General News of Tuesday, 25 July 2017
The Director General of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service has clarified their role in the house raids of some key people involved in the AMERI deal.
ACP David Eklu told Joy News the Service did not raid the houses of former Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor, and his technical advisor, Francis Dzata, but they were only executing a warrant.
“It was a court order to search the premises to look for evidence in relation to an issue that the police wants to find out if somebody is culpable.
“The issue is about causing financial loss to the state in relation to a contract between the government of Ghana and AMERI for the supply of gas to Ghana,” he said.
The police’s comments follow the condemnation from the Minority in Parliament regarding the manner in which the Service went about abusing the rights of a sitting Member of Parliament.
However, ACP Eklu explained that “what we are doing now is not to find fault with people but to find out if there was any merit in the case worthy of investigating. It was to find out whether it is worth a criminal charge.”
Personnel of Police Criminal Investigative Department (CID) has confiscated a laptop and other items belonging to a former technical advisor to the Energy Ministry as they continue investigations into the AMERI deal.
CID operatives were earlier today at the residence of Francis Dzata in a manner almost similar to the raid at the residence of former Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor on Monday.
Related: Police raid residence of former technical advisor over AMERI Dr Donkor told Joy News the police officers arrived at his house with a warrant demanding to search the premises and told him he was being investigated on suspicion for causing financial loss to the state in the $510 million AMERI deal.
Both Mr Donkor and Dzata have said the persecution will come to nothing as there is nothing to hide with respect to their participation in the contract.
The AMERI deal was signed as an emergency power agreement in February 2015, between government represented by the Minister of Power and AMERI Energy, to ameliorate 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 a 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 charged $510million for the plant.
Dr Kwabena Donkor at a press conference in April this year 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.
Related: Police CID raid residence of former Power Minister over AMERI “If there was fraud, why wouldn’t the committee recommend straight away the termination of the contract and take criminal action,” Dr Donkor queried.
But ACP David Eklu said the former Minister the Service is reliably informed Dr Donkor is one of the people who took part in signing the agreement and has the knowledge to assist them in their preliminary investigations.
“We only want to find out the facts and we are working on our mandate to investigate the incidence and this incidence has been in the Public domain for a long time. We thought that per our mandate, we must find out what went wrong so we enforce the law,” he said.
According to him, he understands some issue came after signing the deal “so it is good that we clear the air once and for all.”