Ambulance Scandal: Why Terkper, Sherry Ayitey must provide answers for €16m contract - Report

Fresh documents in possession of the ABC News suggest that the key to unlocking the artificial myth surrounding the purchase and import...


Fresh documents in possession of the ABC News suggest that the key to unlocking the artificial myth surrounding the purchase and importation of 30 out of 200 ambulances under the erstwhile administration may be found between former Finance Minister, Seth Tekper and former Health Minister, Sherry Ayittey.

While Ms. Sherry Ayittey must answer why she blatantly defied the wise counsel proffered by the office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Justice, Mr. Terkper must also answer why he failed to issue the letters of credit on the time.

Ms. Ayittey must also explain why she refused to send a team to inspect the ambulances in Dubai before shipment to Ghana as contained in the agreement.

“We wish to further place on record our view that in the peculiar circumstances of this case, we will be seriously challenged in putting up a defense in Court in the event of an action being filed by Lawyers for Big Sea General Trading LLC.

Consequently, in case your Ministry is desirous of settling this matter without recourse to court action, we advise strongly that you invoke the Dispute Resolution Clause that provides for an amicable settlement through negotiations failing which you may refer the matter to arbitration”, the former Deputy Minister Attorney General, Dr. Dominic Ayine had advised the Health Minister in a letter dated 6th May, 2014 and copied the Office of the President.

The Attorney-General gave the advice after Big Sea had threatened to sue the government due to the insistence of Ms Sherry Ayittey to re-negotiate the contract.

As it turned out to be Ms. Ayittey turned deaf ears to the legal advice. The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, a couple of weeks ago disclosed that his Ministry had discovered that state funds were used to illegally pay for the 30 ambulances that were rejected by the National Ambulance Service (NAS).

Mr. Agyeman Manu said he was, therefore, referring the matter to the national security and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for further investigations in order to retrieve the said amount as well as establish who made the payments and to whom it was made.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the search indicated that the ambulances were paid for through the Bank of Ghana instead of the Ministry of Finance but all search to uncover who made the payment and to whom it was made had proved futile, therefore, his decision to involve the national security.

The 30 ambulances, which formed part of 200 ambulances that were to be procured by the Ministry of Health to boost the healthcare delivery under a contract, cost 2.4 million Euros and was rejected because they did not meet specifications.

Each of the ambulances cost 79,000 euros.

The 30 were the first of 200 ambulances procured by the government of Ghana through Big Sea Trading LLC in a contract signed on 19 December 2012. Per the details of the contract, “there shall be no advance payment for the contract.

“The Purchaser shall pay the sale price of the goods which is the total of €15,800,000 to the supplier by raising irrevocable and transferable Letter of Credit from its bankers for the benefit of the supplier. The unit ambulance price is €79,000.”

The contract also said “Letters of Credit shall be established upon signing of the contract for every 50 ambulances.”

According to the health Minister, even though it has been established that 30 ambulances supplied by Big Sea Ltd were not fit for purpose, an amount of €2.4 million had been disbursed from the consolidated fund to pay for the ambulances.

Meanwhile, our intel at EOCO tells us that the matter is yet to officially go before the investigative body contrary to several media reports that it was investigating the issue.

SRC - ABC News

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GhanaPoliticians.com: Ambulance Scandal: Why Terkper, Sherry Ayitey must provide answers for €16m contract - Report
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