Ghanaian taxpayers have the right to know Kissi Agyebeng’s reasons for hyping the OSP Airbus SE Ghana and Charles Bissue cases

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Mr. Kissi Agyebeng
Mr. Kissi Agyebeng

The Special Prosecutor cannot be allowed to choose the persons he wishes to investigate and whose cases he would publish in his half-yearly report of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and leave out serious cases of corruption and corruption-related offences of procurement malpractices, abuse of public office for profit, and corruption of public officers of persons to whom he was the lawyer in the on-going investigations before he assumed his position in the OSP.

The half-yearly reports published by the Special Prosecutor since his assumption of office on 9 August 2021 includes the OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations which I stood down in September 2020 in order for the OSP not to be seen as an instrument in the hands of the President in his bid during the 2020 presidential elections for political electioneering purposes to retain power over his main opponent. The OSP Airbus SE Ghana case together with all other on-going investigations were never listed in the mandatory half-yearly report under Section 3 (3) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) during my tenure as the founding Special Prosecutor because they were not required by law and it was unethical to do so for cases for which no decision to prosecute had been made and charges preferred against the suspects.

The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, must, therefore, explain his reasons for consistently excluding the on-going investigations in the three main procurement malpractices and corruption investigations for abuse of public office for private profit involving the National Lottery Authority (NLA)/Tekstart Africa Limited from his list of half-yearly reports since his assumption of office in the OSP. Kissi Agyebeng was the lawyer for Mr. Derek Appiah the Managing Director of Tekstart Africa Limited and insisted in his letter that he wanted to be present in person before any interrogation of his client took place. Mr. Derek Appiah was the first of three prime reasonably suspected persons to be interrogated before the interrogation of Mr. Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, the Chief Executive Officer of the NLA, and one Venesa Marfo to conclude the investigation for a pre-charging decision to be made. Kissi Agyebeng did not make himself available before my exit as the founding Special Prosecutor.

The President was briefed in writing by the OSP on 13 September 2020, inter alia, that the OSP was conducting investigations into the NLA and its Chief Executive Officer, for three separate procurement malpractices and corruption offences. The brief detailed, particularly on the NEXGO contract involving the NLA, and Kissi Agyebeng’s clients, Tekstart Africa Limited and Mr. Derek Appiah, its Managing Director, in relation to which multi-media announced its intentions to show a documentary to the public as a result of which the CEO of NLA’s lawyers were said to have written to Multi-Media. Multi-Media later backed off. The Director of Research at the Presidency, the late Victor Newman, was aware of the controversy between NLA and Multi-Media. Even this President curtailed the mess at the NLA by relieving the CEO and his deputy of their appointments soon after the 2020 elections on 10 March 2021. See: Presidency directs retired NLA boss to hand over to Finance Director – Graphic Online.
Ghanaian taxpayers also have the right to know the reasons for Kissi Agyebeng’s preference on assuming the position of Special Prosecutor for reviving the dormant OSP

Airbus SE Ghana case involving the payment of an alleged Five Million Euros (€5,000, 000.00) to a close relative of a government official in Ghana in contrast with the NLA/Tekstart Africa Limited procurement malpractices and abuse of public office for private profit involving a whopping sum of Twenty-Five Million, Twenty-Three Thousand US Dollars (USD25,023,000.00) out of which an amount of Twenty Million, Four Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Four Ghana Cedis and Thirty-Seven pesewas (GH₵20,413,864.37) was paid into his client, Derek Appiah’s Tekstarts Africa Limited’s Account on 18 December 2018 when he was a lawyer in private practice.

The subject matter of this discourse will focus on only three pending OSP investigations for purposes of space and time, namely, the OSP Airbus SE Ghana, the Charles Bissue, and the NLA/Tekstart Africa Limited NEXGO pending investigations. The first two of the cases have been consistently highlighted, reported, and published as part of the half-yearly report in the media for public consumption and adverse media discussions whilst the last case in which Kissi Agyebeng was counsel for one of the parties has been treated as never having existed as pending investigations in the OSP. The object of selecting these OSP cases is to demonstrate the suspected level of corruption and lack of integrity in the selection of persons who the Special Prosecutor thinks he must investigate and persecute instead of the cases that ought professionally to be investigated and prosecuted. This sample of cases is representative of what I previously referred to as the conduct by the OSP that indicated that it has become a rogue institution under its present management. Further details on the NAL/ Teksatart Africa deals and procurements malpractices can be found in pleadings filed in civil actions in the High Court by the Ghana Lotto Associations against the NLA.

I hate having to write about persons reasonably suspected of crime in the media for ethical reasons even now that I am in retirement and in my seventies. The Special Prosecutor has, however, forced my hand as a constitutional activist by his consistent discriminatory denigration of his adversaries who are mere suspects, (not even reasonably suspected), in the court of public opinion instead of in the courts of law while protecting the family, friends, cronies, and clients. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”! That is the saying! When Kissi Agyebeng stops the unethical, discriminatory, and unconstitutional media trials using the OSP I was the first Special Prosecutor to found as his medium, there will be no reason for such exposures by me.

THE AIRBUS SE GHANA CASE

On 4 July 2023, Kissi Agyebeng not only published the OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations as part of his half-yearly report but went ahead to state that:
“Investigation is ongoing in respect of alleged bribery by Airbus SE, a European multinational aerospace corporation, regarding the sale and purchase of military aircrafts for the Republic. The Office is engaged with INTERPOL and the central authorities of the United Kingdom and the United States under the mutual legal assistance regime.”

The true facts are that I made the request for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) through the Office of the Attorney- General (the Ghana Central Authority) to the Central Authorities of United Kingdom, and the United States of America before conducting an independent investigation which necessitated charges and the issuance of warrants of arrest for four UK nationals for whom I caused the INTERPOL Red Notices to be issued.

At the time I left office as the founding Special Prosecutor on 16 November 2020 no response had been received to the request for MLA from the UK and the USA. It became obvious to the OSP that the assistance it sought from the USA and the UK was not going to be forthcoming. The OSP, therefore, started its own independent investigations using its own sources and methods that allowed it to successfully obtain the INTERPOL Red Notices which have since been pending for the extraditions of those four suspects or fugitives should they step out of the UK.

The investigations within Ghana proceeded with great difficulty as there was lack of cooperation from the Government entities involved and the OSP could not access their computers and internet systems to mine for emails and other correspondences to access vital information at the time of the transaction. Consequently, no vital witnesses to identify collaborators within the Government of Ghana at the time for interrogation as suspects in the case could be found. The OSP developed its own list of prospective suspects from its own sources and methods without the supporting emails from the relevant public institutions.

This was the state of affairs when the former Vice President and President during the period the Airbus SE transactions were consummated granted an interview to a reporter of the Daily Graphic which became of interest to the OSP. Requests by the OSP to the relevant Government agencies to make available the voice recording of that interview to the OSP to form the foundation for inviting the former President for interrogation fell on deaf ears. The country was in the 2020 elections mode by September 2020. The President very reluctantly consented to my briefing and suggestions, and I instructed the suspension of the investigation until after the 2020 elections.

I shall explain the origin of the equalization observations, and who was reasonably suspected to be Government Official 1 as contained in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions Report, and the circumstances of that particular observation in another and later discourse. Suffice it to say that an observation on the OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations which was not the subject matter of reporting embedded in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions Report as the main subject matter of the report was a mere bubble for the rational and reasonable person. The rabble, and the mischievous politician, will of course take such bubble observations seriously for political point scoring and continue to do so.

The Acting Special Prosecutor, to whom I formally handed over my tenure was not bound by my decisions on the OSP Airbus SE Ghana case, but she also for unstated reasons chose not to continue the investigations after my exit and after the 2020 elections. After announcing the suspension of the OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations until after the 2020 presidential election, I got occupied with the Agyapa Royalties Transactions Anti-Corruption Assessment. The findings of the Agyapa Royalties Transactions Report led me to the one and only conclusion that whatever was suspected to have taken place in the OSP Airbus SE Ghana corruption investigations was just child’s play as compared to the sinking fund and annuity created by the Nana Akufo-Addo Government in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions procurement malpractices and abuse of public office for private profit anti-corruption assessment report.

Kissi Agyebeng during his approval by Parliament told Parliament on oath that he would investigate the corruption offences disclosed in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions Report. However, the Special Prosecutor assumed office since 9 August 2021 and up to today, he has refused or failed to redeem his oath before Parliament. I insinuated that he was nominated to be an Agyapa Special Prosecutor which he vehemently denied during his vetting. The passing years have proved that he is indeed an Agyapa Special Prosecutor appointed to protect the suspects disclosed in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions Report by not conducting a formal investigation as demanded by the report.

I had to resign on 16 November 2020 as the Special Prosecutor because the President reneged on an agreement allowing me to open a formal investigation into the Agyapa Royalties Transactions after the 2020 elections. Kissi Agyebeng might be under the same restraint as the reason for perjuring his oath to Parliament to investigate that matter. Kissi Agyebeng, however, professes an interest in the OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations in contrast to the Agyapa Royalties Transactions investigations because he was appointed to protect Agyapa, for which reason I had named him the Agyapa Special Prosecutor on being nominated as the Special Prosecutor by his classmates and friends with an interest in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions.

On 4 May 2021, before Kissi Agyebeng was appointed the Special Prosecutor on 5 August 2021, the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was reported to “have quietly closed its investigation in individuals associated with the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus”. It was reported that “the closure finalizes a long-running investigation into fraud, bribery, and corruption allegations across the civil and military aviation businesses at Airbus”. The implication of the closure of the UK investigations was that the four British suspects of Ghana’s MLA request were persons in respect of whom the UK-SFO had not found any reason to charge for any offences under their Airbus SE investigations. It was, therefore, going to be almost impossible to get the UK Government to provide any MLA in investigations it had closed in respect of its own nationals. It may be recalled that during my tenure as the Special Prosecutor I had tried to get the British High Commission in Ghana and the Ghana High Commission in the UK to intervene for early MLA results without success.

The OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations lay dormant under the successor of the founding Special Prosecutor for eleven (11) months without any action, and for almost two (2) years under Kissi Agyebeng’s Special Prosecutorship without any concrete action only to be resurrected for purely political electioneering purposes on 4 July 2023. Ghanaians, therefore, need to know from Kissi Agyebeng who has perjured his approval oath on investigating the Agyapa Royalties Transactions upon whose instructions he revived the dormant OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations which is dead and buried for all intents and purposes, just for the 2024 elections season.

Ghanaians need to be told that the OSP had not submitted depositions in respect of the four fugitives to INTERPOL Ghana to be sent to the INTERPOL General Secretariat to be kept and delivered to the requested country as soon as the suspects are located. This could not be done immediately without completing the interrogation of the prime suspects within Ghana and to avoid the leakage of the facts and evidence affecting the on-going investigations. The interrogations never took place before I left the office. OSP under the Acting Special Prosecutor did not have the ability to submit the depositions. I wonder whether Kissi Agyebeng who is taking credit for work he came to meet has had the ability to submit those depositions to INTERPOL Ghana for submission to the INTERPOL General Secretariat before claiming to be engaged with INTERPOL. Kissi Agyebeng is using the OSP Airbus SE Ghana investigations for political electioneering three years after the issuance of the INTERPOL Red Notice without the accompanying depositions for the alleged fugitives.

THE CHARLES BISSUE CASE

The OSP under my watch investigated the Charles Bissue bribery allegations after the Ghana Police Service had purported to clear him of all suspicions while the OSP was seized with the corruption investigations. The Bissue investigations led to evidence pointing to the fact that Tiger Eye PI and Anas Aremeyaw Anas were complicit in the suspected offences of forgery, and corruption of public officers in obtaining the concessions giving rise to the entrapment of, and allegations against Charles Bissue. A decision whether to prosecute Charles Bissue could not, therefore, be made until the completion of the Tiger Eye PI and Anas Aremeyaw Anas bribery investigations for ethical and professional reasons. The two investigations were therefore pending on the same investigations docket when the founding Special Prosecutor resigned from office.

Kissi Agyebeng, must also explain to the public his reason for not completing the investigation of the reasonably suspected corruption offences against Tiger Eye PI and Anas Aremeyaw Anas for suspected corruption in influencing public officers to obtain the registration of two enterprises on the same day, by two people with similar names and registered as ORR Resources Enterprises with the same registration serial number which the investigations into the Charles Bissue case had disclosed might have been done through bribery and corruption of officers at the Registrar-General’s Department. There was also the outstanding matter of the true identity of the person whose Electoral Commission (EC) Voter Identification (ID) Card was used in the registration of the two enterprises and for obtaining the concessions from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and the Minerals Commission to entrap Charles Bissue.

The visits by the investigation team to the addresses on the registration particulars of ORR Resources Enterprise in Kumasi and the residence of the person in whose name the EC voter ID card was issued in a constituency in Accra as the EC made available to the OSP drew blanks. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, Kissi Agyebeng’s client and partner who made the complaint was to be invited for interrogation to establish the underpinning corruption offences at the time the founding Special Prosecutor exited from Office on 16 November 2020. Kissi Agyebeng had written a letter (without reference number) dated 4 July 2019 to the OSP as Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ lawyer to give conditions under which his client would agree to testify in the prosecution of any corruption offences that may arise from his complaint and that of Tiger Eye PI. The OSP replied on or about 12 July 2019 (with a reference number) under my signature to inform Kissi Agyebeng that the OSP was not in a position to give those guarantees as the court was the proper forum to determine matters relating to one giving evidence wearing a mask.

The moment Kissi Agyebeng assumed his position in the OSP he chose to exonerate his law firm partner, friend, and Clients, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, and Tiger Eye PI, and to list only the Charles Bissue case in his unlawful half-yearly report as a completed investigation. How could Kissi Agyebeng be an honest broker in this case when he had written a letter dated 4 July 2019 in his capacity as Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ lawyer setting forth the conditions under which his client will testify in the case against Charles Bissue should he be charged for prosecution in court? Nonetheless, Kissi Agyebeng upon assuming the position of Special Prosecutor decided to prosecute Charles Bissue alone in spite of his conflict of interest in the matter.

THE NLA/ TEKSTART AFRICA LIMITED PROCUREMENT MALPRACTICES AND ABUSE OF PUBLIC OFFICE FOR PRIVATE PROFIT

Kissi Agyebeng needs to explain the reasons for consistently not listing as part of his half-yearly report the almost completed investigation of the suspected 2018 procurement contract giving rise to procurement malpractices and abuse of public office for private profit involving the NLA, and the alleged Chinese entity of Messrs. Shenzhen Xinguodu Technology Limited to supply 30,000 units of NEXGO N5 Smart Point of Sales Terminals (POSTs) for an approved Contract sum by the Board of Twenty-Five Million, Twenty-Three Thousand US Dollars (USD25,023,000.00) which was allegedly represented in Ghana by its agent, Tekstart Africa Limited. Witnesses and suspects had been interrogated with witness statements, and suspect statements on caution taken from them, as the case may be. The relevant documentary materials had been obtained through requests for information and production of documents and filed on the case docket. The progress of the investigation is verifiable from the station diary of the OSP, and diary of action in the investigation docket.

The evolving investigation made it necessary to investigate the financial affairs of TekStart Africa Limited, a Ghanaian company reasonably suspected of collaboration with public officers in the NLA to use their public offices for private profit. The investigation evidence evolved showing the transfer of a sum of GH₵20,413,864.37 on 18 December 2018 from the NLA account at United Bank for Africa to TekStart Africa Limited’s account at the same bank. It transpired that there was no agency agreement or relationship whatsoever between Shenzhen Xinguodu Technology Limited and Tekstart Africa Limited. The evolving investigation also pointed to the irresistible fact that Tekstart Africa Limited was ordering the subject matter of the procurement contract directly from suppliers in Hong Kong and supplying them to the NLA and taking suspicious levels of fees for clearance and transportation from the Port of Tema to the NLA as though it was the agent of Shenzhen Xinguodu Technology Limited.

The investigation was left with the interrogation of the three (3) prime suspects, Mr. Derek Appiah, the Managing Director of Tekstart Africa Limited, one Venesa Marfo associated with Tekstart Africa Ltd, and finally the CEO of NLA to be completed and a decision made whether to prosecute or not. Kissi Agyebeng wrote letters to the OSP as the lawyer for Mr. Derek Appiah, the Managing Director of Tekstart Africa Limited. Kissi Agyebeng’s client, Mr. Derek Appiah, from June to August 2020 consistently used subterfuges and excuses to avoid being interrogated. On the only or so occasion he came to the OSP he was accompanied by junior lawyers who indicated that Kissi Agyebeng insisted he wanted to be present in person for the interrogation of Mr. Derek Appiah to take place. Kiss Agyebeng confirmed this in writing to the OSP. The fact of his writing was recorded in the Letters Received Register of the OSP, the Station Diary, and also in the Diary of Action on the investigation docket.
In the course of the investigations the link between the NLA, Tekstart Africa Limited, and one Venesa Marfo emerged from my personal UK sources. This led the OSP to the discovery of a Sales Notice for the sale of Plot No. 5205 The Madison, 199-207, Marsh Wall, London, E24 9YT at an agreed price of £1,600,000 (One Million and Six Hundred Thousand Pounds Only) with the purchasers as Kofi Osei-Ameyaw/Venesa Marfo with addresses at 9 Sunflower Lane, Teshie Nunguah with telephone number 233-244-56-3894 and Hse. No. 8 7th Road Tesano with telephone number 233-246-83-2924 respectively. The vendor of the property was listed as: LBS Properties Limited of the UK. The purchaser’s solicitor was one Samuel Tetteh Quaye in the UK. The transaction from the investigations later fell through but the findings were relevant for the OSP’s investigations of the abuse of public office for private profit at the NLA. The investigations further disclosed that coincidentally, one Venessa Marfo had been involved in several procurement transactions at the NLA including the NLA/Tekstart Africa Limited NEXGO transactions.
The people of Ghana, therefore, deserve an explanation for the reasons for which Kissi Agyebeng decided not to list the NLA/Tekstart Africa/ Venesa Marfo reasonably suspected corruption cases as part of his half-yearly report under Section 3 (3) of Act 959 since he has chosen to list all major pending cases which are not required to be listed for public consumption to give the false appearance that the persons involved must already be liable for corruption offences under Act 959.

CONCLUSIONS

This discourse has disclosed the partiality and conflict of interest afflicting the OSP since the assumption of duty by Kissi Agyebeng as the Special Prosecutor at the OSP on 9 August 2021. The 1992 Constitution mandates patriotic citizens to demand explanations from public office holders and officers to assuage reasonable suspicions of lack of accountability and transparency in the conduct of public affairs paid from the public purse. The OSP cannot be allowed to opaquely choose persons it wishes to investigate and prosecute at whim, instead of the cases that need to be prosecuted in accordance with the law and ethics of professional practitioners in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice administration. What makes it worse is the fact that this is being done in the court of public opinion instead of in the courts of law against perceived adversaries whilst the family, friends, cronies, and clients are opaquely shielded.

The integrity of citizens, (mostly prominent ones), have been destroyed in the court of public opinion by the prevailing style of the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng who holds them out in the media on a presumption of guilt contrary to their right to the presumption of innocence under the 1992 Constitution. None of such citizens have ever been charged and put before a court of law within a reasonable time or at all.

Constitutional activists and human rights practitioners have a duty and a responsibility to defend the Constitution by demanding answers from public officers for suspected breaches of the 1992 Constitution. The answers or lack of them will determine whether the citizen may activate his right and duty to petition for impeachment to excise such carbuncles from the public services of Ghana. The Constitution and the laws of Ghana must be defended and upheld under the regime of freedom of speech, come what may. Speak out without fear or favour as a citizen; do not sit on the fence least it breaks and fatally deprives you of your citizenship of Ghana. Remember that God only helps those who help themselves. Let us put Ghana First!

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