Sheikh Al Maktoum refunding monies for Sputnik vaccines doesn’t exonerate Health Minister – Martin Kpebu

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Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu says Health Minister, Agyeman-Manu cannot be absolved from blame despite Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum’s decision to refund $2,470,000 paid by government to supply 300,000 doses of Sputnik Covid-19 vaccines.

According to Mr. Kpebu, the turnout of events rather worsens the case of the minister.

Speaking on JoyNews on Tuesday, he noted that the matter would have been laid to rest if Mr Agyeman-Manu had given in to calls for his immediate resignation after reports from the ad-hoc committee revealed constitutional provisions on prior Parliamentary approval and the Public Procurement Act were breached.

“The Health Minister is not exonerated. Not at all. It is making him look even worse. Perhaps, if he had gone from day one, this money would have been paid. As the case keeps getting traction, then new angles emerge and the more Mr Agyeman-Manu is sinking. Over a month ago, we said go. He wouldn’t go. He thought he could ride this storm but the storm appears to be riding him,” he told Aisha Ibrahim.

Sheikh Al Maktoum in his letter to the Health Ministry dated August, 5, agreed to refund $2,470,000 out of the total $5,700,000 paid to him.

“The context is that the Supreme Court was looking at the point that even if the contract is void, and the person has worked, at least pay him for what he has done. That’s the common law principle but the court is apprehensive that if we are not careful people will continue working, especially when they know they don’t have their approvals, knowing very well that once you work, you will be paid.

“So the court is keen to stop it so it says for us, once you breach Article 181 clause 5, if you are an international person coming, nothing should be paid.

“Now, he (Health Minister) has ended up giving Al Maktoum a relative big bill. Now Al Maktoum will have to cough up all the money”, he said.

“The Health Minister has to write a new letter, if someone is near Mr. Agyeman-Manu, he or she should tap him that he should get his lawyers. Tomorrow, he has to write a new letter to Sheikh Al Maktoum to bring back all the money.”

Meanwhile, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has taken a two-week leave according to sources at the Presidency.

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