General News of Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Pressure Group Occupy Ghana, has said it will continue to put pressure on the Attorney General (AG) until she releases all reports on the controversial Smartty’s bus branding scandal.
The AG submitted the investigative report on the scandal to the group on Monday following a court order.
But Occupy Ghana says the AG failed to release a particular report it earlier submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff, saying “she considered that as confidential and privileged.”
“While we waited for our action to be heard, we received word from the Attorney-General that she would make the documents available to us.
“True to her word, by an Affidavit dated 26th April 2016, filed on 28th April 2016 and sworn to by one Lawrence Kumi, Director of Research at the Ministry of Transport, the Honourable Attorney-General has delivered to us, documents relating to the transaction, except one,” a statement issued by the group noted.
A member of the group on Eyewitness News, Sydney Casley Hayford, explained that the AG needs to release the other report it submitted to the Chief of Staff to ensure that justice is served.
“We do not want to leave anything to speculation and only to be told that we are not privy to the information and therefore we cannot proceed any further.
“We want to be sure that when we make recommendations for other persons to be prosecuted, we are not rolling back the wheels of justice because we are not privy to the information. All of this is being done to ensure that the right recommendations were made and the right thing is done…”
Citing an example to support his position, Casley Hayford said, “supposing the AG made the recommendation in the report in the Chief of Staff’s office that the Minister of Transport should be prosecuted because in her investigation she had found that she slacked in actually doing her job, then we would want to find out why she has not been prosecuted…”
Government’s decision to spend GHc3.6 million of Ghana’s oil revenue on branding some 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses has been widely criticized and described as reckless.
The scandal compelled the Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor to resign after a massive public outcry.
The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, subsequently ordered the Attorney General to investigate the matter after which Smarttys was ordered to refund the excess payments made.
Meanwhile a leaked report of investigations into the contract, suggested that the contract with Smarttys was commenced and concluded long before the procurement process started; a conduct that violated the nation’s procurement laws.