April 14, 2017

The Minority in Parliament has indicated their readiness to petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over alleged compromises by the Philip Addison-led committee that probed the AMERI deal, which they contend smacks conflict of interest situation in its work.

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson said it will table a motion before CHRAJ to further investigate what they say was alleged malfeasance by the Philip Addison-led committee just after the Easter festivity.

The Minority NDC members in Ghana’s Parliament led by former Power minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, revealed at a press conference that the Turkish firm paid the hotel bills and plane tickets when members of the committee traveled outside the country to investigate it over the contract signed in 2015.

The Addison committee charged to review, restructure and recommend areas of amendment of the Ameri power deal, has recommended that the deal be re-negotiated or abrogated on grounds of fraud, after it emerged that Ghana was made to pay 150 million dollars extra in commission to Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (Ameri Energy) for the construction of the power plant.

Ameri in its agreement with Government dated February 10th, 2015, charged Ghana significantly higher than what it was charged by the Turkish registered company – PPR, which financed and executed the project, the committee said.

Speaking to the media on the development at a press conference Monday, Dr. Donkor urged the government to be candid with Ghanaians on the issue.

“Members of the Addison Committee, including Mr Addison, visited Dubai, they had meetings with AMERI even after this report was written. We will want to ask who paid for their tickets. We want to ask; who paid for their tickets, who paid for their hotel accommodation? We have the evidence that Ameri energy paid for the hotel that they used, paid for their tickets.

“If you’re going to investigate someone, do they pay for your accommodation and host you? We are in a country of law, our side will not want to see an energy sector divided between NDC and NPP and therefore they should be candid with us,” he said.

In a latest interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Ato Casiel Forson described as “embarrassing, unethical and shameful” the conduct of the committee

“I am going to take this matter to CHRAJ to probe the committee. I am going to petition CHRAJ for them to probe this company,” Mr. Ato Forson stated.

The minority on the back of this claims has discredited the findings of the committee given that it had some skeletons in its own closet.

“For a government that claims it wants to investigate a contractor for wrongdoing, this contractor pays for your ticket, gives you a hotel, goes further to give you per diem and gave the committee members some money for the purposes of shopping.

“Clearly, they failed to disclose the matter, and what is the intent behind the failure to disclose the matter? In terms of materiality, the amount given to them and flying them first class is enough justification to make it material. Putting them in a first class hotel is worse, and the fact that they accepted per diem and shopping money from the contractor.

“What makes the matter worse is that, I am hearing that since they came back, they made a phone call to ECG telling ECG to pay every unpaid invoice of AMERI.”

Meanwhile, it has emerged that President Akufo Addo is displeased about the conduct of the Philip Addison-Commitee that that probed the Ameri deal, which was signed under the erstwhile Mahama government.

The President is said to be very disturbed following disclosure that the august Committee allowed itself to be ‘trapped’ into receiving funds from a company it was investigating, a decision many have described as poor judgement.