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Panama Papers Kufuor indicted for agreeing to Kempinski Hotel deal without parliamentary approval

The expose reveals questionable circumstances under which the Kufuor government signed an agreement with a private foreign company for the development of the five-star Kempinski Hotel.

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Former President, John Agyekum Kufuor has been indicted in a recent release of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

The expose reveals questionable circumstances under which the Kufuor government signed an agreement with a private foreign company for the development of the five-star Kempinski Hotel.

The leaked document showed that the Kufuor administration signed the  agreement on the  15 February 2006 without seeking cabinet’s approval.

Under the agreement, government was to decommission the  300,000 metre square Racecourse Site for the project, while the Cascade Development Company and affiliates construct a five-star hotel, an office building, residential buildings and a shopping mall.

The private developers were also giving tax exemptions and a 50 year sub-lease on the Racecourse land, something that has been severely questioned by financial analysts, and anti-corruption campaigners.

Suspended chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) Paul Afoko also   allegedly received over half a million dollars for fronting as a “nominee director” for the offshore company.

In response to the allegations that president Kufuor and his government broke the law in committing the country to such an agreement arbitrarily, Former Chief of Staff under the Kufuor administration, Kojo Mpiani said, he signed the MOU after carefully considering  the terms, and after assessing the seriousness of the Cascade Development Company.

The President gave an executive approval to the agreement afterwards.

Mr. Mpiani explains that the deal didn’t go through cabinet approval because the president had the power to approve such agreements if he was satisfied with the details after review, which explains why the support agreement sent to Parliament for approval was given executive approval.

The leaked confidential document from the office of the president dated 21 October 2008 says:

I refer to your request for executive approval on the above subject matter dated 14 October, 2008. His Excellency the President has given Executive approval for the support agreement between Government of Ghana and Cascade Development Company for the development of a five-star hotel at the Accra Race Course.

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