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25 July 2017

Police raid residence of former technical advisor over AMERI

Personnel of Police Criminal Investigative Department (CID) have confiscated a laptop and other items belonging to a former technical advisor to the Energy Ministry as they continue investigations into the AMERI deal.

CID operatives were earlier today at the residence of Francis Dzata in a manner almost similar to the raid at the residence of former Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor on Monday.

Like Mr Donkor, he is also accused of causing financial loss to the state in the $510 million AMERI deal. 

On Monday, CID officers raided the residence of former Power Minister under the John Mahama administration.

Dr Kwabena Donkor who revealed this to Joy News said the police officers arrived at his house with a warrant demanding to search the premises and told him he was being investigated on suspicion for causing financial loss to the state.

But Mr Dzata, who supervised the construction of the AMERI power plant, has described the investigation as a wild goose chase, which will come to nothing.

Narrating what happened, he said he was informed that some CID officers were at his residence so he drove home to meet them and was served with a warrant.

“I saw six or so people in my house with a warrant stating that they were looking for laptops and phones in connection with the AMERI deal which has led to a financial loss to the state.

“I don’t know why a technocrat like me should be subjected to something like this because I think I gave everything and sacrificed to get Ghana out of dumsor. I am very upset but I gave them the chance to do their search,” he told Joy News Tuesday.

According to him, he gave the phones and what they wanted to them but stated categorically “as far as we are concerned, we worked as professionals. I am not a decision-maker I was to implement a project and I have done that faithfully for my country.”

The AMERI deal was signed as an emergency power agreement in February 2015, between government represented by the Minister of Power and AMERI Energy, to ameliorate the country’s power challenges at the time.

Kwabena Donkor

But media reports indicated the cost of the project was outrageously high. The Nana Akufo-Addo government, therefore, set up a committee to look into the deal.

The Committee, led by a private legal practitioner, Phillip Addison in its report disclosed that it found technical and financial lapses in the contract.

On the financial side, the committee found out that although AMERI secured the deal, the developer that built and financed the plant charged $360million yet AMERI charged $510million for the plant.

Dr Kwabena Donkor at a press conference in April this year stated that due diligence was done in the purchasing of the plant and does not understand how the previous government is being accused of wrong doing.

“The agreement went through Cabinet, the Committee on Mines and Energy, recommended by consensus and was passed by Parliament.

“If there was fraud, why wouldn’t the committee recommend straight away the termination of the contract and take criminal action,” Dr Donkor queried.

Regarding overpricing the deal and some persons profiting from $150 million, he said it is a known practice that a go between deserves “something in commission.”

“It is true that AMERI deal was done for $360 million but AMERI is a developer and the circumstances under which they made the deal was like buying a car under a hire purchase deal.

“AMERI is a hire purchase plant where you pay a fixed amount over 60 months and the plant becomes yours. After five years this plant belongs to Ghana, who collects the money?” he queried.

He said if Ghana had her own money to the tune of $320 million, the technocrats could have built the plant, even though it would have taken them close to a year and not 90 days.

He said as far as technocrats are concerned they did what they were supposed to do to alleviate the country’s concerns then. 

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