President Akufo-Addo and his Finance Minister Cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta, have been caught in an obvious ‘sweetheart-deal’ with a foreign company that rendered services for Akufo-Addo in relation to his 2016 election campaign.
Over One million dollars of state funds is said to have so far been paid to the company, which is known as KRL, a US Public Relations and Lobby firm.
In the run-up to the 2016 elections, KRL worked with the Akufo-Addo campaign through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as “I Am For Nana Foundation”, which was incorporated, and was run, by Akufo-Addo’s cousin, Ken Ofori-Atta.
When Akufo-Addo was sworn into office as President on 7th January, 2017, one of his very first acts as President was to appoint this cousin, the self-same Ken Ofori-Atta, to the position of Finance Minister. The stage is now fully set for KRL to benefit from the services rendered to the Akufo-Addo campaign.
The Akufo-Addo government signed a contract with KRL to, supposedly, render services to the government in relation to the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ policy. This contract paves the way for Akufo-Addo and his cousin to expend state funds to pay KRL.
Speculations are rife that the supposed contract between the Akufo-Addo government and KRL is just a ruse to provide a cover behind which Akufo-Addo and Ken Ofori-Atta could legally expend public funds to pay KRL for services rendered by the US PR firm to the Akufo-Addo campaign in 2016.
There are, however, numerous indicators that show that the so-called contract between the Akufo-Addo government and KRL was nothing but a sweetheart deal designed to provide a cover under which state funds could be expended to pay KRL.
One such indicator is the fact that KRL was handpicked, sole-sourced, to execute the supposed contract. Indeed, there was no advertisement.
Another indicator is the fact that the contract was not subjected to Parliamentary scrutiny in accordance with Article 181 (5).
Indeed, the contract, being an international transaction of the nature that, in accordance with a ruling by Ghana’s Supreme Court, requires Parliamentary approval, ought to have been subjected to Parliamentary scrutiny.
According to Ghana Legal Information Institute website, https://ghalii.org/gh/judgment/supreme-court/2012/35#:~:text=The%20Attorney%2DGeneral%2C%20the%20principal,the%20PPA%20is%20an%20international, in the famous case of Attorney General Vrs Balkan Energy Ghana Ltd And Others, the Supreme Court held that “a business transaction is “international” within the context of article 181(5) where the nature of the business which is the subject-matter of the transaction is international, in the sense of having a significant foreign element, or the parties to the transaction (other than the Government) have a foreign nationality or reside in different countries or, in the case of companies, the place of their central management and control is outside Ghana” .
That the contract was not subjected to Parliamentary scrutiny before the contract was executed, and has also not been subsequently sent to Parliament by way of getting parliament to ratify it, reveals a lot about the real intentions behind the supposed contract and may, perhaps, provide some justification for the speculations.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mr Mensah Thompson, has petitioned CHRAJ to probe the President and his cousin over the matter.