Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid has confirmed that a trip to Dubai by the Phillip Addison Committee investigating the Ameri deal was financed the Ameri Group.
This is after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) revealed that the trip was funded by the Group and dared government to deny it.
Revelations by a 17-member Committee composed by the energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko last month to investigate the Ameri deal forced the opposition National Democratic Congress to hold a press conference.
The Committee, chaired by private legal practitioner Phillip Addison, after its investigations disclosed that it had discovered many lapses in the contract, which was worth $510 million.
The report, which leaked before it was signed stated that the Mahama-led administration fraudulently paid an extra $150 million in the power plant deal.
According to the report, although the contractor, PPR, financed and built the plant at the cost of $360 million, Ameri, which secured the deal requested payment of $510 million from government.
Member of Parliament for Pru East, Kwabena Donkor, who was Power Minister at the time the contract was entered into was not pleased with the findings of the Committee and waged a relntless campaign designed to discredit the report.
At a press conference to dispute the information in the Committee’s report, he questioned why the Committee did not invite any member of the previous government for details about the agreement during its investigations.
He also challenged members of the Committee to reveal how they funded their trip to Dubai during their investigations.
“We have the evidence that Ameri Energy paid for their hotel, Ameri Energy paid for the flight tickets,” Dr. Donkor said. “If you are going to investigate someone, do they pay for your tickets and pay for your accommodation and host you?” Dr Donkor queried.
Asked whether Dr. Donkor’s claims were mere allegations, Mr Hamid said they were not.
He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Yankson that “Ameri paid for the tickets. The Minister explains to me that he told Ameri about the investigation, but the Group said they could only provide some answers in Dubai and the Minister said government was not to sponsor a trip to Dubai, so they offered to pay.”
He said the development was an anomaly but stressed it did not in any way affect the work of the Committee.
For him, it could only be said that the Committee was biased if its report absolved Ameri of any wrongdoing.
But once that is not the case, it cannot be said that they were in any way influenced by Ameri’s financing of the trip.