The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has refuted claims that government breached procurement procedures in the award of the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road project to a Burkinabe contractor.
The Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, has been accused of bribing President John Mahama with an expensive vehicle, a Ford Expedition, in an attempt to win the bid to execute the road construction project.
[contextly_sidebar id=”W7b5eOIcWtMh29LZcu87O5J33hLYO9GR”]A report by Accra-based Joy FM, highlighted the relationship between the President and the contractor who had previously been given a US$650,000 contract to rebuild a fence wall for a land belonging to the Ghanaian Embassy in Burkina Faso.
Kanazoe was subsequently awarded the over 25 million pounds road contract four years ago, which was commissioned by President Mahama, about two months ago.
Responding to accusations that government may have been compromised in the process, Mr. Fuseini said Djibril Kanazoe won the contract on merit.
Bidding was compliant with EU regulations
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Minister explained that bidding process for that road contract was compliant with the European Union (EU) regulations requiring a competitive bidding process.
“The Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road was an EU funded program and consistent with EU regulations and standards, an award of such a contract will be through international competitive bidding so the contractors that showed interest in that project included international contractors.”
Mr. Fuseini noted that a number of contractors put in their bids and a committee was constituted comprising of representatives from the EU, consultants on the projects, officials of the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the Ministry of Finance to evaluate the bids.
“When the bids were opened and evaluated, Djibril Umaru Kanazoe was the lowest technically compliant tenderer by EU standards,” according to Mr. Fuseini, hence the awarding to the contract to the Burkinabe contractor.
Minority to consider impeachment?
The Government has already rejected allegations of any wrongdoing by President Mahama, but the Minority in Parliament has hinted of an impeachment process against the President for wrongful conduct..
According to the Minority Spokesperson on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Joe Osei-Owusu, the gift of a Ford Expedition was a bribe to influence the President to give out juicy deals to the said contractor, citing a conflict of interest.
Why President Mahama may have erred in allegedly accepting gift
Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana states that, “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”
This constitutional provision informed a new bill, Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013, presented by cabinet to Parliament.
According to Section 21 (b) a public officer may not “ accept a gift, favour or an advantage that has the potential to influence the proper discharge of the public officer’s functions or judgment, from a person with whom the public officer comes into contact in relation to the public officer’s functions”.
By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana