The Minority in Ghana’s Parliament has said the lawmaking chamber cannot remedy the defects associated with the controversial Agyapa deal.
President Akufo-Addo instructed the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, to in the interest of transparency and accountability to the Ghanaian people, the Agreements supporting the transaction that were submitted to Parliament, and approved by the House, should be resubmitted to Parliament for the approval process to start all over again.
The President’s order followed the detection of some anomalies in the deal by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.
“…the process of the selection of the transaction advisor(s) disclosed a reasonable suspicion of bid-rigging and corruption activity including the potential for illicit financial flows and money laundering…,” the Special Prosecutor wrote in his corruption risk assessment report to President.
Speaking to journalists on the development on Tuesday 3 November 2020, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said that with the referral from the executive and the president, parliament cannot remedy the defects as captured in the conclusions of the Special Prosecutor.
He wondered: “How is parliament going to remedy breaches to the Public Financial Management Act? How is parliament going to remedy breaches to the Public Procurement Act and its accompanying amendments? How is parliament going to remedy payments made to IMRA, which has a decoy company of Databank, how is parliament going to remedy that?”
“So, I do not see the NDC Minority ever supporting anything Agyapa. I want to be convinced that it’s worthy building a national consensus on and that will be premised on three important issues”, Iddrisu said.
According to the Tamale South Member of Parliament (MP), President Akufo-Addo must do more than a referral to parliament. “He must take full responsibility for it and not hide behind parliament. All those actions of breaches, all those actions of failures, all those actions which are not in the public interest were executive decisions of the president,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Civil Society Organizations kicked against the reevaluation of the controversial Agyapa deal by the current parliament.
According to the CSOs, the seventh parliament is culpable in the messy nature of the deal, thus lacks the moral high ground and capacity to supervise its reassessment.
A member of the Alliance of Civil Society Organizations working in Extractive, Anti-Corruption, and Good Governance, George Osei Bimbeh said the deal must be reassessed by the eighth parliament.
According to Osei Bimbeh, who’s the Country Director for Send Ghana, the current parliament is to be blamed for the anomalies in the deal.
“We are not in good terms in terms of the time on had in parliament. Many of them are in the nuke and crannies of this country canvassing for votes. We do not have the massive attendance in the house and so I am a bit skeptical in terms of the kind of work that will go into it and I think that if anything at all, it shouldn’t be considered the lifetime of this parliament,” he was quoted as saying.