Agyapa deal: NPP hails Ecowas court decision

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The ruling New Patriotic Party hailed the decision of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice to dismiss the case filed by anti-corruption campaigners against the government’s Agyapa deal. A ruling by the regional community’s court of law has cleared the government of Ghana to proceed with the sales of its future gold royalties to Agyapa Royalties Ltd.

Following a year-long proceeding, the court delivered its verdict on July 10, 2023, clearing the government of any wrongdoings as it said there are no evidence to prove that the government was engaging in corrupt acts to shortchange the citizens.

Delivering the ruling, the three-member panel from Nigeria, Siera Leone and Cape Verde said there is no evidence of a violation of the process as the process to sell the royalties passed through Ghana’s parliament and was accepted.

“What this court has before it is in fact evidence of processes that flow from democratic institutions and have gained approval from the people’s representatives, that is Parliament.

Adding, “There is no evidence before this court pointing to the actual misappropriation of the commonwealth of the people of Ghana that has deprived the people from benefiting from it”. 

As anti-corruption campaigners led by Ghana Integrity Initiative, the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition and Transparency International would feel let down by the court’s decision, one group of people feel vindicated. The NPP which is the party in power said the party feels vindicated by the court’s decision as it maintained there were no plans to use the deal for gains other than national interest.

A statement by the Communication Director of the NPP, Richard Ahiagbah said the party is excited that “it was the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice that adjudicated the issue and arrived at the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing with the Agyapa deal”.

NPP’s statement on Ecowas CCJ’s decision on the Agyapa deal

ECOWAS Community Court of Justice upholds Agyapa SPV, no wrongdoing whatsoever by the government. It was all for God & Country!

The rule of law is one of the cardinal values of the New Patriotic Party, and its exercise by citizens and civil society organizations particularly to hold government accountable is a pride point. This is why, we commend the effort of the Ghana Integrity Initiative and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition for the decision to seek clarification on the Agyapa Royalties Limited which the government was implementing through the Mineral Income Investment Fund to spur development.

As a party and government, we are happy particularly that it was the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice that adjudicated the issue and arrived at the conclusion that there was no wrongdoing with the Agyapa deal.

Ghanaians would recall that in the lead-up to the 2020 general election, a crucial discussion emerged surrounding the monetization of Ghana’s mineral income, igniting a firestorm of accusations aimed at both government officials, including the President, and private individuals who played a role in devising an innovative revenue-generation concept for the nation. At the heart of this discourse was the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle known as Agyapa Royalties Limited. This entity, solely owned by the Government through the Minerals Income Investment Fund, aimed to publicly list up to 49% of its shares on the prestigious London Stock Exchange. Regrettably, some well-intentioned civil society groups, fuelled by an unfounded distrust of the government and a lack of comprehensive understanding of the transaction, disseminated misleading information to the public, tainting the narrative.

Against this backdrop, two prominent Ghanaian civil society organizations, namely the Ghana Integrity Initiative and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, took their concerns to the Community Court of ECOWAS. Led by Transparency International, also an applicant before the Court, these organizations essentially echoed their prior public arguments against the transaction. However, in a unanimous decision handed down in July 2023, the ECOWAS Court ruled decisively. It first recognized that Transparency International lacked the proper standing to litigate this matter. Subsequently, after an exhaustive examination of the case, the Court determined that the transaction had scrupulously adhered to all legal prerequisites and that the alleged claims of corruption, put forth by the Applicants (Ghana Integrity Initiative and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition), were not substantiated by any evidence whatsoever. As a result, the Court dismissed all claims and reliefs. This landmark verdict unequivocally vindicates the Government’s stance that no wrongdoing occurred in the intricate affairs surrounding Agyapa Royalties, thus affirming the transaction’s legitimacy and integrity.

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