Politics

There was zero corruption in Agyapa deal – Gabby Otchere-Darko

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A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere-Darko says there was no corruption and corruption-related activities in the government’s Agyapa deal.

He said it is intriguing to observe the silence from Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative and the CSOs who pursued the Agyapa case in the West Africa regional court in Abuja, Nigeria.

In a post on Tuesday, August 15, Mr Otchere-Darko explained that the Agyapa initiative, while controversial, aimed to lawfully expand the utilisation of Ghana’s gold revenues and was devoid of corruption.

He asserted that the CSOs’ claim that a group of connected individuals was plundering Ghana’s gold reserves is disheartening and baseless.

“Agyapa, a very legitimate, even if controversial, move by the government to expand the use of its gold revenues, had no corruption about it. Zero,” he stated.

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… pic.twitter.com/g1ru0dDB4.

The NPP leading member’s comments follow the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (CCJ) decision to throw out a suit against the government challenging the propriety of a Gold Royalties Monetisation Transaction arrangement, popularly referred to as the Agyapa deal.

Three anti-corruption groups — Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) — dragged the government to the CCJ in December 2020, seeking an order to halt the Agyapa deal.

It was the case of the applicants that the Agyapa deal was dominated by “politically exposed persons” and also violated the rights of Ghanaians to have permanent sovereignty over the country’s natural resources as provided under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

 

However, the court — sitting in Abuja, Nigeria, last Tuesday — upheld the defence of the government, and dismissed the case of the three civil society organisations, reports Graphic Online’s Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson.

On the back of this, Mr Otchere-Darko said that since the CSOs case was dismissed by the ECOWAS court in July, their absence from the case is noteworthy – saying their efforts contributed to the growth of the country’s democracy.

He maintained that legal professionals including himself who were dedicated to work on the case were genuinely enthused by 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,” he said.

He noted that such deals may lead to 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,” he noted.

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