Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta has admitted to having visited the former Special Prosecutor when the latter was conducting the Corruption Risk Assessment on the Agyapa Royalty transaction.
However, speaking at the Appointment Committee vetting he stated that his visit was not to discuss the Agyapa deal or influence Martin Amidu’s report.
Mr Ofori-Atta told the Committee that he had been informed that Mr Amidu was unwell and as long time friends, he thought it best to pay him a visit at his home.
“Mr Chairman as I have mentioned before I have known the Special Prosecutor for a while. It wasn’t the first time that I was going to his home. Yes, I did visit him. I had gone to the office on a Friday in which they indicated that to me that he was not feeling well and was not at work”.
“So I believe on a Saturday morning the next day I did go to visit him and I saw him. He was not well and that was important for that,” the Finance Minister-designate said. “I didn’t feel the issues at play stopped me from visiting him”..
He also revealed that Mr Amidu had written to him indicating that he was not some information from the Finance Ministry as quickly as he wanted and had, therefore, wanted to for him to “bridge that gap”.
He added: “I think we all know that Mr Amidu is a very independent man and so to ascribe being able to influence him by what you say or not, we as a nation know that [is not possible]. And so I wouldn’t say that that was an attempt to change his views or anything of that matter”.
In November 2020, the former Special Prosecutor revealed that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta visited him at home when he was conducting the Corruption Risk Assessment on the Agyapa Royalty transaction, although Martin Amidu did not disclose what the two discussed.
Meanwhile, Mr Ofori-Atta during his vetting stated that Martin Amidu did “a disservice” to the country and its democracy by releasing his Corruption Risk Assessment on the Agyapa deal as he did not have an official response from the Ministry on the matter.
He stated that it was unfair for the Special Prosecutor not to listen to the Finance Ministry’s side of the story and to even go as far as rejecting a presentation on the Agyapa Deal from the Ministry.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta, the numerous “conjectures [in Amidu’s report] are inimical to growth, and it does not help the kind of freedom of policy orientation and innovation that we require for this country to grow”.
“For such a report to be put out in the public without us or me as Minister of Finance having a chance to discuss it, is a disservice to our democracy,” he told Parliament’s Appointment Committee during his vetting on Thursday.