C’ttee on Sputnik V Akufo-Addo’s smokescreen to shield gov’t from illegalities – Amidu

Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has said the committee set up by the government to investigate the Sputnik V vaccine procurement was a smokescreen by President Akufo-Addo to exonerate his appointees of all unconstitutionalities and illegalities in the procurement contract and payment for the vaccines.

Mr Agyeman-Manu, the health minister, had intended procuring some 300,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccines 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 to which the Sheikh has refunded the money back to the government of Ghana.

However, an ad hoc committee set up to probe the procurement process 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 in an epistle noted that: “The President’s Bono Region pronouncements on 10th August 2021 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 adhoc parliamentary committee.”

Addressing the chiefs and people of Bono region on Tuesday, 10 August 2021 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 Mr Amidu’s view, “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, constitute 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 Akufo-Addo 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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