Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah says Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu did a sloppy job in his Corruption Risk Assessment on the Agyapa Royalties deal.
Interacting with the media in Parliament on Tuesday, Dr. Yeboah said whilst reading the report, it became clear that the Special Prosecutor was on ‘a fishing expedition’.
He describes the report as inconclusive, insisting that the Special Prosecutor did not do a thorough job.
“It has been a very sloppy job because he [Martin Amidu] states our work but he didn’t even speak to me, the Chairman on the Finance Committee. He came to Parliament gathering reports on the work that we have done as if he is going behind us to get some information.
“This work started in 2018 with the passage of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Law. These have been with the Committee for about two years, so for him to suggest that he doesn’t think the committee did a thorough job [is bad],” he stated.
A corruption risk assessment report by the Special Prosecutor concluded that there were breaches in the Public Procurement Act and Public Financial Management Act with regards to how transaction advisors were procured.
Martin Amidu stated that the process raised reasonable suspicion of bid rigging and corruption.
He also claimed that the procurement of service providers for the transaction also gave rise to possible cronyism, nepotism, and could result in illicit financial activities and money laundering.
The President has since referred the deal back to Parliament for a review.
However, the New Juaben South legislator insists that deliberations on the Agyapa deal is closed until there is a motion of rescission or some new material is presented to Parliament
Meanwhile, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has described as preposterous claims that Parliament did a bad job on the Agyapa Royalties agreement before approval.
He also questioned if the critics knew better than Parliamentarians.
“You can just come up with conjectures. When somebody sits somewhere and makes a definitive pronouncement ask them whether they have seen it. If they haven’t seen it, then what is the sense in critiquing it,” he emphasized.
Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu disagreed with the Special Prosecutor’s view that the establishment of Agyapa in a tax haven was out of place.
He, however, admits Parliament is sometimes challenged in considering documents because they don’t have experts to advise them.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu on his part pushed for punishment against government officials involved in the Agyapa Royalty deal after the Special Prosecutor concluded there were illegalities in the transaction.
Mr Iddrisu stressed that the referral of the deal to Parliament for review is not enough noting that Parliament cannot cure the defects raised by the Special Prosecutor.
Mr Iddrisu subsequently, added that the NDC MPs in Parliament feel vindicated because they were right about the shoddiness of the deal.
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