Akufo-Addo’s Anti-Corruption Campaigns in Opposition was only rhetoric – Martin Amidu

Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has revisited the Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal, saying the way things panned out around that deal proves President Akufo-Addo’s anti-corruption campaigns when he was in opposition was only rhetoric.

In a write-up, Mr. Amidu emphasizes that corruption is still festering under the President lamenting that he, like many other well-meaning Ghanaians, had been hoodwinked by the sweet talk of the President into supporting him to come to power.

In his earlier scathing description of President Akufo-Addo, Amidu had said the President was the “Mother Serpent” of corruption.

He writes that the Agyapa Royalties deal “teaches all Ghanaians that this Government came to power on the strength of the rhetorical abilities of a candidate who had perfected the art of saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite.”

He adds that the Special Prosecutor’s office was just intended as mere window dressing by the President to create a false impression that he was serious about fighting corruption but that he was not.

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor and the first Special Prosecutor were intended as [a] mere window dressing to Ghanaians and [the] world while the public purse continued to be raped through purposeful corruption activities on the blind side of the voters who brought the President into power,” Amidu wrote in his latest epistle.

“I was hoodwinked like many other Ghanaians, first to support the Kabuki campaign of candidate Nana Akufo-Addo for President during the 2016 elections and secondly to accept to be the Special Prosecutor with the assurance of real independence to perform the functions of that Office. I never phantom that the President I trusted and upon whose honour I accepted the office merely wanted to use my known public reputation and integrity to foster suspicious corruption and corruption activities in his government.”

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Amidu had resigned his position after he said it became apparent to him that Akufo-Addo had wanted to use him to cover up serious corruption in the Agyapa deal.

He consequently sympathized with the next Special Prosecutor, “ I the I wish the next Special Prosecutor good luck during his tenure,” he wrote.

The Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal involved the dubious plan of the government to use the country’s mineral royalty receipts to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle to borrow US$500million.

The arrangement had however raised a lot of suspicions when it emerged that the people behind the deal may be members of the President’s family and close circle of friends. Also, the company was set up in a notorious tax haven with the private shareholders kept under wraps.

Details of the transaction agreement for the valuation of the true worth of Ghana’s mineral royalties in the deal was also concealed by the Finance Minister Ken Odfori-Atta whom Amidu had raised issued of fraud against him in the deal.

This is what prompted the corruption risk assessment by Martin Amidu, leading to a conclusion that the deal was fraught with fraud and corruption by the Finance Minister who had somehow gotten his private company, Databank Financial Services as the main transaction advisor.

The Finance Minister had used a South African Company, Imara Corporate Finance to front for Databank, Amidu’s corruption assessment report revealed.

“The Agyapa Royalties Transactions anti-corruption analysis and assessment report was done professionally without fear or favour, affection, or ill will. When our political rhetorical President saw that the report implicated him, his family and friends in suspected corruption activities, an official government anti-corruption assessment supported by law became an instrument of political damage control for his government…The President not only sought to interfere for me to shelve the report from the public,” Martin Amidu wrote.

Amidu also accused the government of instituting a culture of silence citing the many encumbrances that the #FixTheCountry movement has faced in their attempt to demonstrate against bad governance.

“The apolitical #FixTheCountry movement and the galvanized attempts by the government to suppress the expression of its free will shows how silence through fear can negate the citizen’s rights under our Constitution. Let all of us as patriotic Ghanaians resist at the peril of our comfort and lives the attempt by this government to suppress our rights to defend the 1992 Constitution. That is the only surest way to protect the Constitution and put Ghana First.”

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