‘Databank is a decoy’ – Nine things Amidu said about $1bn Agyapa deal
Here is a simple summary of the Special Prosecutor’s report into the controversial $1bn Agyapa deal.
It’s a 64-page report, and Martin Amidu can be quite winding in his writings. And so theghanareport.com is here to break it down for the ordinary Ghanaian.
1.The Special Prosecutor’s work on the Agyapa deal was not an investigation. It is an audit to ensure the agreement complied with the law. The difference is that an investigation would suggest criminality.
2. The appointment of the Transaction Advisor in the Agyapa deal should have been brought to parliament for approval because it is an international economic transaction. It is international because the government engaged a South African firm, IMARA Corporate Finance Limited (Pty), as a Transaction Advisor.
3. In selecting the transaction advisor, the company had to get a local partner. IMARA selected Databank, but Special Prosecutor says this is a “decoy”.
4. The report wants to know how Databank is being paid as a local partner. He said this arrangement is “opaque” which raises “reasonable suspicion of bid-rigging, and corruption activity, including the potential for illicit financial flows and money laundering.”
5. There is a zero-chance that the advice given by the Transaction Advisor would be neutral and impartial because of individual interests at the Ministry of Finance and IMARA/Databank.
6. Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance should have signed the agreement not the Deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen. This is because the Public Financial Management law gives the Chief Director that power to bind the Finance Ministry to an agreement.
7. Several service providers and underwriters, including Africa Legal Associates, the legal firm owned by the president’s cousin Gabby Otchere Darko, may not have been chosen on merit. This is because they were not selected in accordance with the Public Procurement Authority.
8. He believes the selection of the governing board members of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) could not meet the litmus test of the prevention of corruption. The Chairman and the other Board members indicated “a real Iikelihood of almost all of them being affected by partisan considerations” in the discharge of their duties.
9. Parliament did not properly scrutinize the agreement, and this makes corruption attractive because “the risk is low”.