General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
The Herald, has received details of secret meetings between members of the Akufo-Addo family and top officials of the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group’s (AMERI Energy) in Accra and Dubai.
The details of the meeting show how the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, is not in control of the ministry and hence not allowed to work for the country by the President’s overbearing family members, who have suddenly become energy experts, although they have not shown any expertise in the sector until the election of Nana Akufo-Addo as President.
Two members of the family, including a close nephew of the President, are seeking to cut deals with the Dubai owners of AMERI Energy under the cover of renegotiating the US$510 million deal brokered by the John Mahama government during the energy crisis referred to as “Dumsor”.
Sources at the Energy Ministry, suspect the home raids of former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor on Monday and Francis W. K. Dzata on Tuesday by personnel of Police Criminal Investigative Department (CID) are subtle attempts to blackmail Ameri energy to cave in to demands from the family members.
Members of President Akufo-Addo family, have taken over the Energy Ministry and shoved aside Boakye Agyarko and running the ministry from their homes and private offices inside Labone – Accra.
They are drawing their powers from the seat of government; The Flagstaff House. They are engineering to have the Minister reshuffled.
It is also believed that, the recent motion filed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Adanso Asokwa Constituency, K. T. Hammond, asking that the House rescind its decision passed in March 2016 for the US$510 million deal, is part of a grand agenda for AMERI to capitulate in dealing the Akufo-Addo family.
According to Mr. Hammond, the deal was inflated, but Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, said it was not grounded in law and they would draw the speaker’s attention to that.
Strangely Mr. Hammond, was part of the committee of Parliament which accepted and okayed the AMERI agreement. He had also seconded the motion on the floor of Parliament leading to the passage of the agreement which brought relief to electric power consumers.
AMERI, recently became a topical issue after the homes of Kwabena Donkor and his Technical Advisor and a member of the Phillip Addison Committee, Francis Dzatta, were searched by the security under a court warrant, for their alleged roles in causing financial loss to the state.
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.
As at yesterday, the Minority in Parliament, wanted to make a formal demand to the Speaker to strike out a motion seeking a rescission of controversial AMERI power deal filed by Mr. Hammond.
But quoting Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution which states that:
Parliament shall not, unless the bill is introduced or the motion is introduced by, or on behalf of, the President –
(a) Proceed upon a bill including an amendment to a bill, that, in the opinion of the person presiding, makes provision for any of the following –
(i) The imposition of taxation or the alteration of taxation otherwise than by reduction; or
(ii) the imposition of a charge on the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana or the alteration of any such charge otherwise than by reduction; or
(iii) the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund or other public funds of Ghana of any moneys not charged on the Consolidated Fund or any increase in the amount of that payment, issue or withdrawal; or
(iv) the composition or remission of any debt due to the Government of Ghana; or
(b) Proceed upon a motion, including an amendment to a motion, the effect of which, in the opinion of the person presiding, would be to make provision for any of the purpose specified in paragraph (a) of this article.
Mr. Forson argued that, it was clear that no Parliamentarian, shall bring a motion that will bring a financial liability to the government.
He said, the government itself could only do it or a public official, adding in the AMERI deal, it is possible that the company, could go to court and seek judgment debt on it.
The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP, is quoted by Joy FM as saying it is one of those deals that are exempted in terms of any MP going ahead to put such a motion before the Speaker.
However, Mr. Hammond, disagrees saying his motion would rather earn the country money and there is nothing wrong with that, as far as the procedures of Parliament are concerned.
“I am looking for money for the country, so how does that impose financial liability on the country, regarding Article 108?”
He argued that, the country was shortchanged and it was time to take the balance back.