Powerful Bumpty, Gabby Otchere-Darko Surge On AMERI Energy
Details continue to emerge from government circles about how the Akufo-Addo family and its hangers-on, have elbowed many state appointees and hijacked most sectors, where there is money to cream.
The energy sector, has witnessed the biggest incursion of the governing family with various midnight deals been cut on the blindside of Ghanaians. The situation looks like Ghana, is now a monarchy with President Akufo-Addo, sitting at the top as a king.
Insiders at the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group, popularly known as, Ameri Energy, have revealed a surge on the company by key members of the Akufo-Addo family, looking for one favour or the other.
Ghana signed a US$510 million power deal with UAE-based AMERI energy.
Inside government, The Herald is informed that, state appointees, are alarmed, particularly at the attitude of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s younger brother, Edward Bumpty Akufo-Addo, and their nephew and close confidant; Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko.
The two men, hold no positions in the Akufo-Addo government, but are more powerful than appointees. Appointees, who are not related to the president, disagree with them at their own peril.
Indeed, the two had been seen on various official trips with President Akufo-Addo, to many countries leaving people wondering whether the state is paying for their presence on the foreign trips; in term of plane tickets, hotels, meals and travelling allowances.
The Herald is informed about how the family, forced the Dubai-based owners of Ameri Energy into a meeting in Ghana in which Bumpty Akufo-Addo and Gabby Otchere-Darko, founder of Danquah Institute (DI), were present and took center stage.
Also in that meeting was the Minister of Energy, Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, who The Herald learnt, was relegated to the background with Gabby and Bumpty, taking over the meeting.
A certain UK-based lawyer, whose name was given as Siaw, also attended the meeting.
The Akufo-Addo family, sought agency arrangements and legal representation job from the owners of Ameri Energy. These arrangements were to give the deep pocket energy company, an unfettered access to the Akufo-Addo government.
The meeting according to insiders, gave the impression the reason behind the refusal of the Akufo-Addo government to pay the owners of AMERI Energy its power supply fees agreed with Ghana, was deliberately done to twist the arms of the company to give juicy concessions like; agency arrangements and legal representation jobs to the Akufo-Addo family.
The multimillion dollar company, since its emergence in Ghana, has been at the receiving end of calculated media attacks, political mischief, corruption claims and sensational public investigation led by Philip Addison, a lawyer and protégé of President Akufo-Addo.
The 17 member committee set up by the Ministry of Energy, visited AMERI in the UAE. Their hotel bills, plane tickets, travelling allowances and even shopping, were sponsored by AMERI, which they had gone to investigate.
Interestingly, Gabby was behind the 2015 sensational report by a so-called Norwegian newspaper; Verdens Gang (VG) which alleged corruption against the AMERI Energy project.
Bumpty, has not been cited only at the AMERI Energy. Recently, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) signed a 12-year agreement with a Russian oil giant Rosneft for the supply of natural gas to Ghana, but insiders have raised red flags over the multimillion dollar deal, saying there is more to it than reported.
The GNPC insiders familiar with the deal, demanded to know what exactly happened to Gazprom’s supply obligations, hence its replacement by Rosneft; a rival company.
The GNPC insiders, also wanted to know, the role of Edward ‘Bumpty‘ Akufo-Addo, the President’s younger brother, known to have brought Gazprom to Ghana, shortly after his senior brother, assumed the presidency, last year.
The signing took place on Friday, May 24, 2018, on the sidelines of the 26th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, St. Petersburg, Russia, with Board Chairman and New Patriotic Party (NPP) acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, appending his signature on behalf of the Corporation, according to a press statement from the GNPC.
But The Herald’s contacts inside GNPC, want management of the Corporation to be questioned on the total cost of the 12-year agreement, especially so when Ghana, has huge natural gas reserves and could have invested money into it, as happened with the construction of the Atuabo Gas Plant, a Natural Gas Processing Plant in the Western Region.
Ghana Gas Company, is the state Agency mandated to operate infrastructure required for the gathering, processing, transporting and marketing of natural gas resources in Ghana. It currently manages Atuabo Gas Plant.
The GNPC insiders, also want management questioned on why there wasn’t a competitive bidding process for the gas supply contract to ensure that Ghana, got value for money, insisting that simply saying, “Gazprom’s supply obligations under the GSA, have been assumed by Rosneft, an affiliate” leave room for suspicion.
The Herald’s independent findings are that, GNPC management had lied when it said, Rosneft was an affiliate of Gazprom..Although, the two companies are from Russia, their ownership vary. While Gazprom is state owned, Rosneft and Novatek, are Russia’s largest non-state gas producer. Indeed, the rivalry between Rosneft and Gazprom, is a global knowledge.
Gazprom is reported to have written recently to GNPC, saying it could not meet the terms and conditions surrounding its agreement, therefore abrogated it, therefore GNPC, simply substituting Gazprom’s name with Rosneft, poses contractual issues, particularly when ownership is not the same and there is affiliation between the two, aside their Russian ties.
The Herald’s GNPC contacts, further wish to know, the names of those who brokered the deal, and the involvement of Edward ‘Bumpty‘ Akufo-Addo.
Furthermore, the GNPC insiders, want to know, why Freddie Blay, signed the agreement with Rosneft, but not the GNPC Chief Executive, Dr. Kofi Kodua (KK) Sarpong, revealing that the entire GNPC board, is not in support of the Rosneft transaction.
Recently, the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, cleared AMERI off any wrongdoing. A document from the Justice Minister, warned the Energy Ministry to dismiss plans of terminating the AMERI deal, because it will end up in huge damages against the Government of Ghana.
The Mahama administration, signed a $510 million contract with AMERI to build power plants, own and operate it for five years, before transferring it to the Government of Ghana during the energy crisis in 2015.
This was done on a sole-sourced basis after a meeting between President Mahama and the Crown Prince of Dubai.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) then in opposition, described the agreement as a “stinking deal” which will be re-looked at when it assumes power.
A 17-member committee established by the Energy Minister, advised the government to re-negotiate the $510m power deal with UAE-based AMERI energy after a report revealed it was over-priced by $150million.
In responding to two letters from the Energy Minister requesting for legal advice to suspend monthly payment to AMERI, the Attorney General, kicked against the move because “the deal is valid” and satisfies Ghana’s procurement processes.
In her response dated November 27, 2017, Ms. Akuffo, noted the Government of Ghana “entered into a very unfavourable agreement with AMERI”, adding the only way out is for the government is to “renegotiate the deal with AMERI with a view to achieving a more favourable term.”
The letter sighted by Starrfmonline.com said in part that: “For the GoG to extricate itself from the highly unfavourable BOOT agreement without paying damages and or penalties to AMERI, there is a need to demonstrate that the agreement was procured by illegal means either through fraud or corruption or in breach of the PPA: however, for GoG to make such claims it is imperative to gather sufficient relevant evidence to establish whether or not the BOOT agreement is tainted by fraud or corruption.”