A leaked Bank of Ghana document dated April 6, 2021 triggered further calls for the health minister to prosecute for perjury.
The letter, titled “REQUEST FOR LETTERS OF CREDIT FOR THE SUPPLY OF 300,000 DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINE” and signed by Eric Kweku Hammond on behalf of the head of the banking department, notified both the Minister of Health , Kwaku Agyeman-Manu and the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on the issuance of letters of credit for the Emirati intermediary, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmool Al Maktoum.
According to the notice, payment was made through Ghana International Bank, Plc (ref. ILCGOV2100404) on April 1 of this year.
Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who is under pressure to resign, told the bipartisan parliamentary committee that investigated the botched Sputnik V vaccine deal that he was not aware of any payment to the middleman helping the Ghana to get vaccines from Russia.
This assertion has already been established as false in the report prepared by the committee.
Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, however, fueled more controversy in the ensuing saga.
He said categorically that the Minister of Health had not lied to the ad hoc committee.
“I called the president [Afenyo-Markin] and vice-president [Akandoh], and they both disagreed about what really happened at the committee level. I called the clerk of the committee, and she informed me in the presence of the chair and vice-chair that indeed the minister had not made a categorical statement, and that the minister had said “that at best to his knowledge, no payment had been made. “
Meanwhile, the executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Governance, Martin Kpebu, has vowed to take the minister to court for lying under oath to parliament.
Mr Kpebu, who spoke to Accra-based Citi FM, said: “When we go into the trial, Ghanaians will see that such a huge amount of money ($ 2.8 million) cannot not be paid from the blind side of the minister because there has to be some approval. from him the (minister).
No one can pay such a colossal amount of money without knowing it. This man is just trying to take us for granted, and I think he underestimates Ghanaians.
The decision to repeal the Sputnik V vaccine deal was sparked by an alert from a Norwegian newspaper that cited Ghana for ignoring WHO guidelines and was in the process of procuring 3.4 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine from Russia at a higher cost of $ 19 instead of the recommended price of $ 10 per dose.
The government has since requested reimbursement of an amount of USD 2,850,000.00 representing 50% paid to it and this results in a cedi equivalent of GH ¢ 16,331,640.00 converted at the exchange rate of 1 USD in GH ¢ 5.73. “