Ghana News

Traumatic experiences after Agyapa deal investigations forced me out – Amidu

The controversial Agyapa Royalties Deal may have contributed to the resignation of Mr. Martin Amidu as Ghana’s Special Prosecutor.

Mr. Amidu was tasked by President Akufo-Addo to conduct a corruption risk assessment on the deal amid mounting pressure from the opposition parties and civil society groups to have the deal aborted.

But Mr. Amidu, however, explained in a statement that the intense reaction to his report in the deal was a factor in his decision to resign from the top job.

“I should not be ordinarily announcing my resignation to the public myself but the traumatic experience I went through from 20th October 2020 to 2nd November 2020, when I conveyed in a thirteen (13) page letter the conclusions and analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment on the Report on the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions and Other Matters related Thereto…cautions against not bringing my resignation as Special Prosecutor with immediate to the Ghanaian public and the world”, Mr. Amidu said on Monday.

He further indicated that the reaction he received for daring to produce the report “convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption”.

“The event of 12th November 2020 removed the only protection I had from the threats and plans directed at me for undertaking the Agyapa Royalties Transactions anti-corruption assessment report and dictates that I resign as Special Prosecutor immediately”, he posited.

Background

On August 14, 2020, Parliament approved the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and four related documents to allow for the monetization of Ghana’s future gold royalties.

Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited has been incorporated in Jersey near the UK to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years or so.

In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later this year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.

The listing will allow private people to buy a 4 percent stake in the firm.

However, some 22 civil society organizations called for the suspension of the deal, insisting it was not in the interest of Ghana.

Amidu’s investigation

The Special Prosecutor, Mr. Martin A.B.K. Amiu, therefore, commenced investigations into the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction.

In a letter of September 10, 2020, addressed to the clerk of Parliament, the Special Prosecutor said the investigation was in line with his office’s mandate to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption.

“I write under Sections 2(1) c, 29 and 73 of Act 959 and Regulation 31 (1) and (2) of L. I. 2374 mandating the Office to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption, to request you to provide this office with information and all documents related to and/or in connection with the approval given by Parliament to the Agyapa Royalty Transaction to assist this office to execute its prevention of corruption object,” the letter from the Special Prosecutor to Parliament said.

The Special Prosecutor urged Parliament to ensure “timeous compliance with this statutory notice.”

Concentration

The letter added: “This Office will be concentrating on any potential of the said transaction to promote and facilitate the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offenses and advise government accordingly.”

It said given the public interest generated in the issue in the tense election environment this year, “it will be highly appreciated should you make the requested information available to the Office and produce the required documents to this office on or before Tuesday, September 17, 2020”, the letter said.

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