Agyapa Deal: Amidu descended into the gutter with petty response -STRANEK
Executive Director of policy think tank Gideon Nii Tettey Tetteh has taken a swipe at Martin Amidu, the Special Prosecutor describing his request to have the Agyapa deal investigated as a populist and opportunistic agenda.
He says although STRANEK respects the office of the SP and the office-holder, his response to their request is ”petty”.
STRANEK had written to the SP reque4sting for a probe into the controversial Agyapa deal because they believe the deal is shrouded in secrecy.
The think tank among other premises asked the SP to probe why the deal was incorporated in a tax haven when the entity involved is ”known for lack of transparency” globally.
”It is prudent that your outfit investigates how the value of the royalties being ceded to Agyapa Royalties was calculated and which entity did the evaluation. The owners of the Agyapa Royalties must be disclosed to the general public including their credentials and the shareholding structure. It is important to establish why Government would create an entity to invest Ghana’s gold royalties and register it in a tax haven in the United Kingdom? A tax haven is a place of limited compliance and an avenue to whitewash corrupt and hidden wealth. It must be noted that Ghana is currently on the European Union blacklist and this can be heightened as a result of Ghana incorporating its major sovereign wealth fund in a tax haven.
In conclusion, the Agyapa deal is shrouded in illegality, secrecy and issues of conflict of interest, and is inimical to the interest of the good people of Ghana. The deal raises serious concerns which demand your urgent attention. Indeed, it is a deal that has shaken the foundations of our moral and ethical society and left all reasonable-minded Ghanaians perplexed.
Your outfit is clothed with powers to unravel the mystery and secrecy surrounding the deal being an office which serves as a specialized independent, preventive, investigatory and prosecutorial anti-corruption agency. We trust you will commence investigations immediately and bring your findings to the attention of all Ghanaians,” portions of the petition read.
But in his response, the SP said is in the public domain that Parliament and other public institutions have already responded to the Office’s request for the information and document.
”Your letter under reference, therefore, appears to this Office as an opportunistic and populist enterprise on your part to take credit for processes already independently commenced by this Office. In any case your letter containing mere speculations without more, does not permit any reasonable basis for the Office to commit further resources to your request from the public.”
However, Mr. Tetteh says the petition sent to the SP does not mean they are opportunistic and populist because ”too much meat does not spoil [the] soup. Therefore, if as citizens of this country we think that we want to express our worry about this issue and that we petitioned the SP and provided other details with regards to the Agyapa deal, it does not mean we are taking credit. ..The resources of this, country, does not belong to the government…and so if the SP is looking at it, it does not mean we cannot provide other details which we think is necessary to help his work. We are bound as citizens any day, any time to petition his office. He cannot tell us when to petition his office and when not to petition his office.”
The think tank he added asked relevant questions including whether the president and his finance minister influenced the process in selection the legal advisors that needed to be answered.
”It is our tax-payers money that is been used to pay Martin Amidu and so, we do not expect him to tell us are being populist and opportunistic. This very petty and last thing we expect him to do so far as we are concerned as STRANEK-Africa and as Ghanaians… We expect him to do better… It would have been better if he just responded to us saying that yes, he has asked parliament to provide the information and they have provided the information and thank us [STRANEK] for buttressing the work he is already doing. But to continue with another paragraph raining insults on us, calling us opportunistic is uncalled for and we don’t expect a senior person like him to descend into the gutters,” he concluded.