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Agyapa deal: Focus on the valuation not corruption angle – Franklin Cudjoe to Special Prosecutor

President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe has suggested that the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu be more focused on the assessment of the controversial Agyapa royalties deal, instead of looking solely at the corruption aspect.

According to him, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have, on several occasions, proven the real value of the royalties, pegging it between $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion.

Taking to his Facebook page to make his submission on the topic, Franklin Cudjoe said “I sincerely hope the Special Prosecutor is focused on the valuation of AGYAPA royalties. That is the most important issue, not the ‘corruption’ angle he seems to be interested in because frankly, he could simply pass the deal should documents he claims he hasn’t had, be handed to him. He must speak to the technical matter of valuation. CSOs have demonstrated enormous technical competence to show that the real value of the royalties for the assets under consideration is between $2.5bn to $3.5bn not the proposed and contracted $1bn by the finance ministry. I am watching the SP paaaa… He can reach out”.

His comments come after the Finance Ministry announced on Monday, October 5, 2020, the suspension of the launch of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal.

In a letter signed by the Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu-Boahen and addressed to the Office of the Special Prosecutor, it noted that the decision was resultant of a pending completion of a corruption risk assessment by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

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Bribery by foreign companies threatening poverty reduction efforts – World Bank

If unchecked, corruption poses a threat to reducing poverty and supporting shared prosperity, the World Bank has said in a paper titled ‘Working in partnership is key to fighting corruption’ released on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

The Bretton Woods institution said corruption has long been recognized as a major impediment to development.

From massive theft of state assets to the low-level corruption that erodes productivity and weakens service delivery, corruption steals from the poor and erodes progress, it said.

“Corruption takes many forms. It is the foreign company that pays kickbacks or bribes to get preferential treatment, leaving poor countries with devalued goods or services.

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Mike Ohene-Effah: The Missing Manifesto

All the major political parties have launched their manifestoes for the December general elections.

This is highly commendable as it largely makes the campaigns issues-based…hopefully.

A manifesto is a declaration of aims and policy. It asks the question, “What do you believe?” It is supposed to be a party’s central policy document, and the political parties must be commended for making good progress on this since 1992, though we are increasingly seeing a shift to a litany of promises, projects and programmes in party manifestoes.

To begin with, various academics and governance experts in Ghana have raised issues with what the focus, content and size of political party manifestoes should be.

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Education on corruption has been underestimated in the country – Kofi Abotsi

The Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) Kofi Abotsi has called for education on corruption to be intensified in the country.

He says the country has not been able to effectively deal with corruption because education on the vice is downplayed in the country.

“I think that the depth of civic education, particularly in our schools over the years has been problematic and that’s something we will want to look at and intensify so that people group with that mindset of the civic spirit,” he said.

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Would the Special Prosecutor please keep us updated on the corruption fight?

In my humble opinion, it was a step in the right direction when somewhere last year, the NPP Communication Director, the Honourable Yaw Buaben Asamoah called on the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu to keep Ghanaians updated on the progress of the corruption fight.

Dearest reader, you may agree to disagree, but I am of the opinion that the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu to the position of the Special Prosecutor with a mandate of investigating, prosecuting and retrieving stolen monies from greedy and corrupt public officials, is, arguably, the most important appointment by President Akufo-Addo thus far.

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Ekumfi NCCE engages citizens on Social Auditing

Participants at a day’s Social Auditing engagement has called on the Ekumfi District Assembly and duty bearers to involve community members in policy formulation, planning and projects implementation to improve lives.

The participants said involving them in decisions would enable them to prioritize their needs for the Assembly to implement.

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Agyapa Deal Still Has Unanswered Questions; Suspend It For More Discussions – 22 CSOs

The alliance of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in the extractive, anti-corruption and good governance areas have reiterated the call for the government to suspend the Agyapa Mineral Royalty deal for a further national conversation on it.
According to the CSOs, there are still “important questions that require a national conversation to be addressed.”

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Registrar-General deploys Central Beneficial Ownership Register

The Register-General will be deploying a new Central Beneficial Ownership Register for all companies operating in the country.

According to Jemima Oware, this will end the lack of information about the ownership of businesses incorporated in the country which she described as creating a “dangerous and widening gap” in the country’s fight against corruption, money laundering, terrorism financing and other forms of financial crimes.

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Corruption Watch: Court registrar fingered in payment diversion

Fred Asiamah revealed there is a full documentary which will soon be aired as well as a petition to the judicial service to resolve such issues.

Corruption Watch has uncovered graft at the Ada Magistrate Court in the Greater Accra Region where some court officials are allegedly diverting and pocketing payments meant for the court.

Frederick Asiamah, a lead investigator at Corruption Watch, who has interacted with a number of victims says he found that the practice had gone on for years, especially at the court registrar’s office.

Giving the details of the investigative piece on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem Friday, Mr Asiamah said he was yet to get any feedback from the registrar, Nana Akwasi Konadu despite numerous text messages and phones calls to him.

Narrating her story on the Segment, Mamle, one of the people who has fallen victim to the ‘take-and-pocket’ scandal said a sum of GHC 7,500 she had paid was delayed for over nine months before part of it was released to the rightful owner.

Another person, Regina Sabbah, a 47-year-old trader and a resident of Bedeku in the Ada East District said since September 2018, she had been expecting to receive GHC 6,500 from the Ada District Court, an amount paid to the court by one Ebenezer Sotti.

The Ada District Court had ordered Ebenezer Sotti to refund the GHC 6,500 to Ms Sabbah while he was standing trial for reselling a piece of land he had earlier sold to her.

So, when in April 2019, court registrar Nana Kwasi Konadu told Ms Sabbah that he handled t GHC 3,300 received from Mr Sotti, Regina assumed the balance of GHC 3,200 was yet to be paid.

To Ms Sabbah’s surprise, Ebenezer Sotti told the court in September 2019 upon being re-arrested that he had made a full payment to the court registrar Nana Kwasi Konadu, last year.

Meanwhile, Mr Sotti has recounted to Corruption Watch that he was denied receipts after initial and final payments.

Lawyer Martin Kpebu, a Private Legal practitioner commenting on the issue, has urged the Judicial Service to investigate the issue to the latter.

“I know the Judicial Service will not be happy with this development and will begin to probe so the media must also conduct follow-ups on the issue,” he urged.

Rule 5 (G) of the Code of Ethics for Employees of the Judicial Service of Ghana states that “an employee of the Judicial Service shall obey all lawful instruction regarding the Judicial Service in the execution of his work.”

Therefore, disregarding lawful instructions laid down by the Service means working outside the rules and laws guiding the Service and amounts to unprofessional conduct and a breach of the code.

Fred Asiamah revealed there is a full documentary which will soon be aired as well as a petition to the Judicial Service to resolve such issues.

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CHRAJ urges Domelevo to file complaint over forced proceed-on-leave directive

Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice has described as unfortunate the Executive directive to the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, to proceed on leave.

The comments by Joseph Whittal on the sidelines of the launch of the Citizens Anti-Corruption Manifesto last week adds to the plethora of criticisms that has hit the presidential directive forcing the Auditor-General to take his accumulated 167 days’ leave.

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