Agyapa royalties: Parliament conducted due diligence—Osei-Owusu insists

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu has insisted that Parliament conducted due diligence on the Agyapa Royalties deal when it was presented before the House.

According to him, the corruption risk assessment done by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu does not provide any evidence that any law was breached and, as a result, it does not bring the work of Parliament on the deal into question.

Mr Osei-Owusu, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai in the Ashanti Region, noted that the seventh parliament had done unprecedented work within its four-year period, as over 100 laws had been passed.

“I am waiting to ask those criticising the deal which laws we breached? What did we overlook? They point to the Special Prosecutor’s report but what he did was a risk assessment, a potential of what we did which could lead to corruption, he has no evidence that anything was corrupted, not as if anything was breached, what he is saying is, if I look at the entire issue, there is risk or potential but that is what we call opinion,” Mr Osei-Owusu maintained.

An analysis of the transaction by Mr Amidu in a 64-paged report raised red flags over the deal, took a swipe at Mr Amidu, other officials who contributed to the processes that led to the approval by parliament, several processes were flouted prior to parliamentary approval but Mr Ofori-Atta and other government officials had rejected claims by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

Following the risk assessment report, the Alliance of Civil Society Organisation working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance had challenged Mr Amidu to further investigate the Agyapa Royalties transaction and prosecute persons found to have engaged in wrongdoing and the Alliance, made up of 25 civil society organisations, stated that defects of the deal cannot be cured by another parliamentary scrutiny hence the call for probe and prosecution.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), threw a similar challenge to the Special Prosecutor to act in accordance with his prosecutorial mandate over the matter with spokesperson for the Alliance, Dr Steve Manteaw saying the deal must be abrogated in its entirety and civil society groups in Mines and Energy sector had indicated that the Special Purpose Vehicle was not transparent and must be suspended.

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