Ghana.
The office further added it was unclear what benefits “will come to the Republic of Ghana and the fund other than the one-off payment”, considering that the agreement runs in perpetuity with stringent responsibilities of the fund throughout its lifespan.
Meanwhile, investment bank, Databank withdrew from the deal as transaction advisors.
The bank’s withdrawal from the deal comes at a time when the finance minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, appears before the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, conducted a corruption and anti-corruption risk assessment report on the deal in 2020.
According to the report, there was reasonable suspicion of “bid-rigging and corruption” as well as the likelihood for “illicit financial flows and money laundering” in selecting the deal’s transaction advisor(s).
Amidu resigned as the country’s special prosecutor following the report, citing threats on his life and a series of traumatic experiences.
The Group CEO of Databank, Kojo Addae-Mensah, said that the tumult generated grossly compromises the ability of the firm to execute such a market-sensitive and novel transaction, hence, the withdrawal.
The withdrawal has been met with fierce suspicion with Civil Society Organisations observing that the timing aims at preempting the questions to be asked on the deal during the vetting of Ofori-Atta.
“It, therefore, leaves one wondering whether this is not an attempt to preempt the discussion of the matter during the Minister-designates vetting next week in Parliament,” leader of the group, Dr. Steve Manteaw was quoted as saying.
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