Former President John Dramani Mahama is asking President Akufo-Addo to ask Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to step aside in connection with the controversial Agyapa deal, which Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu’s corruption risk assessment report criticised as failing the transparency, probity and accountability test.
Subsequently, President Nana Akufo-Addo has asked Mr Ofori-Atta to take the agreement back to Parliament for a review.
In an interview on Accra-based Starr FM, the presidential candidate of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), said: “Withdraw the Agyapa deal completely”, adding: “No need for review”.
Ask the Finance Minister to step aside or suspend him. but he’s been quiet on that.
“Give some sanctions on the Finance Minister. The report indicts the Finance Minister”, Mr Mahama said.
Parts of the OSP’s report said the Transaction Advisor(s) involved in the deal were susceptible to “nepotism, cronyism and favouritism”.
Additionally, Mr Amidu said in the 67-page report that the deal lacked “probity, accountability and transparency” in some aspects.
“All the parties to the Mandate Agreement are deemed to have known the law but ignored it with impunity in signing and implementing the Mandate Agreement, which is null and void ab initio as violating the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and the Public Procurement Authority Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended.
“This conduct, which appears to have been in furtherance of the suspected bid-rigging, in the assessment of this Office, severely lowered the risk of corruption, and rendered them a low-risk enterprise in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions process and their approval.
“It is with these new lenses that the analysis of the risk of corruption, and anti-corruption assessments of the legality of the engagement of the other services providers and underwriters on the recommendations of the Transaction Advisors acting as the Ministry of Finance’s procurement entity tender committee contrary to Part VI of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended, and Sections 7 and 25 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) afore-quoted were made”, portions of the report said.
It continued: “It was further analysed and assessed that the Transaction Advisor(s) nonetheless, went ahead to identify and recommend services providers and underwriters to the Ministry of Finance for appointment by the Republic of Ghana.
“The Ministry acted contrary to the Public Procurement Authority Act and the Public Financial Management Act in delegating the power to appoint services providers and/or other underwriters to the unlawfully appointed Transaction Advisor(s).
“The Transaction Advisor(s), whose selection and appointment by the Ministry of Finance did not measure up favourably to the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment that meets the fundamentals of probity, transparency and accountability was/were potentially susceptible to undue influence, favouritism, cronyism, nepotism, and all forms of discrimination abhorred under the 1992 Constitution leading to the suspected packing of the services provider and underwriters position with entities not chosen on merit.”