Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, cousin to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has denied reports circulating on social media that he was involved in the controversial Ameri deal renegotiation.
In a disclaimer regarding a picture that captures him, his cousin and now Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, in a meeting with some officials of Ameri, Mr Otchere-Darko said: “Yes, I am aware of this picture which has been making the rounds in the media for some time now”.
“The twist, being fronted by the NDC, is that the picture is evidence that I, Gabby, and my cousin, Edward, are involved (or have been involved) somehow or the other with Ameri. It is a completely false allegation. I have absolutely nothing to do with Ameri. I have no business with them and have had no business with them. Even more materially, I have nothing to do with the renegotiated deal on the Ameri power plant that was brought before Parliament in July. I also know for a fact that Edward has nothing, and I mean nothing, whatsoever to do with Ameri or any deal involving Ameri and the power plant. He has no social media page, so please allow me to speak on his behalf as well. In fact, the Edward I know would have nothing at all to do with Ameri!
“The picture you see was taken when the Ameri people visited the Ridge campaign office of Nana Akufo-Addo in December 2016, when John Mahama was still president. You can see several copies of the 2016 NPP manifesto on the table and a framed campaign photo of Nana and Bawumia on the wall. Let me stress this material fact: it was the only day that Edward or myself ever met the Ameri people or any of their representatives.
“We were both part of Nana’s campaign. The Ameri people wanted to meet Nana, Edward’s brother, and we felt it necessary to be clear on what they wanted to talk about with the big man. We both had very strong views against the original Ameri deal and mine, in particular, was no secret.
“Let me stress, Edward and I have not been in any way or form involved with Ameri or any of the parties in this renegotiated deal on the Ameri plant that was sent to parliament last month. We have had no involvement or discussions, directly or indirectly, with any of the parties on this deal – not the Ministry, not Metka, not Mytilineos and certainly not Ameri. For the avoidance of doubt, not only was I not consulted by any of the parties on this transaction, my firm, was also not consulted.”
The NPP administration recently began taking steps to amend portions of the controversial $510 million deal signed by the John Mahama administration.
The current government believes that there was no value-for-money in the deal signed by the NDC administration, hence the renegotiations.
The renegotiated deal, which has now been cancelled by the president, was expected to be approved by parliament when the House resumes from recess.
However, the move has created controversies.
For instance, the Senior Staff Association of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has described Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, as an “incompetent” appointee, indicating that contrary to his claims that Ghana will gain $405 million from the new power deal with Ameri Energy, the country will rather lose up to $472 million.
“There is no such savings anywhere in the new contract. This nation will be worse off since Ghanaians will rather be paying an additional cost of US $472 million to Mytilineos International Trading Company for absolutely no work done,” Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of VRA, Cephas Duse, stated at a press conference on Monday, 6 August 2018.
He said the amount is “beside the US$255 million we have already paid for the first two-and-a-half years”.
“Is it not ironic that in renegotiating a contract which is supposed to have been overpriced by US $150 million, we end up increasing the cost by US$727 million? Is this the type of review we were promised?” he questioned.
Mr Duse stated: “We think that this misleading comparison and computation was disingenuously done by the Energy Minister to deceive Ghanaians. This shows that the Honourable Minister is incompetent, lacks integrity or absolutely not on top of his job”.
The VRA Senior Staff Association stated emphatically that the Energy Minister’s claim that the Novation and Amendment Agreement will save the country some money, is “misleading, flawed and inaccurate”.