A leaked Bank of Ghana document dated April 6, 2021 has triggered more calls for the prosecution of the Health Minister for perjury.
The letter, titled..”RE- REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LETTERS OF CREDIT FOR THE SUPPLY OF 300,000 DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES” and signed by Eric Kweku Hammond on behalf of the Head of Banking Department, notified both Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta about the issuance of Letters of Credit for the Emirati middleman, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmool Al Maktoum.
According to the notice, the payment was made through Ghana International Bank, Plc (ref. ILCGOV2100404) on April 1st this year.
Kwaku Agyemang-Manu who is under pressure to resign had told Parliament’s bipartisan Committee that investigated the botched Sputnik V Vaccine deal that he was not aware of any payment to the intermediary helping Ghana to secure the vaccines from Russia.
That claim has already been established to be false in the report put together by the committee.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu is however stoking more controversy in the ensuing saga.
He has emphatically said the Minister of Health, did not lie to the ad-hoc committee.
“I called the Chairman [Afenyo-Markin] and Vice Chairman [Akandoh], and they both disagreed on what really happened at the committee level. I called the Clerk of the committee, and she informed me in the presence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman that indeed the Minister did not make a categorical statement, and that the Minister said ‘to the best of his knowledge no payment had been made.”
Meanwhile Executive Director of the Human Rights and Governance Centre, Martin Kpebu, has vowed to haul the Minister before Court for lying under oath in Parliament. Mr. Kpebu who spoke on Accra based Citi FM said “When we go into the trial, Ghanaians will see that such a huge sum of money ($2.8 million) cannot be paid on the blind-side of the Minister because there must be some approval from him the (Minister). No one can pay such a colossal sum of money without his knowledge. This man is just trying to take us for granted, and I think that he is underestimating Ghanaians.”
The decision to abrogate the Sputnik V Vaccine deal was triggered by an alert by a Norwegian newspaper which cited Ghana for disregarding WHO directives and was in the process of procuring 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines at a higher cost of $19 instead of the recommended price of of $10 per dose.
Government has since requested for the refund of US$2,850,000.00 representing 50% has been paid to him and that translates into a Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00 converted at the exchange rate of US$1 to GH¢5.73.”