I don’t regret appointing Amidu as SP – Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he has no regrets appointing anti-corruption crusader Martin Amidu as the first Special Prosecutor.
The president has stated that despite the controversies, which led to the resignation of Mr Amidu, three years into his seven-years contract to fight corruption using his office, he has no remorse in making such a decision.
“In spite of the unfortunate events that led to the departure of the first occupant of the office, I do not regret making that appointment.
On the issue of the former Special Prosecutor not being adequately resourced to enable effective operation of his office, President Akufo-Addo said he ensured that the office was adequately resourced to carry out its mandate.
“I am, however, consoled by the often-cited statement that there is no need of crying over spilt milk,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo made those remarks when he swore in the second special prosecutor since the establishment of the office, Kissi Agyebeng, on Thursday, August 5.
He said he accepted the nomination of Mr Agyebeng when Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, made the recommendation.
The president said that his decision to accept Mr Agyebeng as the successor to Mr Amidu was because his credentials were clear that he is eminently qualified to occupy the office.
Mr Amidu was the First Special Prosecutor from 2018 until his resignation in 2020.
The vocal anti-corruption crusader cited political interference by President Akufo-Addo, amid the recommendations he made regarding the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal.
The aftermath of his assessment resulted in his resignation.
According to Mr Amidu, he received threats for undertaking the corruption assessment on the Agyapa deal.
In his resignation letter, he said, “the reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption.”
“Fear is the enemy of change, and I am prepared from the vacuum created on 12th November 2020 to meet the threats of my demise as the price to pay for serving my country without fear or favour affection or ill will,” Mr Amidu said in his letter.
He insisted that he acted professionally throughout his duties as the special prosecutor and that his conscience was the anchor of his strength to face any consequences.
“I am grateful to every Ghanaian for both the support and criticisms during my tenure. When the real facts of my tenure become well known to the public in the future, history may judge me kindly. Ghana First!” he concluded.
The Agyapa deal and the associated controversies
The deal was a strategy that sort to raise capital from the proceeds of the extractive (mining) sector to finance the country’s developmental projects through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).
Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited was incorporated in Jersey to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years.
In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchange and raise at least $500 million for the government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.
The listing will allow private people to buy a 49 per cent stake in the firm.
The gesture was to move away from borrowing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or relying heavily on the bond and capital market, especially when the government was embarking on a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda’.
However, the Minority in Parliament and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) kicked against the deal and called for its suspension.
The call for the abrogation of the contract became heightened following the revelations made by Mr Amidu from the investigations he conducted, in which he said the deal was manipulated by the Ministry of Finance.