General News of Friday, 28 August 2020
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It has emerged that the office of the Attorney General made a U-turn on its initial advice to the government on the Agyapa Royalties Ltd deal.
According to Gabby Otchere Darko, after several meetings and engagements with lawyers who worked on the deal, the Attorney General adopted a different stance on the agreement and approved it.
Referencing a letter from the Attorney General dated August 12, 2020, Gabby who works with one of the legal firms that negotiated the deal, said that the agreement had the full backing of the AG’s office.
“In said in letter dated August 12, the Attorney General wrote ‘we have reviewed the latest letter under reference and the submitted drafts agreement and note that our comments have been incorporated and changes effected to the draft agreements,” Gabby said on Asempa FM.
The position of the Auditor-General’s office on the deal has become a contentious one after a leaked document detailed how the office cautioned the government against going ahead with the deal.
The Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo described the agreement as “onerous, unconscionable, and a violation of Bank of Ghana Act”.
The Auditor-General was concerned that deal was clear breach of the principle of separation of powers as it empowers the executive to interfere in the works of the judiciary.
“It is noted, that the nature and purpose of the Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and the related agreements that there will be a one-off payment of the sum of $1 billion.
“It is, however, unclear what benefits will come to the Republic of Ghana and the fund other than the one-off payment, considering that this agreement runs in perpetuity with stringent responsibilities of the fund throughout its lifespan.”
The AG was also not convinced about the benefits Ghana was going derive from the deal as the conditions are “skewed against the interest of the Fund and the Republic. Both the Fund and the Republic have strict obligations and liabilities with punitive consequences in the event of a breach or default while the other contracting parties are to use their best efforts to ensure the execution of the transaction.”
The Attorney General also noted that the deal “appear to be cast in stone with no option to evaluate their effectiveness or satisfactory performance so as to review or terminate the same if the need arises.
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