The Office of the Special Prosecutor has written to Parliament seeking information and related documents on the controversial Agyapa royalty transaction agreement.
Citi News sources within Parliament indicate that the request is to assist the office to execute its prevention of corruption objective.
The request, made by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu is 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 mandates the office to exercise the functions and powers of prevention of corrupt activities.
When furnished with the information, Martin Amidu’s Office will seek to ascertain whether the controversial transaction could potentially promote corruption.
“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,” portions of the letter sighted by citinewsroom.comnoted.
According to Citi News sources, Parliament has been given up until September 17, 2020, to furnish the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the required documents given the public interest the issue has generated particularly within this electoral season.
About the deal
In 2018, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetize Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
In exchange, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
The deal, however, has become a topical issue following concerns from members of the opposition.
Civil Society groups in Mines and Energy have also described the Special Purpose Vehicle as one which is not transparent and must be suspended.
But the government insists the deal is in the best interest of the country.