Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu says the response of the President to his Risk of Corruption Assessment Report of the Agyapa deal is revealing that the country is being run on autopilot.
In portions of Amidu’s resignation letter to the President on November 16, he indicated that the assessment report into the Agyapa deal disclosed several serious corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of which he intended to open full investigations as the Special Prosecutor.
However, Amidu indicated that political interference into the functions of his office prevented him from conducting his investigations.
“I cannot do that now after your political interference in the performance of functions of the Office for two weeks from 20th October 2020 to 1st November 2020 culminating in your directive on how the anti-corruption assessment report of the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transaction by his Office should be handled by the principal suspects disclosed by the anti-corruption assessment report,” Amidu told President Akufo-Addo.
In a written response to this, the Secretary to the President stated that Martin Amidu “never expressed an intention to the President to open investigations into the matter” and made reference to a paragraph of Mr Amidu’s October 16, letter in which Mr Amidu states that:
“This assessment [of Agyapa deal] does not constitute an investigation even though formal investigations for the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences may arise from this Corruption Risk Assessment.”
Per the President’s understanding, this earlier statement is inconsistent with Mr Amidu’s latest assertion and his subsequent position to not take any further step in the matter consistent with his mandate.
As far as the Presidency is concerned, the Risk of Corruption Assessment into Agyapa conducted by Mr Amidu was not a criminal investigation, therefore, Amidu’s claim to have discovered serious corruption-related offences without carrying out an actual investigation is “incomprehensible”.
“Having clearly indicated that your report was not a criminal investigation which you are mandated under section 2 of Act 959 to carry out, it is confusing and incomprehensible how you can, in your Letter, claim that your report “discloses several serious corruption and corruption-related offences,” without you taking any further step in the matter consistent with your mandate,” he said.
In direct response to this, Martin Amidu in his 27-paged described the President and his secretary’s assessment of the report as “lazy and inexperienced lawyers on facts and holding in a published law report to respond to my letter of resignation” as they had “relied on mere conclusions and observations” and not take the time to read and fully comprehend his 64-paged assessment report.
“In spite of the fact that I had submitted the full sixty-four (64) page report to the President under a covering letter in the afternoon of 2nd November 2020 your letter creates the embarrassing impression that neither the President who directed and instructed you to write the letter under reference to me nor you as his Secretary have read the full sixty-four (64) page Agyapa Royalties Transactions report to be able to understand that it contains very serious suspected corruption and corruption-related offences for which I intended to open full investigations.
“If the President and you had found the time to read the full Agyapa Royalties Transaction anti-corruption assessment report delivered to him under a covering letter on 2nd November 2020 you would not on 17th November 2020 have relied on mere conclusions and observations like lazy and inexperienced lawyers relying on facts and holding in a published law report to respond to my letter of resignation dated 16th November 2020.”
This, Mr Amidu believes, “embarrassingly exhibits that our dear nation, Ghana, as being run on autopilot to the domestic and international community.”