Although he holds no official position, lawyer Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko is regarded as the second most powerful person in the current government, second only to his cousin, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Many in the political space refer to Gabby as the “shadow prime minister” of Ghana because of the power he wields in the Akufo-Addo government.
Recent allegations by some top ex-officials of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government only fuel the allegations of meddling in the business of the government by Gabby, even though he is not an official of the government and has not sworn an oath of service to the people of Ghana.
Some of these allegations were made by no mean persons but persons who previously served on the cabinet of the Government of Ghana.
Here are some top ex-appointees appointed by President Akufo-Addo himself who have made damming allegations of corruption against Gabby Otchere Darko:
Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu:
The first Special Prosecutor of Ghana, Martin Amidu, resigned on the back of corruption allegations in the Agyapa Royalties deal which implicated Gabby.
In his letter of resignation, Martin Amidu, a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, painted a picture of President Akufo-Addo’s act of desperation to cover up the involvement of Ken Ofori-Atta’s Databank and Gabby Asare Otchere Darko’s African Legal Associate.
He alleged that the attempt to cover up the corruption, bid-rigging, nepotism, conflict of interest and favouritism in the deal by President Akufo-Addo made the president send a copy of the corruption risk assessment report he (Amidu) wrote on the Agyapa deal, which was only privy to him, to Ken and Gabby.
The former attorney general said that the president handed over the response by Gabby and Ofori-Atta to be included in his report, but he turned it down, setting the stage for a head-on collision with the president, who doesn’t punish wrongdoings of his appointees.
“The one condition upon which I accepted to be nominated as the Special Prosecutor when you invited me to your Office on 10th January 2018 was your firm promise to me that you will respect and ensure same by your Government for my independence and freedom of action as the Special Prosecutor,” Martin Amidu said adding “The events of November 12 removed the only protection I had for carrying out the anti-corruption assessment on the Agyapa transaction…”
He added: “More importantly, Your Excellency was acting as a judge in your own court in usurping my functions to take any independent follow-up actions on the anti-corruption assessment report when you knew from my 13-page letter of 16 October 2020, conveying the conclusions and observations of the anti-corruption assessment report to you that negative anti-corruption assessment had been made against the conduct of your office in the procedure adopted in granting the Executive Approval dated 24 March 2020 and your assent of the Minerals Income Investment (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1024) on 27 August 2020 intended to retroactively impact the parliamentary approval of the transactions document granted on 14 August 2020.”
Former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng:
A report on illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) authored by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, the former Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) in 2021, was released containing the names of New Patriotic Party (NPP) officials who are allegedly hindering the fight against illegal mining.
Some of the known names mentioned in the report include the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, Gabby Otchere-Darko, Laud Commey, Joseph Quam, among others.
While they have denied any wrongdoing, some alleged that Frimpong-Boateng was equally at fault.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng in his 36-page report wrote that Gabby pestered him when the IMCIM was about dislodging the Imperial Heritage.
His report recalls how Gabby Otchere-Darko, a cousin of the president and an influential member of the ruling NPP, called him on the phone to question his decision to order for the dislodgment of equipment of a Mining Company Imperial Heritage which Prof. Frimpong Boateng argues was mining illegally with a prospecting license in forest reserves.
“We were ready to dislodge Imperial Heritage from Kobro Forest when Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko called to inform me that he was the lawyer for Heritage Imperial Limited, a company that was destroying the Kobro and Apaprama Forest Reserves and in the process had also polluted and diverted the course of the River Offin, as can be seen in the satellite images below. I informed the President about the behaviour of Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and he promised to deal with it.”
Former Minister for Energy Boakye Agyarko:
New Patriotic Party Flagbearer hopeful, Boakye Agyarko, reportedly narrated some alleged incidents that transpired during the re-negotiation of the 250 Megawatts Ameri Power Plant when he was the Minister for Energy.
According to a news report by energynewsafrica.com, Boakye Agyarko in an interview on Kumasi-based Asanteman FM, alleged that New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwart, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, re-negotiated the Ameri deal without the consent of the committee set up by the government to work on the deal.
He added that when he confronted Gabby on the matter, he told him to be quiet because President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was already in the know of the steps he (Gabby) had taken.
He narrated that he was on a flight to the United States of America when Gabby called him, lamenting about not being able to reach him.
“I told him I was onboard a flight travelling. Then he (Gabby) told me that he was sending me a document via email so I should check.
“When I arrived safely and went to my hotel room, I opened my email address and saw the document. To my surprise, Gabby had, on the blind side of the Committee set up and approved by the President to renegotiate with Ameri Energy Group, contracted a law firm to engage Ameri Energy Group and completed their negotiation and recommended a certain company to operate the Ameri Power Plant and extended the contract to 20 years.
“I sent Gabby a mail and asked him what authority he had to do that. And I told him Cabinet has given specific instructions to follow and his response was what makes me think that my Boss (President Akufo-Addo) doesn’t know about what he has done…so I kept quiet,” he is quoted to have said by energynewsafrica.com.
The former energy minister said that when he spoke to President Akufo-Addo on the matter, the president asked him whether there was something wrong with what Gabby did.
Boakye Agyarko said that he told the president that, “the authority to renegotiate the terms of the Ameri Power Plant doesn’t lie in the hands of Gabby and that the proposal the firm he contracted made had violated all the Cabinet instructions and extended the contract to 20 years.”
Agyarko added that Akufo-Addo agreed with his reasoning but went ahead and asked him to forward the deal Gabby had negotiated to the committee that was set up to renegotiate the deal.