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The Philip Addison-committee that reviwed the Ameri deal, which was signed under the erstwhile Mahama government, has vehemently dismissed claims that members of the committee slept in luxurious hotel when it went abroad to investigate the energy company.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament led by former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, alleged the Turkish firm paid for the accomodation of the committee members in an expensive hotel where they lodged in, and also paid plane tickets [first class] for the team when they traveled outside the country to look into the contract signed in 2015.
The Addison committee charged to review, restructure and recommend areas of amendment of the Ameri power deal, has recommended that the deal be re-negotiated or abrogated on grounds of fraud, after it emerged that Ghana was made to pay 150 million dollars extra in commission to Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (AMERI Energy) for the construction of the power plant.
AMERI in its agreement with Government dated February 10th, 2015, charged Ghana significantly higher than what it was charged by the Turkish registered company – PPR, which financed and executed the project, the committee said.
But reacting to the assertions made by the Minority on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana show Tuesday, Lawyer Philip Addison said the committee members did not negotiate for sponsorship from AMERI, adding that their traveling arrangments were done by the Ministry of Energy.
“Issues of payments of these tickets had nothing to do with us. I didn’t go and negotiate for ticket payments, the way it’s being said it’s as if I went to AMERI and requested for money to buy tickets. I was sitting in my office, and I got the ticket and visa on my phone. We didn’t even know the hotel…we asked, nobody could tell us until we got to Dubai and were picked up and sent to the hotel. When we got to the hotel I understood why they put us there becuase it was just two blocks from their office. So in the morning we just walked to their office to have our meetings. People are talking about luxury hotel, Dubai has one of the fancy hotels in the world but this hotel is not one of the fancy hotels, so I don’t know what they are talking about.”
He added: “Then they talk about first class ticket…we didn’t travel on first class ticket, we were in business class and we have been influenced because we were in business class? AMERI did not pay us per diem, our per diem was given to us here[Ghana] by the Minister.”
Lawyer Addison further clarified that the committee was set up to PROBE AMERI as has been largely reported by the media.
“We were not going to investigate AMERI, we were going to have negotiations and there was no antagonistic relationship so they freely offered to pick up the bills. So I don’t understand when so much noise is being made about this. Here we are saying that AMERI who has close to $200 million, so if it is that they pick a bill for tickets and hotel how much will that amount that it should become an issue.”
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