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Former Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, has said he is glad President Nana Akufo-Addo fired Mr Boakye Agyarko as Energy Minister, following the scandal that enveloped the renegotiation of the existing $510 million Ameri energy deal.
The Energy Ministry had argued that the new deal would save the country over $400 million, but it emerged that Ghana would have been $470 million worse off had the deal gone through.
The president had to fire Mr Agyarko subsequently.
Speaking on ’21 Minutes’ with KKB, Prof Gyimah-Boadi said: “First of all, I’m very happy to see the head of a senior government figure roll for something”.
He, however, clarified that: “Not his [Boakye Agyarko’s] particular person, but I am happy that, at least, one head has rolled because one of the problems with corruption and these scandals in Ghana is that, very often, there seem to be no consequences; issues of this nature arise, there is a great deal of public agitation, it’s discussed, maybe flogged to death, and then it fizzles out, it is this sort of development that will make other public officials sit up and know that there may be consequences for their actions and inactions, there may be consequences for misdeeds, there may be consequences for mismanagement, there may be consequences for corruption; so, at that level, I see this as a very positive side of things”.
He added: “I don’t know the details of the matter but this is definitely the head that was wearing the crown and it must take the fall for things that go wrong in that realm”.
On the same programme, Prof Gyimah-Boadi also said the removal from office of Mrs Charlotte Osei as Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) by President Nana Akufo-Addo, was “completely on point”.
Adducing evidence to back his assertion, Prof Gyimah-Boadi explained that: “There were some highly disturbing developments after the vote [2016 general elections], that’s after the election and before the declaration of the results.
“One was, for me, for those of us who were looking at the numbers and so on, the press conference at which the commission said the voter turnout was at a historic low of about 49 per cent; that was totally scandalous; where did they get that figure from?”, he wondered.
He told KKB that: “The kinds of things for which the former chairman of the commission was indicted, those indictments are very heavy and on that basis, I think that the dismissal was completely on point”.
Prof Gyimah-Boadi added: “That you engage in procurement violations of that magnitude; that you do sole-sourcing of that magnitude; that you make unilateral decisions in matters like these when you are talking about a commission. Anybody who says those were not grievous enough and there are not enough grounds for removing the public official at that level of responsibility should come again”.
Mrs Osei and her two deputies, Amadu Sulley (in charge of Operations) and Georgina Amankwa (in charge of Corporate Services) were dismissed late June 2018 after a committee set up by Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, pursuant to Article 146(4) of the Constitution, to investigate separate complaints brought against them by Ghanaian citizens, recommended their removal from office on the basis of stated misbehaviour and incompetence, pursuant to Article 146 (1) of the Constitution.
A statement by then-Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, said the President directed the three officials to hand over their respective schedules to the Director of Human Resources at the Commission, while thanking them for their service to the country.
In December 2017, Mrs Osei and her two deputies, met with the Chief Justice over a petition filed against the EC.
A five-member committee was subsequently set up by the Chief Justice to investigate the alleged corruption.
Some staff of the EC petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo in July 2017, to remove Mrs. Osei from office over allegations of fraud and financial malfeasance as well as abuse of office.
Some of the allegations involved the unilateral award of contracts by the EC boss in the run-up to the 2016 general elections.
The petition against her alleged, among others, that she used GHS3.9 million to partition an office; received a Toyota Land Cruiser from former President John Mahama’s government; and used about $14 million when the Public Procurement Authority had authorised her to use only $7.5 million.
Mrs. Osei also responded by counter-alleging corruption against her deputies.
She claimed she was only being hounded because she sought to introduce systems to curb mismanagement.
The sacked EC Chair accused one of her deputies of illegally signing contracts worth over GHS 40 million without her approval.
Another individual, by name Douglas Seidu, also petitioned the president in August 2017 and sought the removal of Mrs Osei on grounds of “financial misconduct, incompetence, conflict of interest and breaches of the public procurement processes”.
President Akufo-Addo, in accordance with the constitution, forwarded both petitions to the Chief Justice to look into the matter, which, eventually resulted in Mrs Osei’s dismissal.
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