President Akufo-Addo says claims that he asked the immediate past Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu to shelve the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement report are untrue.
A statement from the Presidency on Tuesday evening in response to Martin Amidu’s resignation letter said the former prosecutor was at no point in his meeting with the president asked to halt his inquiries into the deal to enable the President to “handle the matter” as alleged.
“At no point did the President ask you to shelve the report, so he could “handle the matter”. It is difficult to see in what way and in what context the President would seek to “handle the matter” when the matter was already public knowledge and had led to the Ministry of Finance suspending action on the Agyapa transaction in anticipation of your report”, the President said.
Among other things for which Mr. Amidu resigned, he cited interference by the government conducting a corruption risk assessment on the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal.
He said the reaction he received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinced him beyond any reasonable doubt that he was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption insisting that his position as the Special Prosecutor has consequently become clearly untenable.
But Nana Addo clarified that, at the meeting of 1 November 2020, he duly delivered to the Special Prosecutor the response of the Ministry of Finance to the allegations contained in the Agyapa Report but in what he described as a rather “dramatic turnaround”, Martin Amidu refused to accept the comments of the Ministry of Finance a situation he described as disturbing.
“It is extremely important to emphasize that the subject of your discussion with the President on 1 November 2020, was the delivery to you of comments on your report by the Ministry of Finance. At no point did the President ask you to shelve the report so he could “handle the matter”. It is difficult to see in what way and in what context the President would seek to “handle the matter” when the matter was already public knowledge and had led to the Ministry of Finance suspending action on the Agyapa transaction in anticipation of your report. You are clearly aware that the President had accepted the observations you had made in the Agyapa Report and had acted on it by issuing directives to officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department. This cannot be the conduct of a person seeking to hamstring your efforts or to avoid the contents of the Report”, Nana Addo maintained.