Minority initiate processes to remove Health Minister from office over Sputnik-V deal fiasco

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The Minority in Parliament has triggered processes to see to the removal of Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu from office over his role in the Sputnik-V vaccines procurement fiasco.

According to the Minority in Parliament, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu must be censured for what they describe as his “dishonest role” in the whole procurement scandal.

The Minority in a memo to the Speaker indicated that the actions of the Minister were in direct breach of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and Laws passed by the Parliament hence the need for a vote of censure.

In the Memo, the Minority insist that the Minister is also guilty of perjury among other illegalities per the findings of the probe instituted by the House.

Parts of the Memo indicated that he “misrepresented to the Ad Hoc Committee on Oaths that no payment was made under the agreement to the Private Office of His Highness Shiek Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum [the Dubai-based businessman the Ministry of Health contacted for the procurement].”

Background

The controversy over the vaccines began when a Norwegian newspaper, VG, reported that the government was using the services of middlemen to procure 3.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccines.

But this was at a higher cost of $19 other than the original factory price of $10 and prompted calls for the abrogation of the procurement contract.

Mr. Agyemang-Manu had earlier claimed that the state had not made any payments for the vaccine.

The Health Committee in Parliament had also said the government was not being ripped off in the deal with its chairman, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie saying that the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the procurement of the Sputnik-V vaccines require the use of middlemen whose activities will lead to an increase in the original price.

Dr. Afriyie also said no consignment has been received, but a parliamentary committee set up to probe the deal indicated that the $2,850,000 representing 50 percent of the $5,700,000 owed to Sheikh Maktoum for the supply of 300,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccine was actually paid to him, although only 20,000 doses were delivered.

The contract, according to Mr. Agyemang-Manu, was abrogated by Sheikh Ahmed after failure to meet his obligation.

SourceABC News

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