Information Minister Mustapha Hamid has indicated that AMERI Energy indeed paid for the flight and hotel accommodation of the Philip Addison committee that was in Dubai to conduct investigations into the deal the company signed with the government of Ghana in 2015.
Mr Hamid was, however, quick to add that it did not influence the outcome of the committee’s probe.
“AMERI paid for the tickets. The Minister explained to me that he told AMERI about the investigation, but the group said they could only provide some answers in Dubai and the Minister said government was not ready to sponsor a trip to Dubai, so they offered to pay,” he told Joy FM on Tuesday, April 11.
It would be recalled that former Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor revealed that the flight costs and hotel accommodation of three members of the committee delegated to have discussions with AMERI Energy, as part of a probe into the deal signed between the John Mahama government and the company in Dubai, were borne by the company under investigation.
According to him, this is an indication of the lack of morality on the part of Philip Addison and his committee to conduct any investigation whatsoever into the deal.
His comments come in the wake of revelations by a 17-member Philip Addison committee, tasked by Mr Agyarko to look into the agreement, that the deal was inflated by $150million by the Mahama administration.
The deal was for the supply of gas turbines to Ghana, which were to provide additional power to the national grid to ease the biting load shedding exercise that plagued the country at the time.
The committee has recommended to the government to recall owners of the Dubai-based company for renegotiation and that if the company refused to honour the invitation for re-negotiation, the government should renounce the agreement on grounds of fraud.
Denying any wrong doing in the deal by the erstwhile administration at a press conference in parliament on Monday April 3, Dr Donkor, who is also Member of Parliament for Pru East, said: “The (Addison) committee claimed there was no legal opinion from the Attorney General’s Department, but the Attorney General’s Department was strongly represented throughout the negotiations by both professional staff and management. The final agreement was witnessed by the deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
“We will pledge our support to the government as long as the issues of energy are being resolved in the national interest, but if they introduce partisanship in this way, much against our wish, we will be forced to respond.
“Members of the Addison Committee, including Mr Addison, visited Dubai, they had meetings with AMERI even after this report was written. We will want to ask who paid for their tickets. Who paid for the hotel accommodation that they used? We have the evidence that AMERI Energy paid for their hotel, AMERI Energy paid for their flight tickets. If you are going to investigate someone, do they pay for your tickets and pay for your accommodation and host you?
“We are in a country of law, our side will not want to see an energy sector divided between NDC and NPP and, therefore, they should be candid with us.”