Stop IPO on Agyapa deal – Amidu to Finance Ministry

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has written to the Ministry of Finance to hold on with the launch of the IPO for Agyapa Royalties until the latter has furnished his office with all the relevant documents and information needed for him to complete his corruption risk assessment of the agreement.

Parliament, a few weeks ago, in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978), approved agreements to allow the country to derive maximum value from its mineral resources and monetise its mineral income accruing to the country in a sustainable and responsible manner.

The move, gives Agyapa Royalties Limited, the right to secure about $1 billion to enable government finance large infrastructural projects.

Mr Amidu, in a letter to the ministry, said there are some outstanding documents which have not been provided to him by the Finance Ministry concerning the IPO even though some other documents have been made available to him upon request.

“This Office would have wished to complete its corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa Royalties Transaction soonest but for the non-submission of the information and documents pending to be submitted by your Ministry.

“The information and documents you supplied concerned mainly the processes for and the appointment of the Transaction Advisors which goes to the root of any corruption risk assessment”, parts of the letter said.

It continued: “Information and documents relating to the identification and recommendation by the transaction advisors to your Ministry for appointment a list of other services providers and or underwriters that may be required to complete the transaction as provided in clause 2.2.1 of the mandate agreement amongst others, that are critical to any through corruption risk assessment are also outstanding.

“The legal opinions particularly of the principal legal advisor to the government under the Constitution are relevant to ensure compliance with her recommendations as part of any corruption risk assessment.”

“In the circumstances”, the letter noted, “this Office wishes to urge you to abide by the results of the corruption risk assessment it is undertaking on the transaction before moving to the launching of the IPO transaction.

“This Office makes this suggestion on the grounds of prudence on your part and to also not give the impression that the mandate of this Office on prevention of corruption is of no consequence to the transaction.”

Meanwhile, the Parliament of Ghana was billed to provide Mr Amidu with all the documents covering the deal as of Monday, 14 September 2020.

This followed an official request made by Mr Amidu to the legislature in that regard.

The request was pursuant to Sections 2(1) (c), 29 and 73 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) and Regulation 31 (1) and (2) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2374), which mandate the office to exercise the functions and powers of prevention of corrupt activities.

Parts of the OSP’s official request said: “This office will be concentrating on any potential of the said transaction(s) to promote and facilitate the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences and advise the government accordingly”.

The deal, meant to monetise Ghana’s gold royalties, has attracted a lot of controversy since it was passed by Parliament.