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Minority petitions US envoy over PDS scandal

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The Minority in Parliament has written to the US Ambassador to Ghana for an investigation into government’s suspension of the concession agreement with Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited (PDS).

The petition was personally delivered on Wednesday, August 14 by the Ranking Member on the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

According to the petition, the Akufo-Addo-led government cannot be trusted to conduct “thorough and independent” investigations into the agreement because it “stands complicit with top functionaries and cronies”.

Therefore, Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan can help enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US in bringing closure to the scandal.

Government on Tuesday, July 30 announced the suspension of the concession agreement with PDS, citing irregularities with the demand guarantees.

But on Friday, August 9, a joint statement issued by PDS and its predecessor, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), said the former will continue to offer some services pending the conclusion of investigations into the agreement.

The Minority’s petition said the move smacks of “systemic corruption, state capture and cronyism”.

It said even though the Minister of Energy, John-Peter Amewu, cited fraud with the agreement on the part of officials of PDS, the Finance Minister – in an official correspondence – appointed one Akoto Ampaw, a former law partner of the president’s, to redistribute shares of the PDS business.

“Meanwhile, there has been no investigation of the fraudulent misrepresentation and its legal implications for the continued enforceability of the transaction between the government and PDS Ltd.

“Furthermore, close scrutiny of the transaction and the personalities involved reveals a preponderance of relatives and close associates of the President of the Republic of Ghana.”

It said government simply failed to carry out “sufficient” due diligence before handing over ECG’s assets to PDS under Compact II of the Millennium Challenge Account.

It said the whole transaction is shrouded in political corruption.

“However, in light of the fact that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the government itself is complicit in the acts of corruption and cronyism, and given the fact that the entire transaction involves access to and use of United States Federal Government funds provided through the Millennium Challenge Account, we wish to call upon the Government of the United States to conduct a thorough investigation to ascertain the proper use of those funds.”

The Minority wants the investigations done urgently.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

 

 

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