The Attorney General is urging the ECOWAS Court of Justice to dismiss a case filed against the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
Chief State Attorney, Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, who represented the AG at the sub-regional court, argued that the case did not reveal any corrupt practices.
The agreement seeks to monetise Ghana’s gold royalties to raise revenue for development.
Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu described the agreement as opaque with the likelihood of corruption due to the participation of politically connected persons.
Case against Agyapa
Transparency International and its partners Ghana Integrity Initiative and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition contend that the deal would result in the people of Ghana losing their rights to 75.6% of the gold royalties in perpetuity.
The deal they continue would substantially deprive future generations of Ghanaians of their biggest asset, worth billions of dollars, in exchange for a potential $500mn equity share in a foreign SPV established in a known tax haven and secrecy jurisdiction.
Documents filed on behalf of the anti-graft groups note that Ghana’s Anti-Corruption Special Prosecutor, after examining the deal, described parts of it as “a surrender of Ghana’s sovereignty over its gold resource revenue for $1 billion without a thorough consultation with critical stakeholders and a meticulous examination by the people’s representatives in Parliament in a bipartisan manner.
Mineral resources conflicts have been the cause of destabilisation in neighbouring countries and Africa generally.
Therefore, they want the court to restrain the Government of Ghana from implementing the deal and cancel the already existing contracts.
The AG’s Office describes the Application as only a narration of facts, not disclosing any corruption.
“The present Application does not raise any cause of action against the Respondent. The Application is only a narration of facts that do not disclose any corruption nor alleged threatened breach of the rights of the ordinary citizens of Ghana.”
Documents filed by Chief State Attorney Dorothy Afriyie Ansah argued.
She explains that the transaction is to allow the country to derive maximum value for its mineral resources and sustainably monetise its mineral income.
She continues that the transaction is not about surrendering natural resources, including flora and fauna.
Mrs Afriyie Ansah also questioned the participation of Transparency International in the matter. She said it’s an International organisation not registered within the sub-region and can, therefore, not access the court.
She also noted that the two other groups have equally failed to demonstrate that they have observer status.
She, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the Application saying it was a complete waste of the court’s time.
“The application is without merit and a complete waste of the court’s time,” Mrs Ansah said.
On the report by the Special Prosecutor, Mrs Afriyie Ansah said that the document itself concedes it’s an initial report.
She pointed out that some of the findings of the Special Prosecutor do not reflect the whole truth.
The court on March 23 ordered the AG to pay Transparency International $750 for the late filing of its defence.
It has set July 13, 2022, to deliver its Judgement.