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Okudzeto Ablakwa's defective checks on Frontier Health Group exposed

Sat, 27 Feb 2021 Source: Dawda Eric

1. When the good people of Ghana saw some downward decline in reported cases of coronavirus, there was the need for government to relax some of the covid restrictions which included full open of our airports to allow our beloved citizens who got stranded in other peoples country due to a complete shut down of our Airport to be able to return home.

2. In fact a lot of business men whose mode of transacting business were their foreign counterparts also had the chance to do their business. It must be emphasized that, every single exit at our airport was done under strict adherence to the Covid 19 protocols. Mandatory testing for all entry and exit became an option for government.

3. The airport company together with a private organization by name" FRONTIERS HEALTH GROUP" instituted a testing regime at Kotoka International Airport for travelers. That exercise was part of the measures to minimize the importation of the deadly corona virus pandemic. It came with a cost to all travelers. When there was public agitation concerning the fees, government intervened. The said intervention led to a drastic reduction of the charges.

4. When the Airport Company decided to assign a facility to the Frontier Group, the Airport Company in view of the Public Procurement Act, 2003(Act 663) as amended wrote to the Public Procurement Authority for directions. They were accordingly advised to proceed with same since what the Airport Company sought from the PPA was completely not within the ambit and purview of the PPA.

5. Readers would recall that, few weeks later, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Hon.Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah raised the matter on the floor of the house and alleged that, per his checks, Frontiers Health Limited was not a registered organization. He alleged inter alia that, the charges ought to have come to Parliament for approval under the fees and charges legislation.

6.He also called into question the historical competence of the organization since according to him, all his checks revealed that, Frontiers had never conducted any of such testing exercise when it is obvious that, the deadly disease is first of its kind globally.

7. Those of us who have monitored the vetting for sometime would attest that, ever since the vetting exercise started, the Hon. Member, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has decided to use the Frontier Health Care Group exercise at the Airport as a subtle ways to bite appointees who do appear before the Appointment Committee for reasons best known to him and his God.

8. Yesterday, the 25th Feb.2021, when he attempted to use the matter to disturb a nominee, the Vice Chairman of the Appointment Committee, Hon. Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin intervened with an incontrovertible clarity which ended the long lasting marital affairs between Hon. Ablakwa and his defective checks.

9. That clarity further exposed Mr. Ablakwa's purported checks on Frontiers Group . As it stands now, the Company remains a registered Company with full operating license.

10. What appears to be his law straw is his allegation that, the charges out to have come to Parliament for approval. Now, looking at the unforeseen crisis we were in at the time, Subjecting same to Parliament couldn't have been made possible because of its necessity and emergency.

11. In 2015, when the government of Ghana engaged a Turkish Company for Karpower during the Dumsor ravaging era, there was the need for the financial transaction to go to Parliament under Article 181(5) Of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

12. When the NDC government failed to do that, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah took the matter to the Supreme Court of Ghana for government refusal to put the transaction before Parliament. Hon. Afenyo Markin who was then his lawyer argued the matter so well that, the bench became convinced.

13. Unfortunately on their part, the court held that, dumsor was actually a serious crisis that, any government confronted with same would have done what the government did at the time. The court also held that, in view of the crisis at the time, more damage would have been caused if government had not rushed to procure the Karpower.

14. The chilling effect of the ruling of the court indicates that, in abnormal times, any decision taken by government to remedy same even if it is done in violation of any law should be construed as having been done in the best interest of the Republic.

15. To conclude, what government did at the time cannot be faulted having regard to the decision of the Supreme Court in Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah v Attorney General.

Columnist: Dawda Eric
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