Vice-Pres Togbe Afede; the $12m waste

On Tuesday, February 13, social media broke the news that the Asogli State Council had affirmed that Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli, “has expressed his willingness to accept the position of running mate if offered by the National Democratic Congress’ flag bearer, John Dramani Mahama.”

In a press release, “the Council stated that Togbe conveyed this stance during a visit from a group known as ‘Change Forum Makers’ to discuss the matter”.

This was after the Daily Graphic had broken the story that his name had come up among the possible running mates of Mr Mahama.

With Togbe in the reckoning, the 2024 Presidential race has taken a new turn.

Mahama now has an economist who, since his return after his studies abroad, has not only exhibited an understanding of the economy but has gone on to intervene with solutions that have worked.

He is the man who, last year, voluntarily returned to coffers, GH¢365,392.57 paid as exgratia to him after serving on the Council of State between 2017 and 2020.

Just before anybody concludes that I am conducting a Mahama campaign, let me remind readers of what I wrote on June 6, 2022 in the Daily Graphic about Togbe Afede:

“It is not often that I publicly commend the greatness of a person to my readers.

Years ago (in 2010), I did that about Togbe. It was based on a long record of what I had seen, read, heard, felt and touched.”

“Togbe Afede … is not an angel, like all humans, but the man I knew as James Akpo, now Togbe Afede XIV, is not dishonest.

I have known him as an investment consultant to Accra Brewery, Chairman of the Accra World Trade Centre, Chairman of Africa World Airlines, Chairman of Sunon Asogli Power Plant, and I have found him detailed, robust and shrewd — where shrewd means ‘having or showing sharp powers of judgement.’”

I wrote the above as far back as June 2023, when he returned the Council of State exgratia.

There is a problem, however.

The man is a chief and constitutionally he is barred from active partisan politics.

Will Togbe resign?

Some may say that the choice of Mahama’s running mate is not my matter.

I disagree, but the debate can wait.

98 per cent

There is, however, one matter that cannot, and shouldn’t, wait.

It is one of the reasons why 98 per cent of Ghanaians could potentially remain consigned to irredeemable penury.



In 2020, the Akufo-Addo government proposed to sell the majority of Ghana’s gold royalties from mining leases to an offshore company, Agyapa Royalties Limited.

Under the deal, the government would sell 49 per cent of the shares of this company through a public offering and keep a 51 per cent stake.

In November of that year, the Special Prosecutor (Martin Amidu), after a corruption risk assessment, released a report outlining suspected incidences of rigging and corruption.

Following a public outcry in 2021, the President ordered the suspension of what became known as the Agyapa deal.

For Ghanaians who may not know, all the transaction advisers were engaged in 2018, and actually began work before the President ordered the suspension.

It has emerged this week that the government spent $12 million before the suspension.

The CEO of the Minerals Income Investment Fund disclosed at a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) sitting last Tuesday that the amount was expended on the “processes to issue the initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange before the suspension”.

Perhaps someday, Ghanaians will come to know what payments were made and for what.

The question to ask is what happened to the building – and the rent – after the President suspended the Agyapa project in 2021?

What about all the transaction advisers?

They actually worked for two years.


Did these payments include the fees to UK law firm, White and Cade, the principal advisors?

I am raising this issue to question the propriety or otherwise of the payments.

My point here is actually a question: was it a good use of the country’s scarce resources to have paid out US$12 million, only for the President to order the suspension of the venture?

What was the rush for, when the venture had not even gone before Parliament?

Should this country allow its elected leaders to go on such a spending spree while we stay helpless?

The amount US$12 million is no chicken change in Ghana, where girls in its star-rated Wesley Girls High School are sleeping on bare floor!

Yet, knowing this country, we may somersault all we can, grit our teeth, hold one another’s throat in Parliament; we shall never be able to find out how much was spent on procuring transaction advisors, how much rent was paid for the office accommodation in the UK et al.

Prove me wrong.

The writer is Executive Director,
Centre for Communication and Culture.

E-mail: ashonenimil@gmail.com

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