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General News of Tuesday, 17 August 2021


Akufo-Addo’s 'defence' of Agyeman-Manu an 'interference' in Sputnik V probe – Amidu

Akufo-Addo insists he has no regrets appointing Amidu as Special Prosecutor Akufo-Addo insists he has no regrets appointing Amidu as Special Prosecutor

Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amid has said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Bono Region pronouncements on 10 August 2021 about how Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has “suffered” at the hands of Ghanaians in connection with his botched procurement of some 300,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, “constitutes evidence of his interference with the investigatory and adjudicatory processes pending before a supposedly independent and coordinate arm of government – the Legislature – before which the suspected Sputnik V corruption affair is currently pending, for a decision on the findings and recommendations of the ad hoc parliamentary committee”.

Addressing the chiefs and people of Bono Region as part of his two-day tour of the region, Nana Akufo-Addo said Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has endured a lot of suffering at the Health Ministry as the sector minister.

The President, in jest, said: “There are a lot of people from the Bono Region in my government; including the Minister of Health, who is currently receiving slaps. He is an indigene of Dormaa. He has really suffered in that Health Ministry and is still suffering”.

In his latest epistle, however, Mr Amidu said: “When I stated the president’s interference with the independent performance of the functions of the Special Prosecutor in investigations and prosecution of suspected corruption and corruption-related matters affecting the government and its appointees as the main reason for my resignation, doubting Thomases, as usual, had no eyes to see nor hear and questioned my judgment”.

He continued: “After my resignation, the whole world witnessed how the anti-corruption Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelevo, was hounded out of office on flimsy grounds for daring to endorse and approve audit findings made by his staff against members of The Family”, Mr Amidu wrote.

According to him, “in President Akufo-Addo government’s desperation for vengeance, the EOCO hauled in the Auditor-General for alleged procurement malpractices involving the absence of public procurement authority approval in a case in which the Auditor-General was clearly not involved in the procurement process or of any breaches thereof”.

In Mr Amidu’s view, the ad hoc committee’s work was a “smokescreen” by the president to exonerate his appointees of any unconstitutionality and illegality in the botched deal.

Mr Agyeman-Manu had intended procuring the vaccine doses through a middleman, Sheikh Al Maktoum.

An initial sum of $2,470,000 was paid to him but the deal was cancelled after Sheikh Al Maktoum supplied 20,000 doses of the vaccine.

It followed reports by the Norwegian press that Ghana had agreed to pay $19 per dose instead of $10.

Mr Agyeman-Manu then wrote to the Sheikh for a refund, which the Sheikh has acceded to.

The ad hoc committee, in its report, said it found that the Ministry of Health did not comply with the requirements of Article 181(5) of the Constitution in respect of its agreement with Dubai-based Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, the middleman from whom the government of Ghana tried procuring 300,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.”

The minority, some civil society organisations and some Ghanaians, have called on the minister to resign or be sacked from office.

Adding his voice to the development, Mr Amidu, who resigned from office as Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor because, according to him, President Akufo-Addo was interfering with his job, said: “In such a constitutional dispensation, any pronouncement by the President of the Republic adulating any of his appointees who is under investigation for the possible commission of suspected crime, particularly corruption-related crimes, constitutes a signal in the nature of a directive first to the President’s appointees and Members of Parliament from the governing party and secondly, subconsciously to any other government institution to obey the presidential whip contained in the President’s Bono directives to avoid incurring the displeasure and vengeance of the all-powerful executive branch of government, headed by the President.”

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