Senior citizen, Diplomat and former Ambassador of Ghana to the United States of America Ambassador Daniel Ohene Agyekum has expressed utter shock, the Minister of Health is still at post after his exposure in the botched Sputnik V vaccine.
According to the former Ashanti Regional Minister, President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo is missing a fundamental principle in public administration with his deafening silence over the scandal.
He told Ultimate FM’s Julius Caesar Anadem, “there is a fundamental principle in public administration when an authority who appoints another authority. When he performs creditably, you take the credit and when he performs badly, whether you are aware of it or not, you are ultimately responsible for the action of your appointee.”
Speaking on the ‘Cup Of Tea Segment’ He argued: “Even if the president or the presidency, the cabinet or other members were not part of the decision by this individual minister, once he has committed an offence then the presidency takes the ultimate responsibility.”
In that circumstance, the president should either fire him, if the appointee in this case the minister, does not do the honorable thing which would have been the case in other democracies, to resign. It’s a matter of automatic dismissal. No hesitation whatsoever,” he contended.
The beleaguered minister was exposed by an adhoc committee of parliament when it found out that the minister sidestepped procurement procedures and an approval from cabinet and parliament when he signed off a US$5,700,000.00 contract with a questionable middleman for the procurement of some 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V COVID 19 Vaccines at AN initial unit cost of $19 instead of the ex-factory price of $10 per dose.
The parliamentary probe further uncovered that the minister lied under oath when he denied authorizing payment at a time correspondence at the behest of the committee obtained from the Bank of Ghana stated otherwise.
The committee report stated: “Out of the total amount of US$5,700,000.00 owed to Sheikh Al Maktoum, an amount of US$2,850,000.00 representing 50% has been paid to him and that translates into a Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00 converted at the exchange rate of US$1 to GH¢5.73.”
A letter supposed to be issued at the instance of Mr. Agyemang Manu is demanding that the ‘middleman’ Sheikh Al Maktoum. Who was only able to deliver a meagre 20 thousand dozes, refunds the balance to the state.
His Excellency Ohene Agyekum noted he would only cut the President Akufo Addo some slack if he is certain the president has not heard or read about the developments.
“Unless the president claims he is not aware or read anything about this incident. The minister is still at post and I can’t believe it and we are talking about million dollars that has been thrown away?” he questioned in astonishment.
He however cautioned persons and institutions demanding that the Finance Minister and other institutional heads along the contract and payment trail to be immediately penciled for dismissal not to spread the argument so thin that it loses its focal point.
“Let us address the main issue of the health minister having done something wrong then subsequent investigations could reveal the extent to which all the others were involved. The important thing is that the minister is still at post,” he stressed.
Meanwhile there is considerable pressure mounting on face book for the minister to be sacked.
Notable bodies including the local chapter of Transparency International – the Ghana Integrity Initiative – Occupy Ghana, ASEPA and the Citizens Movement Against Corruption have further joined calls for the dismissal of the minister.