The Chief Executive Officer of the Bluegrass Group Ltd, Kwadwo Darko-Mensah popularly referred to as Onasis has been arrested by officials of the National Investigations Bureaus (NIB) to assist in investigation into a math set contract fiasco.
Reports say Kwadwo Darko-Mensah Onasis is the Local Agent of an international company, Cornfield Group Ltd contracted by the education ministry in September 2019 via sole sourcing, to deliver some 853,000 pieces of mathematical sets at a cost of ¢75 per unit, but the sets were not delivered on schedule and in full.
At ¢75 per mathematical set, the total contract came to ¢63,975,675.
The 853,000 mathematical sets were supposed to be given to candidates for the 2020 WASSCE. Because of the WASSCE timeline, the contract was treated as “urgent” and sole-sourced without any form of bidding.
In addition, Bluegrass Limited was also granted a free tax waiver of $3.6 million by the government on the recommendation of the then Education Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, and the tax waiver was approved by Parliament.
Throughout the 2020 WASSCE however, no student received the “math sets” from the government.
An NGO is education, 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 criticized the validity of the sole sourcing procedure adopted and the GHC75 cost per set, because the contract can no longer be classified as an urgent for the WASSCE candidates now.
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.
Meanwhile, during the vetting of the both the then education minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh and the incoming education minister, Dr. Osei Adutwum at the Appointments Committee, they both made some statements of denial regarding the contract and the contractor.
Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh disowned Kwadwo Darko-Mensah, claiming he “didn’t know him from anywhere”, passing the buck to his then deputy, who also outrightly refused to answer any question on the matter.