Veteran journalist Kweku Baako has dispelled notions that Africa Legal Associates, a law firm owned by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko was paid US$2 million for its work on the Agyapa Royalties Agreement.
The figure has been bandied about by some persons as the amount Gabby and his firm grabbed for their advisory role on the deal.
But Baako claims the quoted amount is way above what was paid the law firm by government.
He clarified that a UK-based law firm was the principal advisors on the deal and Africa Legal Associates worked for the firm.
“It is not true that Gabby’s firm got US$2 million from the deal. It is not true that his firm is a beneficiary of US$2 million. It’s not even up to US$105,000. It is the main transaction advisor that paid Gabby. It is about US$103,000. It is not US$2 million”.
One major issue that has emanated from the brouhaha surrounding the deal is the role of Osafo-Maafo’s son and Gabby Otchere Darko.
Bar the assertions of nepotism, the likelihood of conflict of interest has been brought up by people who are unhappy with the presence of the two individuals around that deal.
Baako, however, thinks that people are making a mountain out of a molehill.
Baako likened it to Ibrahim Mahama’s companies getting contracts during Mahama regime and Nana Konadu Agyemang under the Rawling regime.
“We have to be consistent. We have to be coherent. I don’t expect everybody to agree with me and I expect people who disagree to it vehemently, if they like violently, disagree with me and criticize me”.
“The way we’re going around this politics, the so-called conflict of interest relative to political office holders over the period, I see a certain huge area of inconsistency and incoherence and I’m worried about that. This is not going to be the last time this will happen; you bet me!”
Meanwhile, the government has placed the deal on ice to allow further deliberations with Civil Society Organizations.
Mark Agyemang the Technical Manager for the Public Interest and the Accountability Committee (PIAC) says the government is prepared to listen to the CSOs.