Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama has said he will act on the corruption risk assessment report issued by former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu on the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
According to him, the report indicts key government officials including the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta therefore, he will not sweep it under the carpet.
“I assure you that if I win the December elections I will act on the Agyapa report. The deal is full of corruption and I am going to act on it,” Mr Mahama said while on a campaign tour in the Ashanti Region on Saturday November 21.
He added “All the moneys that have gone into peoples [pockets will be retrieved, the government officials will be questioned and be asked to return the money.”
Mr Amidu on November 2 released his assessment of the transaction and accordingly submitted his report to the president.
“The analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment was completed and signed by the Special Prosecutor on 15th October 2020.
“The Special Prosecutor in a letter with reference number OSP/SCR/20/12/20 dated 16th October 2020 conveyed the conclusions and observations of the anti-corruption assessment to H. E. the President and the Hon. Minister of Finance as a matter of courtesy before informing the public.”
“Two weeks is more than too long for this Office to continue withholding the announcement of the completion of its sixty-four (64) page report to the public.
“It is important that this Office has the freedom to discharge its anti-corruption mandate and keep the public informed. I have, therefore, decided to bring the facts of the conclusion of the anti-corruption assessment of the Agyapa Royalties Transactions by this Office to the attention of the public and to avoid the continued speculations on this matter,” he said.
Following this report, President Nana Addo Dankwa Aklufo-Addo asked the Finance Minister to send the agreement back to parliament for modification.
Mr Akufo-Addo also criticized Mr Amidu for creating an impression that he had uncovered “serious corruption and corruption-related offences” regarding the Agyapa minerals transaction.
According to the President’s response signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, the Secretary to the President, Amidu’s claims that he “intended to open full investigations as the Special Prosecutor” is the “most disingenuous” statement he made in his resignation letter because it was “not supported by the facts”.
In a nine-page detailed response to the immediate past Special Prosecutor’s resignation letter, the President through Bediatuo Asante, his Secretary, indicated that there was nowhere Martin Amidu expressed an intention to the President to open investigations into the Agyapa matter.
Mr Bediatuo referenced paragraph 33 of Amidu’s letter to the President dated 16 October, 2020, to buttress his argument.
Therein Amidu had written: “This assessment does not constitute an investigation even though formal investigations for the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences may arise from this corruption risk assessment.”
Bediatuo Asante continued: “The real question is what prevented your Office from investigating the alleged corruption-related offences which may have arisen from your assessment of the Agyapa transaction? Having clearly indicated that your report was not a criminal investigation which you are mandated under section 2 of Act 959 to carry out, it is confusing and incomprehensible how you can, in your letter, claim that your report ‘discloses several serious corruption and corruption-related offences’, without you taking any further step in the matter consistent with your mandate.”
Bediatuo concluded that it was difficult to find any tangible basis for the claim of political interference in Amidu’s “performance of the duties of the Special Prosecutor from October 20, 2020 to November 1, 2020”.
“The President’s meetings with you and the request for you to give the public officers a hearing cannot sincerely or properly give rise to such an allegation,” Bediatuo’s response stressed.