A Civil Society Organization (CSO), Citizens Movement Against Corruption, has called on the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, to probe further the botched Sputnik V procurement deal by the Health Minister.
The Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has come under intense criticism for breaching procurement processes while trying to secure Sputnik V vaccines for Ghana.
Agyeman-Manu confessed that he signed the agreement with the middlemen without parliamentary or cabinet approval. He also did not seek approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) prior to finalising the agreement with the middlemen, although the Attorney General is said on the record to have advised against the deal.
An ad-hoc bipartisan parliamentary committee that probed the deal recommended among other things that the Finance Minister takes steps to recover over $2 million paid to Sheikh Ah Makhtoum for undelivered vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Sheikh has in response to a letter from the Health Minister requesting a refund agreed to pay the money. This is in spite of the Health Minister’s claim before the committee that he was not aware that any money had been expended for the vaccines.
Speaking to Citi News, Co-Chair for the Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, called on the Special Prosecutor to take up the matter.
“The call that he should step aside honourably is in the right direction. Early on when he was engaged, and he said he was confused, we thought that under the pressure, perhaps this could have happened, but once the Adhoc committee’s finding was put out there, there were just too many points at whence consultation was apparently avoided.”
“This is where we will see how Mr. Kissi Agyabeng chooses his cases. The basis for choosing the cases are not quite clear. But I think this issue is high profile enough, and we hope to be hearing from him soon.”
Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, who is a member of the parliamentary committee that cited the Health Minister for violating procurement laws leading to the botched agreement says, his colleague Member of Parliament must relieve himself and not be allowed to escape unpunished.
“He [Health Minister] is the genesis of the whole matter, so the law must take its course. What will help Ghana is what we are looking for. If a Minister who is at post tells a committee that he couldn’t think properly in the face f a pandemic, that is why we have this issue at hand. So it is in his own interest to resign.”