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Politics of Thursday, 5 November 2020

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

‘Qualified family and friends of Akufo-Addo running Agyapa not a big deal - Majority Leader

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has opined that there is nothing wrong if the president’s family and friends got contracts if their qualifications meet the requirements.

He was reacting to former President Mahama’s outburst on the decision by the Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu to reveal him as the Government Official 1 in the Airbus Scandal.

Mr. Mahama said the Special Prosecutor mentioned his name as part of an attempt to “equalize the discussion”.

He said: “Amidu goes and presents Agyapa investigations and I thought he was a man enough. They say investigate Agyapa, so present a report on Agyapa. If you have investigated Airbus, present a report on Airbus.

“In the Agyapa report, you know that it is going to be damning of this government and so you go and put one paragraph there about Airbus. Nobody asked you about Airbus. If you were man enough, present Agyapa and do a report on Airbus separately and then I will come and answer you on Airbus.

“But because he is a coward and they knew Agyapa was going to be discussed today, he put a paragraph on Airbus to equalize the discussion. What stupidity is this?”

The Majority Leader in his view says the act by Mr. Mahama was unpresidential and unfortunate adding, he [Mahama] acted out of anger

He said Mr. Mahama should have exercised restraint in his comment ts.

It was at this point that he justified the involvement of Gabby Octhere-Darko, son of Osafo Marfo, and the Finance saying if they qualify to be working on the deal there was nothing with that.

The Minority in Parliament a few months ago staged a walkout while the Agyapa Royalties deal was raised in the Legislative House.

Their reason was that the deal reeks of corruption and further opposed the terms of the deal.

“The Minister of Finance in presenting this deal is in breach and a clear violation of the law and is required to have reported this deal with full disclosure in his 2020 Supplementary budget to Parliament. Our position is that no future NDC government will honour the terms of this Agyapa Royalties Transaction,” the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said.

They also cast suspicions over the Kofi Osafo-Maafo and Gabby Otchere-Darko’s roles in the deal.

The Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has stated that the Agyapa deal is fraught with favouritism, cronyism, nepotism.

According to his 67-page report on his risk assessment on the deal, he said, the entities for Agyapa deal were not chosen on merit.

He said consultations over the agreement were not comprehensive and innovative enough.

The Majority Leader commenting on the cli8ams by the Minority that some family members of the president were complicit in the deal said it makes no sense to say that.

He argued although he does not have the full disclosure on the involvement of the persons mentioned, their involvement is not wrong.

"What is wrong if these persons are part of the deal? Gabby is a Ghanaian, Osafo Marfo is a Ghanaian and so if his son is part of the deal, what is wrong with that?”

He added if there were persons who were more qualified than them and yet they got the job, it would have been a different matter but if say it without any basis then you are wrong.

Using the issue of former President Mahama and the mining concession allocate his brother, the Majority Leader said it was wrong but because the deal failed to come to parliament, they [the Minority then] raised issues with it.

"I personally know that Ibrahim Mahama is a miner with a good track record not just in Ghana but Liberia and other countries. It was just in recent times that he stopped working there. I was worried that the bauxite deal was given to Mahama’s brother. He is a Ghanaian and so if he is given the deal, it would serve the interest of the nation and help the economy grow. Our concern was that the value of the bauxite was not good. We were worried about the due diligence. The second point was that he was supposed to have brought the deal to parliament but failed to do so. Our concern was not because Ibrahim Mahama was Mahama’s brother, but the deal was not properly given to him.”

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