General News of Wednesday, 16 August 2023

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Cousin of the president, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has finally reacted to his involvement in the controversial Agyapa Deal which the government abandoned in 2020 on the back of political opposition and outcry by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

In a tweet dated August 15, 2023; Gabby called out CSOs who took the deal to a regional court in Abuja which dismissed it, and yet they have been quiet over the ruling since last year.

He insisted that the deal was going to be in the interest of Ghana ultimately and yet it was scuttled for political reasons.

“I wonder why Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative and the CSOs who went to an international court over Agyapa have been quiet since July after their case was dismissed on all fronts.

“But, I thank them for that move. It is good for our democracy. And, I will urge you all to read the decision of the ECOWAS court. Agyapa, a very legitimate, even if controversial, move by govt to expand the use of its gold revenues, had no corruption about it. Zero!” he claimed.

The Agyapa Royalties deal

In 2020, the government of Ghana proposed a deal which was meant to raise money by floating shares in a company called Agyapa Royalties Limited on the London Stock Exchange.

This deal was met with wide criticism from civil society groups and the opposition, who claimed that it was a secretive and corrupt deal that would allow politicians to enrich themselves at the expense of the country.

Later that year, it was confirmed by veteran journalist Kweku Baako that Gabby’s firm had been transaction advisors to the government in the failed deal.

He clarified that a UK-based law firm was the principal advisors on the deal and Africa Legal Associates worked for the firm.

“It is not true that Gabby’s firm got US$2 million from the deal. It is not true that his firm is a beneficiary of US$2 million. It’s not even up to US$105,000. It is the main transaction advisor that paid Gabby. It is about US$103,000. It is not US$2 million”.

One major issue that has emanated from the brouhaha surrounding the deal is the role of Osafo-Maafo’s son and Gabby Otchere-Darko.

Read Gabby’s post on the Agyapa Deal

I wonder why Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative and the CSOs who went to an international court over Agyapa have been quiet since July after their case was dismissed on all fronts. But, I thank them for that move.

It is good for our democracy. And, I will urge you all to read the decision of the ECOWAS court. Agyapa, a very legitimate, even if controversial, move by govt to expand the use of its gold revenues, had no corruption about it. Zero!

You may not like it but to say, as they did, that a group of related persons were stealing Ghana’s gold was really sad and low. We the lawyers who worked on it were excited about the innovativeness of the whole MIIF institution which Parliament created and the things it was set up to do, including Agyapa.

We were never motivated by even our fees. How floating on the London Stock Exchange 49% of an entity 100% owned by Ghana could be described as stealing is indeed sad and baffling.

I have not loved Ghana less since my cousin became president. What some of us try to do is to go out of our way to help. Assist when we can. Occasionally it may get one into controversy and those who want to spin and blame one when they rather screw up may easier be believed than one. But that is the price…

Soon, Jan 7, 2025, Nana’s term will be over, and another Gabby may emerge. I can’t wait, frankly! I can only wish him or her (the next Gabby) the best of luck!

Whoever that may be, please just let your integrity guide you. Stay firm and do what you see to be right for God and country. Don’t let the propaganda get you down.

SARA

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