Agyapa deal: I don’t think there was any conflict of interest - Ken Ofori-Atta

Agyapa deal: I don’t think there was any conflict of interest - Ken Ofori-Atta

- 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, however, disagreed

Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, has stated that there was no conflict of interest with Databank’s involvement in the controversial Agyapa Royalties transaction.

Agyapa: I don’t think there was any conflict of interest - Ken Ofori-Atta
Agyapa: I don’t think there was any conflict of interest - Ken Ofori-Atta...Photo credit: Parliament of Ghana
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Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Thursday, Ofori-Atta said, “I don’t think there was any conflict of interest … because I was not part of the decision.”

“I think the first-class nature of that institution speaks to itself. I think a Ghanaian entrepreneur ingenuity has brought it this far. It must be praised and we should be encouraging our companies to grow so that we can begin to do the Eurobonds ourselves,” he added.

Databank withdrew from the transaction as advisors in February due to attacks on its reputation as a result of the Finance Minister-designate’s association with it.

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The Group CEO of Databank, Kojo Addae-Mensah said the tumult generated not only grossly compromises the ability to execute such a market-sensitive and novel transaction, but also has a real tendency to severely damage the invaluable business reputation of Databank.

In other news, the Auditor-General has ordered the former Rector of the University for Professional Studies (UPSA), Professor Joshua Alabi, to reimburse an amount of Ghs300,000 he paid to private legal firm Lithur Brew and Company as legal fees.

According to the Auditor-General’s audited report of public boards, corporations, and other statutory institutions, Alabi, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaign manager in the 2020 general election supervised the payment of the said amount to the legal firm co-owned by former President John Dramani Mahama’s lawyer, Tony Lithur for “no work done.”

An amount of ¢2,302,369.67 was released to some officers of UPSA to transact official business on behalf of the University, but only ¢353,279.43 was accounted for.

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The report said a difference of ¢1,949,090.24 was not accounted for, although the activities for which the funds were released were conducted long ago.

Management of UPSA signed a retainer agreement dated March 16, 2014, and paid an amount of ¢263,670 to the law firm co-owned by the lawyer for former President Mahama.

The firm was paid a retainer fee but there was no evidence it provided any legal services to the University.

The Auditor-General, therefore, recommended that Alabi and Lithur Brew and company should be made to refund the amount with an interest at the prevailing Bank of Ghana interest rate.

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