Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa, Sulemana Braimah, has described as ‘folkloric’, government’s response to the allegations of conflict of interest against President John Mahama in the award of two contracts.
He argued the response from the government “worsens matters” and wondered whether the said statement issued Wednesday really came from the government.
“This response is a ‘Kwaku Ananse story’ [folkloric]. I doubt it came from the government. We are waiting for the real response,” he said in a Facebook post few hours after the government made some admissions in the allegations.
An investigative news report on Accra-based Joy FM on Wednesday suggested a Ford Expedition vehicle given to President Mahama by a Burkinabe contractor in 2012 might have influenced the award two major contracts to the contractor.
The Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, built a wall around a parcel of land for Ghana’s Embassy in that country at the cost of 650,000 dollars.
Although a statement signed by Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah, admitted that President Mahama indeed received the said vehicle, that did not in any way influenced the award of the contracts.
Dr Omane Boamah stated that the president was not, at any stage in the two contracts, involved in their award, noting the placed in the vehicle pool at the Presidency as per established convention. “The President remains committed to transparency and accountability in governance and has worked over the past years to make that a cornerstone of his administration,” the statement said.
But Mr Braimah says there are more questions than the clarification provided in the government’s statement, and cast doubt over claims that the said gift had no influence in the award of the contracts.
“They admit His Excellency the President of the Republic accepted a gift worth $100,000 from a Contractor? The Contractor then gets juicy government contracts? But we should understand that the gift had no influence on the award of the contracts to giver? We should understand that the President played no role in the award of the contracts? Did they listen to the position of the President’s advisor on corruption on issue of gifts? Have they read the code of conduct for Public officers?," he quizzed.