Terminate Ameri contract if fraudulent – Minority dares government

The Minority in Parliament has asked government to terminate the Ameri power deal if it is convinced that the agreement is fraudulent.

Former Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor at a press conference in Accra stated that due diligence was done in the purchasing of the plant and does not understand how the previous government is being accused of wrong doing.

“The agreement went through Cabinet, the Committee on Mines and Energy, recommended by consensus and was passed by parliament.

“If there was fraud, why wouldn’t the committee recommend straight away the termination of the contract and take criminal action,” Dr Donkor queried.

Dr Donkor’s comments come in the wake of revelations of a 17-member committee set up by the Energy Minister to investigate the deal that it was overpriced by $150 million.

AMERI deal

The Ameri deal was signed as an emergency power agreement in February 2015, between Government of Ghana represented by the Minister of Power and Ameri Energy, to ameleorate the country’s power challenges at the time.

But media reports indicated the cost of the project was outrageously high. The Nana Akufo-Addo government, therefore, set up a committee to look into the deal.

The Committee, led by private legal practitioner Phillip Addison in its report disclosed that it found technical and financial lapses in the contract.

On the financial side, the committee found out that although AMERI secured the deal, the developer that built and financed the plant charged $360million yet AMERI forwarded a bill of $510million in the agreement.

The Committee said this is not equitable and recommends that operators of the plant should be invited back to the negotiating table to address and remedy the issues enumerated in this report.

The Addison committee also advised that  “in the event that Ameri Energy refuses to come to the negotiation table, government should repudiate the Agreement on the grounds of fraud”.

But Dr Donkor said the deal cannot be said to be fraudulent because it went through the right processes.

And if indeed there is an issue of fraud, then Parliament is party to it because the deal was sent there and taken through the necessary audits before it was signed, he said.

 “There was no fraud”,  he stressed, adding  “indeed if there was fraud, why wouldn’t the Committee recommend straight away the termination of the contract and take criminal action and rather inviting them back to the negotiation table and only if they don’t agree, you will terminate the contract.”

He said the Addison Committee report does not represent what was negotiated.

The Minority also wondered why the Committee did not invite any member of the team that negotiated the contract.

The MP for South Dayi, Rockson Dafiamekpor believes there was a deliberate attempt by the Committee to paint the previous administration black.