Judgment debt looms as purchase of new presidential fleet hangs

There are fears Ghana may soon be slapped with a judgment debt if it fails to go ahead and honor a contract for the purchase of a fleet of cars for the Presidency.

Documents sighted by Citi News, reveal that the contract, which will cost the Ghanaian tax payer nine million one hundred and eighty five thousand dollars, was awarded by the erstwhile government on the 3rd of January, 2017 to Amalgamated Security Services LTD for the purchase of 43 vehicles for the Presidency.

However, the contract is in limbo following a recent moratorium placed on the purchase of new vehicles by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo – Addo.

The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo – Addo through a letter written by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, in March this year said the ban on the purchase of cars holds until further notice.

It is unclear how much the State will have to pay, under a judgment debt, if the contract is abrogated following the ban on the purchase of vehicles.

Checks by Citi News reveal that the said vehicles have already been purchased and are currently in Dubai.

Presidential fleet contract

The contract letter signed by the Deputy National Security Coordinator Alhaji Salifu Osman at the time, on 3rd January, 2017, for the National Security Coordinator and addressed to the CEO of Amalgamated Security Services LTD, Mr. O.K Tweneboah-Kodua stated that approval had been granted to the security company to supply the vehicles.

The vehicles per the contract letter were to be delivered within sixty days after which payment will be made.

Citi News has gathered the security firm following the approval of the contract commenced moves to supply the vehicles.

The documents sighted by Citi News reveal that 43 vehicles were to be purchased under the deal.

Of the 43, twenty seven of the cars were to be allocated to the office of the President and Vice President while the remaining were to go to the office of the First and Second ladies.

Of the 43, five full option B6 armoured plated 4 seater executive Mercedes Benz(S600) with radio and video communication  were to go to the President and Vice President while another eight cross country armoured vehicles, eight cross country vehicles for the escorts of the first and second gentlemen of the country, two cross country rapid intervention vehicle, two cross country ambulance and a pickup truck with radio and communication as lead car were to also go to the President and Vice President.

Review of contacts of previous Government

Apart from the ban, government also earlier asserted that contracts under the NDC government will be reviewed.

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo recently speaking at an Institute of Economic Affairs ( IEA) review of the 2017 Presidential Transition, stated that the Attorney General’s Office was in the process of reviewing all last-minute contracts of the previous administration in a process he described as “a complete waste of effort and man hours.” “We shouldn’t haven’t have done them in the first instance,” Mr. Osafo-Maafo stressed.

“One of the problems we are facing as a new government are the many contracts which were signed within the last 14 days and not only within the centre but in institutions like COCOBOD and if you don’t take care, you will run the country into all kinds of judgement debts because these agreements have also been signed and maybe are legally binding.”

“You can’t just come and say abrogate them. Some of the conditions are such that you cannot implement them because they are not in the interest of the state so what do we do? We are taking these contracts one by one and under the able leadership of our Attorney General, we are looking at them,” he said.

By:  Vivian Kai Lokko/