Even as the Akufo-Addo regime totters under the scandal that members of the Addison Committee, which was set up to probe government’s Power Agreement with AMERI Energy, had allowed themselves to be compromised by the company, it has emerged that the conflict of interest extends to even family members of regime actors.
The trip to Dubai, which Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (AMERI Energy) had sponsored for the 17- member committee, led by Lawyer Philip Addison, had also been participated in by a brother of the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Agyarko.
Former Deputy Finance Minister in the erstwhile Mahama regime, Casiel Ato Forson, yesterday revealed to journalists in Accra that Emmanuel Agyarko, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, had joined Addison and his committee members in Dubai, two days after the 17-member Ministerial Committee had left town.
Just like the trip by the committee itself had been sponsored by AMERI, the bills for Emmanuel Agyarko’s trip had been footed by the company, whose Power Agreement with Government Mr. Agyarko’s brother and Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, had set up the Addison Committee to investigate.
The scandal is spiraling explosive, with fresh juicy tidbits, including the fact that the Energy Minister’s brother had also been flown first class on an all expense paid trip through the good graces of AMERI.
While he was in Dubai, he cooled his heels in a plush suite of the same hotel that the Committee members had been hosted in, while the Addison Committee purportedly investigated the deal.
Already, it is in the public domain that the Addison committee’s scandalous trip to Dubai had been a cozy one on first class tickets of Emirate Airlines EK 787. While the committee members had been there, they had been hosted in a cozy hotel, believed to be of a five-star rating.
In addition to these, they were paid per diems and given shopping money by AMERI Energy, the very company that they were supposed to have been investigating.
Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, has since confirmed the conflict of interest and publicly admitted it was not right that the very company that the government was investigating was the same company whose largesse funded the trip of the investigative committee.
The fresh revelation by Casiel Ato Forson that the minister’s own brother also helped himself to the same largesse worsens the picture for the Akufo-Addo regime, which is already caught in the thick of the unfolding Frank Templeton scandal.
Mr. Ato Forson adds even more damning revelations, telling journalists at Parliament House in Accra yesterday that, the trip to Dubai by the Addison Committee, which was supposed to be a three-day stay, had been extended into a whole week’s stay.
While in Dubai, the Energy Minister’s brother, Emmanuel Agyarko, joined the Committee members there and also partook in the hefty per diems and virtual jollification that became of the whole affair.
Mr. Ato Forson hints that the available details so far may not even be the full story and so he, on behalf of the Minority MPs led by Hon. Haruna Idrissu, demanded a full disclosure of the details of the trip to Dubai.
In a statement, he reminded that the Addison Committee is a Ministerial Committee and therefore a public body that is supposed to be funded with public funds.
Mr. Boakye Agyarko, the Energy Minister, whose brother took part in the trip, had duly inaugurated the Committee.
With such a legal background, Casiel Ato Forson underscored that it was scandalous that members of the Committee had placed themselves in a situation of compromise under the influence of the very company that they had been set up to investigate.
The 17-member Addison Committee had been set up by the Akufo-Addo government to investigate the country’s Power Agreement with AMERI which had been contracted by the erstwhile Mahama regime.
The committee had long been coming after the ruling New Patriotic Party, had assured, as part of many grandiloquent election promises, while in opposition, that, it would investigate deal.
The NPP had insisted in opposition that the agreement with AMERI to add 300MW to the national grid to help fix debilitating energy crisis at the time was stinky and a rip off of the tax payer.
Because the NPP was in a hurry to impress, immediately it came into power, Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, set up the fanciful Committee made up of as many as 17 members to investigate the deal. The Committee is called the Adisson Committee because it is led by Lawyer Philip Addison, the NPP’s failed Parliamentary Candidate for the Klottey Korle Constituency in the 2016 election.
After it had been inaugurated with aplomb however, it soon emerged that the committee’s luxurious trip to Dubai had been sponsored by AMERI.
It is latest revelations about the trip that show that, the very Energy Minister, who had inaugurated the Committee, had had his brother also join in the trip suspiciously sponsored by AMERI to Dubai.
Interestingly, Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, himself, was a headline figure in the news a few weeks ago when he was alleged to have passed GHc3,000 each to members of Parliament’s Appointments Committee as back hander to influence them to approve his nomination as Energy Minister.
The Addison Committee has since urged government to renegotiate the AMERI Agreement because it claims that the erstwhile Mahama regime’s contract with the company had been bloated by some 150million dollars.
AMERI is said to be rigidly opposed to any such renegotiation talks.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels