General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
In a move that will revive a never ending controversy in the Power Sector, Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament, K.T Hammond, is asking the House to rescind its approval of the Ameri Power agreement.
He has consequently filed an urgent motion before the House, Tuesday, saying the build, own, operate and transfer agreement between the government of Ghana and the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group llc (AMERI Energy), must be withdrawn over issues of “gross misrepresentation.”
He is yet to spell out to Parliament what the issues of misrepresentation are but those may be the same reasons he met the former Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor, who signed the AMERI agreement on behalf of the then John Mahama government in 2015.
Donkor had his house searched, and his laptops and pen drive seized by police officers barely a day after meeting K.T Hammond.
The police men who had a search warrant from the court, were seeking for documents about the controversial $510 million AMERI power deal.
A former Technical Advisor on the AMERI deal Francis Dzata also had his house searched by the same officers over the same matter.
Both Donkor and Dzata are being investigated on suspicion of causing financial loss to the state on the AMERI deal but they have both announced their innocence.
“I saw six or so people in my house with a warrant stating that they were looking for laptops and phones in connection with the AMERI deal which has led to a financial loss to the state.
“I don’t know why a technocrat like me should be subjected to something like this because I think I gave everything and sacrificed to get Ghana out of dumsor. I am very upset but I gave them the chance to do their search,” Dzata told Joy News Tuesday.
Even before a formal suit will be brought against the two, K.T Hammond believes the agreement which Parliament approved with little resistance by the then NPP Minority in 2015 was grossly misrepresented.
He is hoping Parliament will rescind its approval of the deal.
Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent Joseph Opoku Gakpo reports the motion is yet to be heard even though it has been filed.
The 510million build, own, operate and transfer agreement was signed at a time the country was in dire power crisis with several hours of darkness. The government at a time believed the AMERI deal was one of the best deals to wrest the country from the hours of darkness.
Despite its vehemence, some members of the opposition and think tanks like ACEP, IMANI believed the $510m agreement was outrageously high.
The Vice President of IMANI Kofi Bentil said the AMERI power deal was a collusion by former government officials and officials of AMERI group to “over charge the state.”
He did not understand how the erstwhile National Democratic Congress government paid that much for an emergency plant when it could have gotten it for $220million on the open market.
According to him, the former NDC administration paid a whopping sum of $150 million to a middle man, AMERI, for little or no job done.
“We could have done without the middle man, but we used him and ended up paying the middle man $150million,” he argued.
Government officials at the time dismissed the assertions the deal had been overpriced.
It remains to be seen, what exactly in the agreement has been misrepresented.