Pressure group, Occupy Ghana, has filed a suit at the High Court demanding that government furnishes it with all documents covering the transaction with Smartty’s Management and Production Limited, over the re-branding of some 116 Metro Mass Buses.
According to the group, it intends to use the information to evaluate whether Ghanaians were shortchanged in the process.
[contextly_sidebar id=”6TGMYwHnmKYlEbI59aNdJmUOoadiPdg9″]The AG has ordered Smartty’s Management and Production Limited to refund some 1.7 million Ghana cedis after the company was overpaid for its services.
An earlier request from the group to the AG for information, was rejected on the bases that some aspects of the matter was is in court.
But Occupy Ghana says it is dissatisfied with the reason hence their decision to seek legal redress.
Government’s decision to spend GHc3.6 million of Ghana’s oil revenue on branding some 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses has been widely criticized and described as reckless. The scandal compelled the Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor to resign after a massive public outcry.
The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, subsequently ordered the Attorney General to investigate the matter after which Smarttys was ordered to refund the excess payments made.
Meanwhile a leaked Attorney General’s investigation report suggests that the contract with Smarttys was commenced and concluded long before the procurement process started, a conduct that violated the nation’s procurement laws.
“The re-branding by Smarttys was commenced and concluded even before the procurement process began. This fact has been confirmed by both Smarttys and the Ministry of Transport. They attribute this lapse to the urgency attached to re-branding and spraying of the buses,” the report noted.
“An analysis of the documents clearly shows that several public officers were involved in the procurement and payment process. We therefore recommend that all officers who handled any aspect of these processes flouted the laid down legislation should be investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office [EOCO].”
Prosecute culprits now
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) had called for the immediate prosecution of all persons indicted in the scandal.
NPP’s Director of Communication, Nana Akomea insisted that attempts by government to shield persons indicted in the Attorney General’s report is a clear indication that the Mahama administration is not serious to fight corruption.
By:Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana