Power Minister sued over AMERI deal



General News of Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Source: classfmonline.com

Kwabena Donkor  CommentPower Minister Kwabena Donkor

Some Ghanaian citizens have sued Power Minister Kwabena Donkor over the controversial power purchase deal signed between the Government of Ghana and Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) LLC.

A Norwegian newspaper, VG, recently published that a former CEO of AMERI, Umar Farooq Zahoor, who witnessed the deal for AMERI, is a known criminal on Interpol’s wanted list. The paper also reported that Ghana could have bought the 10 turbines meant to provide 225MW of power, at $220 million, rather than the $510 million Build, Operate, Own, and Transfer (BOOT) deal reached between the two parties.

It also said despite AMERI having an address, the firm’s physical location was untraceable. The website for the firm, according to the paper, was also constructed and put up just two months ago.

The newspaper’s revelations have cast a slur on the sanctity of the contract with Ghana’s biggest opposition party, NPP, as well as energy think tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), calling for a probe into the deal. The Government of Ghana and AMERI have, however, issued separate statements defending the deal and denying the claims of the paper.

In its suit, CitizenGhana Movement is praying the court for an order directed at the Minister of Power to furnish the applicants with a copy of the signed contract together with the due diligence report (if any) on the contract between the Government of Ghana and Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) LLC dated 10th February, 2015.

The group also wants an order directed at the Minister of Power to make full disclosure on the said contract between the Government of Ghana and AMERI Energy.

Additionally, CitizenGhana Movement wants “further an order directed at the Speaker of Parliament to make available the minutes and/or the record of deliberations together with the Report of the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Mines and Energy available to the Applicants,” as well as “any further or consequential order(s) as the honourable court may deem fit.”

Below is the full statement of CitizenGhana Movement:

CITIZENGHANA MOVEMENT SUES THE MINISTER OF POWER, THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT AND THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL ON THE AMERI CONTRACT

In the past few days, it has come to the knowledge of Ghanaians, through a Norwegian media organization, VG, several issues concerning a contract signed between the Government of Ghana and the Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) LLC.

Some of the issues surrounding the contract include the fact that one of the persons involved is an international fraudster who is wanted for financial crimes as well as his engagement in organised crime. Another issue has to do with the financial arrangements and obligations of the Government of Ghana under the contract. There is also the issue of how the deal went through Parliament without full scrutiny.

In pursuance of the constitutional right to information as provided in Article 21(f), the CitizenGhana Movement, acting through two of its leading members, has on the 16th day of December, 2015, sued the Minister of Power, the Speaker of Parliament and the Attorney-General in the Human Rights Court, Accra. The reliefs being sought from the Human Rights Court are as follows:

a. An order directed at the Honourable Minister of Power to furnish the Applicants with a copy of the signed contract together with the due diligence report (if any) on the contract between the Government of Ghana and Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) LLC dated 10th February, 2015.

b. An order directed at the Honourable Minister of Power to make full disclosure on the said contract between the Government of Ghana and AMERI Energy.

c. A further order directed at the Speaker of Parliament to make available the minutes and/or the record of deliberations together with the Report of the Parliamentary Sub Committee on Mines and Energy available to the Applicants.

d. Any further or consequential order(s) as the honourable court may deem fit.

The court action is brought in the spirit of probity and accountability as well as in exercise of the civic responsibility to protect and preserve public property and expose and combat misuse and waste of public funds and property as enshrined in Article 41(f) of the Constitution.

We wish to use this medium to call for support from all Ghanaians and civil society organizations concerning this suit. We welcome any positive collaboration with any individual and/or civil society organisation as we collectively embark on demanding accountability from our leaders.

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