Sputnik V saga: Akufo-Addo’s comment on Health Minister’s backlash an endorsement of act – Amidu

Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has expressed misgivings about the way government has handled the findings of the ad-hoc committee, which probed the controversial Sputnik V contract.

The anti-graft campaigner finds it hard to believe that the Health Minister followed through with the transaction without the support of the Executive while circumventing the Parliamentary and Public Procurement Authority modalities.

According to him, the approval of payments requests by the Finance Ministry goes to reinforce the suspicion that Ken Ofori-Atta is a key architect in what he sees as an “interfering endorsement by President Akufo-Addo of the Sputnik affairs.

Mr Amidu resigned as Special Prosecutor on November 16, 2020, accusing President Akufo-Addo of interfering in the findings of his Corruptions Risk Assessment conducted into the Agyapa Royalties Agreement.

Martin Amidu, in that report, implicated the Finance Minister for superintending bid-rigging among other infractions contained in the procuring of the Special Purpose Vehicle.

In his letter of resignation, he told President Akufo-Addo that “political interference in the independence of his office” triggered his move.

In his latest epistle, the anti-graft campaigner sees the aftermath of the Sputnik V probe as another attempt to shield the culprits who he describes as belonging to ‘The Family.’

Memos made public after the Parliamentary ad hoc committee’s report revealed that the Finance Ministry had ordered payment for the first tranche of Sputnik V vaccines even though the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, had denied knowledge of any such payment.Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin says the Dubai-based middle-man, Sheikh Al Maktoum had refunded an amount of $2,470,000 following the directive to the Finance Ministry to take steps in that regard.

Mr Amidu finds the Finance Minster’s involvement in the Agyapa Royalties and the botched Sputnik V transactions too glaring to ignore.

“Paradoxically, this was the same co-President and Minister of Finance who had himself gotten away with the aborted parliamentary approved Agyapa Transaction upon the exercise of executive veto by his co and de jure President that resulted in the resignation of the Special Prosecutor in November 2020.”

President Akufo-Addo, amid growing calls for Mr Agyeman-Manu’s resignation, touted the Dormaa Central MP’s effort in steering the health sector in the face of a Covid-19 pandemic.

Tagging the Minister as an important player in his government, the President, during his speech at a durbar of chiefs in the Bono Region on August 10, said Mr Agyeman-Manu has endured a lot of suffering to stabilise the health sector.

But Martin Amidu says Ghanaians must “never be fooled that this was intended as a joke.”

In his article titled ‘Do not be like Thomas whose eyes could not see; Akufo-Addo’s Sputnik V, Agyapa and other affairs’, he explained that if the reactions surrounding his Agyapa report is anything to go by, the Executive has the “controlling powers” which puts it in “the position of an invisible, ever-present sword of Damocles operating, and hanging over, and possibly influencing the inarticulate major premise for decision-making of those charged with investigating and dispensing justice.”

“In such a constitutional dispensation, any pronouncement by the President of the Republic adulating any of his appointees who are under investigation for the possible commission of a 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,” he wrote.

Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu has also indicated that the President’s reaction should not be construed as an indication that the Minister will not be sanctioned.

However, the Former Special Prosecutor further called on all Ghanaians to read between the lines in analysing the outcomes of recent events without political prejudices.

“This is, therefore, the time for all patriotic Ghanaians to wake up and with open eyes, cease to be like Thomas whose eyes could not see at this crucial moment of our dear nation’s history that requires each of us to sacrifice to defend the 1992 Constitution and put Ghana First,” Mr Amidu wrote.


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