Parl Committee’s report on Sputnik V scandal a smokescreen to clear Akufo-Addo’s gov’t – Martin Amidu

Former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, has in his latest publication, accused the Akufo-Addo-led government of been involved neck-deep in the botched controversial Sputnik V deal and that the report of the Parliamentary Committee is merely an attempt to clear the government of any wrongdoing.

Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor and former Attorney General has also raised doubts that Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the man at the centre of the controversial deal because of the instrumental roles he played in the whole procurement process, could have executed the contract without Akufo-Addo’s approval.

This assertion, Mr Amidu, backed by some pronouncements made by the president on August 10 in the Bono Region to the effect that he is Mr Agyemang-Manu is being vilified by Ghanaians.  Mr. Amidu also used his own working experiences with the Presidents as a basis to suspect that the controversial deal could not have been signed without the President’s blessing.

“From my experience working with President Akufo-Addo, I can bet my last pesewa that the report of the adhoc parliamentary committee on the Sputnik V – Covid-19 vaccine procurement was just a smokescreen behind which to exonerate and whitewash all the suspected unconstitutionalities and illegalities committed by the Government in the procurement contract and payment for the vaccines. Ghanaians must be hallucinating to think that the Minister of Health, whom I have known since our Commonwealth Hall days in the 1970s, would have had the temerity to have executed the Sputnik Covid-19 procurement contract without executive approval by the Mother of the Government”, parts of Amidu’s August 16 publication read.

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“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”, he added.

Mr Amidu’s publication comes on the back of findings by an Adhoc Parliamentary Committee that Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, failed to comply with procurement laws in an attempt to procure some 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V at an inflated unit price of $19, $9 more than the ex-factory price. It was also revealed that the Government of Ghana made a 50% payment of the contract sum but the supplier failed to comply with his part of the bargain. The contract was eventually terminated. Consequently, the Committee directed sums of money that had been paid in respect of the botched contract be retrieved.