Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu has made a rallying call for the immediate dismissal of the Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang Manu for his role played in botched $2.8M overpriced Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal, MyNewsGh.com reports.
It has emerged in a report cited by MyNewsGh.com that Ghana paid more than US$2.8 million to Sheikh Al Maktoum for the procurement of Sputnik V vaccine which is in a direct contradiction to an earlier claim made by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, that the state expended any money towards the procurement of the vaccine through Sheikh Al Maktoum, a businessman based in Dubai.
As cited in the nine-member ad-hoc parliamentary committee set up to probe the controversial Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal‘s final report, the state actually paid US$2,850,000 representing 50% of the US$5,700,000 owed to Sheikh Dalmook Al Maktoum for the eventual supply of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine and found the Health Minister of procurement breaches as he did not comply with the requirements of Article 181(5) of the Constitution in respect of its agreement with an intermediary, Messrs Al Maktoum.
It additionally determined that the agreements were entered into without prior approval by the Public Procurement Authority under Sections 40 and 41 of Act 663.
Reacting to the report on JoyNews’ Tv ‘Newsfile’ program monitored by MyNewsGh.com, Lawyer Martin Kpebu told host, Samson Lardy Ayenini that the Health Minister’s resignation has been long overdue and the report has made matters worst for him, describing his conduct as embarrassing to the country.
“His resignation has been long overdue. He must be sacked with immediate effect. His action is embarrassing us as a country. You have some Ghanaians writing to justify his conduct. Samson, this cannot be supported.
I will urge Ghanaians to rally behind me and press the issue hard so that we present a petition to parliament so he gets tried over perjury and obstructing of parliamentary justice.
Clearly he misinformed the Committee and must be cited for contempt of parliament.” He stated as part of his submission on the news analysis program.
Meanwhile, the nine member ad-how committee through its report has tasked the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta to retrieve the money that has been paid so far to Sheikh Al Maktoum.
“The Committee urges the Minister for Finance to take steps to recover the money due the Republic in respect of the amount of US$2,850,000.00 (Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00) being the cost of the Sputnik-V vaccines that were proposed to be procured,” parts of the report reads.
It emerged that the government was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccines at a time the country was struggling to get Coronavirus vaccines to vaccinate its population.
The vaccine was said to be being procured at a $9 extra higher cost as against the original factory price of $10.
Although the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu indicated that the company that agreed to supply Ghana with the overpriced Sputnik V vaccines has terminated the contract,the issue was first made known by a Norwegian news outlet, Verdens Gang, of which it has now emerged that the country paid over $2.8M dollars to the middlemen.