CAR GIFT | Ghanaian Govt Absolves President Mahama of Any Wrongdoing
The Government of Ghana has refuted claims of conflict of interest by a Joy FM investigation which found that President John Mahama was gifted a car by Djibril Kanazoe, a Burkinabé contractor who is alleged to have won a contract unduly.
According to the report by Joy FM’s Manasseh Azure Awuni, Djibril Kanazoe who won a contract to construct a wall over a piece of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso, was the giver of a brand new 2010 Ford Expedition as a gift to President John Mahama.
The cost of the contract has been criticised as “outrageous” by the Public Accounts Committee of the Ghanaian Parliament.
But reacting to the broadcast on Wednesday June 15, 2016, Communications Minister Edward Omane Boamah in a statement, admitted receipt of the car by the President but said it had nothing to do with the contracts.
“The said vehicle, which was placed in the vehicle pool at the Presidency as per established convention had nothing to do with the award of the contracts. The inference of conflict of interest is therefore absolutely false and untenable,” the statement said.
According to the minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration which did not yield information to the journalist, gave the following companies’ quotations for the wall, forwarded from Ghana’s embassy in Burkina Faso:
|KANAZOE FRERES||353,136,603 CFA|
|COSITRAP||413, 177, 892 CFA|
|IBOUS||462, 608, 949 CFA|
Kanazoe Freres which presented the lowest cost according to the Communications Minister, was then awarded the contract after due diligence. “There was no involvement whatsoever of the President in the processes leading up to the award of this contract. Any suggestion therefore to the contrary is palpably false and untenable,” the statement said.
The minister said construction works on the 673-metre wall involved:
- Removal of topsoil, clearing of existing rice farm and compensation forowners in accordance with Burkinabe Laws.
- Reinforced concrete wall with an overall thickness of 300mm and an average height of 220mm above ground and 80mm below ground.
- The mid-section of the wall involved a reinforced 12mm diameter high tensile steel at 450mm centers both ways
- Construction of security posts with visitors waiting area among others.
Meanwhile, Ghanaian anti-corruption campaigner and former NPP Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odebeng-Brakwa, PC Appiah Ofori says Ghanaians should not be in a haste to tag President John Dramani Mahama as corrupt until further inquiries and details into his car gift are made known.
He posed series of questions which he noted must be answered before any false accusation is tagged to the first gentleman – “Was the gift given to him in his capacity as a president or just on friends ground? What is the motive behind the gift from the contractor?”
Anti-graft body Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) had described President Mahama’s acceptance of the gift as smacking of conflict of interest, a position dismissed by presidential staffer Dr Clement Apaak who said it is normal for presidents and world leaders like President John Mahama to accept gifts.
According to Apaak, John Kufuor, while in office as president, also received several gifts, including a fleet of Mercedes Benz from late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
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