Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta has noted that the report on Agyapa by former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu was a disservice to him.
The nominee appearing bore the Committee on Thursday, March 25, 2021 argued that the report by the former SP to put out the report without giving him the opportunity to respond was a disservice to him.
“There is a bit of cynicism around the Agyapa transaction. I think that for Martin Amidu’s report on it to be put out to the public without a chance by people like me to discuss it is a disservice.”
He added that the Agyapa deal will be resubmitted to parliament for it to be scrutinized before it is passed.
“We will resubmit it to parliament. The question, in this new normal, is what we do to leverage our natural resources. I hope we all come to terms with how we will capitalize and grow our transformation.”
The Special Prospector in his report stated that ”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.”
He further noted, that even though the fees for the bid “purportedly” won by Imara Corporate Finance Ltd and it’s “decoy” Databank is to be paid in United States dollars to Imara, the Mandate agreement remains silent on when and how Databank would be paid by Imara.
He, therefore, described the agreement as an Opaque agreement, shrouded in secrecy. “This opaque arrangement in the contract negotiation process not arising out of Public Procurement Authority approval, is what made the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment conclude that the process of the selection of Transaction Advisors disclosed a reasonable suspicion of bid-rigging and corruption activity including the potential for illicit financial flows and money laundering in the arrangement of how the fees payable to Databank of Ghana as decoy which was not approved under the Public Procurement Authority Act 2003 (Act 663) as amended by the Public Procurement Authority Act 2016 (Act 914) are to be made.”
The report further concluded, that “Imara Corporate Finance (Pty) is an opaque surrogate of both the Ministry of Finance and Databank Financial Services Ltd playing the role as Transaction Advisers in the suspected bid-rigging processes, that the total fees upon completion of the Transaction may not be known.”