The Herald has cited the name of one Sarah Mary Olufemi Adetola said to be the wife of Secretary to the President of Ghana, Nana Asante Bediatuo in the multimillion dollar supply of the mathematical set contract which former Education Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh and his onetime Deputy Dr. Yaw Osei Adutum were grilled on by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, last week.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Bluegrass Group Ltd, Kwadwo Darko-Mensah alias Onasis has been arrested by officials of the National Investigations Bureaus (NIB) formerly Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to assist in an ongoing investigation.
But The Herald’s investigations into the matter is beginning to reveal some interesting information which suggest Mathew Opoku Prempeh has a lot to hide on those to whom the contract was awarded and what caused the delay.
The Herald is informed that NIB had stormed the home of Onasis on the claim of searching weapons and picked him away on that claim, however, his interrogation had been on the mathematical sets supply contract in which Sarah Mary Olufemi Adetola the wife of Nana Asante Bediatuo had been named.
So serious is the revelation that Mathew Opoku Prempeh who has been nominated to be Minister of Energy, could be cited for perjury by the Appointment Committee over the mathematical sets supply contract because he did not speak the truth. His claim that the company has supplied the mathematical sets has also been disputed by insiders at NIB who say, what has been supplied is just around 50%.
The arrest of the businessman, Mr. Darko-Mensah, a known sympathizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), on the claim of assisting in investigation over a very serious matter, The Herald learnt from highly placed sources within the NIB, to be a ruse by a powerful individual at the Presidency to cover up the real story behind supply contract.
Mr. Darko-Mensah Onasis is the Local Agent of an international company, Cornfield Group Ltd which was mandated in 2019 to deliver a total of eight-hundred and fifty-three thousand (853,000) pieces of mathematical sets at a cost of ?75 per unit by the Ministry of Education in September 2019 which was neither delivered on schedule or in full.
The 853,000 mathematical sets were supposed to be given to students for the 2020 WASSCE. Because of this WASSCE timeline, the contract was treated as “urgent” and sole-sourced without any form of bidding in September 2019 to the company.
In addition, the mathematical sets contractor Bluegrass Limited was granted a free tax waiver of $3.6million by the government on the recommendation of Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Education Minister. The tax waiver was approved by parliament.
Throughout the 2020 WASSCE however, no student received the “math sets” from the government.
Indeed, the Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) for example questioned why the mathematical sets which were sole-sourced at a “high price” were never delivered on time for the very purpose it was tagged as “urgent”.
They criticize the validity of the sole sourcing procedure adopted and the 75 Ghana cedis cost because the contract can no longer be classified as an urgent need for the WASSCE candidates now.
At GHC5 per mathematical set, the total contract came to GHC63,975,675. Blueglass Limited failed to deliver within the agreed time. It later issued PR-statements announcing it had delivered “first consignment” without stating any figure, even long after the WASSCE was over.
It is alleged that officers of the NIB arrested Kwadwo Darko-Mensah in relation to the contract.
The issue of the Mathematical sets contract and the arrest and detention of CEO of Bluegrass Ltd Kwadwo Darko-Mensah came up during the vetting of Mathew Opoku-Prempeh with the former Education Minister disowning Mr. Darko-Mensah, claiming he “didn’t know him from anywhere”, a claim insiders say could make the minister-designate liable to perjury.
Mathew Opoku Prempeh struggled to answer questions posed on the maths set matter by NDC MP Alhassan Suhuyini.
Opoku Prempeh attempted to deflect blame to his deputy Adu Twum over the Mathematical sets contracts after Dr. Adu Twum in his vetting said he had no answer for the question on the Mathematical sets.