After a less tumultuous first year in office for the Nana Akufo Addo-led NPP government, political pundits anticipated that 2018 will be the real test for the newly formed government.
And as predicted, this year came with some scandals that shook the corridors of power at the Jubilee House.
Though the government was able to scale through most them, it has left stains on their mantra as a corrupt-free administration.
Some political connoisseurs are predicting that some of these scandals will come back and dominate the 2020 electioneering campaign.
Below are five of the said scandals that made headlines this year:
Cash for seat scandal
At the beginning of the year, the Akufo-Addo government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry was accused of colluding with the Millennium Excellence Foundation to charge between $25,000 and $100,000, to enable expatriates to sit close to the President at an awards ceremony.
This allegation was first levelled against the government by the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka on the floor of Parliament in December 2017. The leadership of Parliament set up a bi-partisan fact-finding committee to investigate it.
However, the Ministry of Trade said it played no role in determining prices for seats at the event and clarified that it only facilitated the implementation of a new initiative by the Millennium Excellence Foundation. The organizers of the Awards had also explained that no one paid to sit close to the President and that the amount was raised from sponsorship through a fundraising at the event.
Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan John Kyerematen
The ad-hoc committee finally presented their report to Parliament in February and it exonerated the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the President for any wrongdoing.
Commonwealth Visa Scandal
During the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, officials of the host country arrested over 50 Ghanaians who had travelled to the games as journalists.
Investigations revealed that they were not media men and were part of a visa racketeering syndicate that got them there to pose as media men.
Pius Hadzide was then former Deputy Sports Minister during the time of the scandal
This led to investigations by the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. And it subsequently led to the suspensions of the then Deputy Sports Minister Pius Hadzide, National Sports Authority Board Chairman Kwadwo Baah Agyemang and National Sports Authority Director General Robert Sarfo Mensah.
The investigations however cleared Kwadwo Baah-Agyemang and Pius Enam Hadzide of any adverse findings.
Kelni GVG scandal
In June, policy think tank Imani Ghana revealed that the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Communications has entered into an agreement with Haitian company, Kelni GVG, to monitor the revenue of telcos in Ghana.
The deal, in their estimation, was a duplicate of previous ones signed under the erstwhile NDC administration and it was a waste of the nation’s resources.
Communications Minister, Urusla Owusu-Ekuful
They also claimed that without any work done, Kelni GVG has already been paid millions of dollars. This led to the summoning of the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu by Parliament to answer questions on the deal.
Some private Ghanaian citizens also petitioned the courts to intervene on the matter. However, the contract was approved and it is currently in operation.
In the run-up to the 2016 general elections, one of the main topics that dominated the narratives to the electorates was that of the Ameri deal. The Ameri deal was signed by the previous NDC administration at the height of the power outages that rocked Ghana from 2014.
The then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) declared the deal as fraudulent and vowed to cancel if they win power in 2016. The NPP didn’t abrogate the contract when they won power, however, but rather decided to renegotiate it.
Former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko
The renegotiation by then Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko led to a scandal that revealed that the cost Ghana is expected to pay Ameri is much higher than the initial amount we paid for the deal.
This led to the firing of Boakye Agyarko by President Akufo-Addo and his subsequent replacement with John Peter Amewu from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Ghana Maritime Authority Scandal
Comedian and satirist, Kwame Asare Obeng, popularly known as A Plus, shared some documents on his Facebook page on an alleged misappropriation of funds and conflict of interest against the CEO of Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu.
In the documents, the boss allegedly squandered GH¢135,000 on a staff end-of-year party in 2017. He also revealed that the CEO and other seven members of management of the Authority spent GH¢10,652 in one night on food.
Ghana Maritime Authority Director General, Kwame Owusu
However, the Ghana Martime Authority debunked reports that it spent over GHS10,000 on food for eight (8) members of its staff in 2017.
The Authority said a leaked memo circulating on social media on the number of people the amount was spent on has been doctored.