ECOWAS Court dismisses suit against Aygapa Royalties deal


ECOWAS Court dismisses suit against Aygapa Royalties deal

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (CCJ) has thrown out a law suit brought against the Government of Ghana seeking to challenge the propriety of a Gold Royalties Monetisation Transaction also known as the Agyapa deal.

This is according to a report by

The development comes after three anti-corruption groups; Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) dragged government to the ECOWAS court back in December 2020.

The groups in their suit prayed for the Court to grant an order seeking to halt the transaction of the Agyapa Royalties deal.

They further argued that the Agyapa deal was dominated by “politically exposed persons” and also violated the rights of Ghanaians to have permanent sovereignty over the country’s natural resources as provided under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

But the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice sitting on July 4, 2023 dismissed the suit brought by the three civil society organisations, thereby upholding government’s defence in the matter.

The CCJ however said a detailed reasoning behind its ruling would be available to the public at an opportune time.

The applicants in their suit argued that the Gold Royalties Monetisation Transaction violated various international conventions against corruption adding that should the deal be approved and implemented, it would place Ghana’s gold resources into the hands of foreigners.

The applicants were also asking the ECOWAS court to restrain government from moving ahead with the transaction as well as investigating all alleged acts of corruption associated with the deal with “any alleged perpetrators brought to justice”.

But the government of Ghana in its defence debunked the claims of the applicants on the basis that the transaction was not going to cede the country's gold resources to foreign control.

“The proposed Agyapa transaction is intended as a means by which only a portion of the proceeds from the exploitation of natural resources of Ghana is invested to ensure that the people of Ghana obtain the benefit therefrom,” the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, submitted.

The Attorney General also argued that the argument made by the applicants in the matter was “not based on sound legal reasoning, and meritless”

Godfred Dame adding that the applicants to failed to provide any evidence to back their allegations that the deal was dominated by “politically exposed persons” who “intend to misappropriate Ghana’s resources”.

Agyapa Royalties deal

The deal started in June 2018 when Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund (Act 2018) to manage the equity interests in mining companies and also receive royalties on behalf of the Government of Ghana.

The Minerals Income Investment Fund is mandated to manage and invest these royalties and revenue it receives on behalf of Ghana and invest them for higher returns.

To do this, the law enables the Fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to appropriate these investments.

In July 2020, the government introduced an amendment to the Act to ensure that the SPVs that the Fund would establish to manage investments get unrestricted independence.

On the back of the amendment and the original provisions of the act, the Minerals Income Investment Fund set up an offshore limited liability company known as Agyapa Royalties Limited (previously Asaase Royalties Limited).

The Agyapa Royalties Ltd. is incorporated in Bailieick of Jersey in the UK, a tax haven. It has been incorporated in a tax haven to cut out the associated high tax charges to the returns that will accrue to the state from the investments.

Agyapa Royalties Limited is registered in Ghana as an external company.

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GNBCC | News