AMERI Saga: Fmr Minister Kwabena Donkor to Face Parliament over Controversial Deal

Former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor will today [Friday, October 20] appear before the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament on the issue of the controversial AMERI power deal, Citi News sources revealed.

According to the reports, Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa and former Deputy Minister of Energy, Kobina Tahir Hammond, appeared before the committee yesterday [Wednesday, October 19], with a submission that seeks to substantiate his motion for an abrogation of the $510m deal ratified by Parliament in March 2015.

Recall that KT Hammond, on Tuesday July 25th, filed an urgent motion in Parliament for the AMERI deal to be rescinded. Speaking to Daily Guide on the issue then, Mr. Hammond stated that he has ample evidences with which to prove that there were “gross misrepresentations” in the deal, hence the need for it to be revoked.

Meanwhile, it is not yet known if the Parliamentary Committee meeting with Dr. Donkor would be a public or private session.

CID Grilling

Dr. Kwabena Donkor, together with two other former ministers of the erstwhile John Mahama-led NDC government were in July, invited by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS), to assist with ongoing investigations into the alleged financial misrepresentations in the long controversial AMERI Power Deal.

The Three former ministers – Dr. Donkor, who was the Minister for Power when the AMERI deal was signed, together with his deputy, John Jinapor and former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine honoured the invitation on Monday, July 31st, not regarding heated objections from both the Majority and Minority Members of Parliament.

However, proceeds of the CID grilling session were not released to the public. It was only reported that the trio submitted their statements on the matter to the police.

House Raids

Prior to the CID grilling, John Jinapor had his residence searched on 28th July by some personnel from the Ghana Police Service as part of the investigations into the AMERI deal.

Mr. Jinapor who is currently Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu revealed he was about leaving for Parliament Friday morning when 3 security personnel showed up at his residence and held him hostage for about two hours.

The former Deputy Minister of Power narrated that the security personnel had a search warrant to look for documents related to the AMERI contract. He also revealed that two of the policemen were armed with AK 47 assault rifles which frightened his children a great deal.

At the end of the day, the search team went away with his iPhone.

In a similar manner, personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service stormed the house of one-time Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor on Monday, 24th July.

The CID personnel who had a search warrant from the court, came with no other motive than to seek and retrieve documents implicating the former minister in the controversial AMERI contract. According to them, he is under on suspicion for causing financial loss to the state through the AMERI deal.

Donkor had his laptops and pen drives seized by the search team. They would have also collected his phones if not for the former minister’s resistance.

Speaking to Citi News same day, Dr. Donkor lamented not having a prior information on his alleged indictment in the Ameri issue.

“I read for the first time on the warrant that I was the suspect for causing financial loss. Nobody has cautioned me, nobody has tried me. I’ve never been told anywhere that I’ve caused financial loss…,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, Kwabena Donkor has declared his innocence in the AMERI issue, stating that he is ready to meet his accusers in court.

A former Technical Advisor on the power deal, Francis Dzata has also had his house raided over the same matter.

Ameri Power Deal

The Ameri Power Deal is a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) agreement signed between Ghana and UAE-based energy company, AMERI in the heat of the 2015 crippling energy crisis under the John Mahama administration.

The deal which stood at a whopping cost of $510m specifically involves the installation of 10 General Electric TM 2500 aero-derivative gas turbines at the Aboadze Power enclave, near Takoradi in the Western Region. Click here to get full details of the Ameri energy contract.

However, NPP who were in opposition at the time the contract was made, from the onset expressed dissatisfaction with the agreement, particularly on the allegation that it was overpriced.

On assuming powers this year, the NNP government led by Akufo-Addo promised to look into the matter to decide if the contract would be reviewed or abrogated. Their investigations have since moved from the activities of the Philip Addison-led committee, down to house raids, police grilling and now parliamentary interrogations.