Thursday, October 1, 2020

Special Prosecutor probes Agyapa Royalties transaction

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The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin A.B.K. Amidu, has begun investigations into the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction. In a letter of September 10, 2020, addressed to the clerk of Parliament, the Special Prosecutor said the investigation was in line with his office’s mandate to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption.

Timeous compliance
“I write in pursuant to Sections 2(1) c, 29 and 73 of Act 959 and Regulation 31 (1) and (2) of L. I. 2374 mandating the Office to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption, to request you to provide this office with information and all documents related to and/or in connection with the approval given by Parliament to the Agyapa Royalty Transaction to assist this office to execute its prevention of corruption object,” the letter from the Special Prosecutor to Parliament said.

The Special Prosecutor urged Parliament to ensure “timeous compliance with this statutory notice.” “Your timeous compliance with this statutory notice of request will enable the office to present to government and relevant agencies of government any finding and recommendation on the said transaction or its processes which may be inconsistent with the provisions of articles 257 (6) and 268 of the 1992 Constitution and the existing laws on ownership of all the mineral resources in Ghana and the fiduciary responsibilities entrusted to the President of Ghana as the trustee holding all such mineral resources of the Republic of Ghana in trust for and on behalf of the people of Ghana”, the letter stated.

Concentration
The letter added: “This Office will be concentrating on any potential of the said transaction to promote and facilitate the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences and advise government accordingly.”

It said in view of the public interest generated in the issue in the tense election environment this year, “it will be highly appreciated should you make the requested information available to the Office and produce the required documents to this office on or before Tuesday, September 17, 2020”, the letter said.

Background
On August 14, 2020, Parliament approved the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and four related documents to allow for the monetisation of Ghana’s future gold royalties. Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited has been incorporated in Jersey near UK to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years or so.

In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later this year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education. The listing will allow private people to buy a 49 per cent stake in the firm. However, 22 civil society organisations have called for a suspension of the deal, insisting it is not in the interest of the country.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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