Trade Minister Dr Ekow Spio-Gabrah has dared critics of the controversial bankswitch judgment debt scandal to show which law in the country has been broken in asking Destination Inspection Companies to pay for the debts in return for contracts.
If anything, the minister said his action was in the best interest of the country and to protect the public purse.
“Which law has been broken here? Cite the law which i have offended. Have I stolen something or paid an illegal money… I am working in broad day light with as much transparency and as open as possible,” Spio Gabrah said on Radio Gold Monday.
The minister has come under fire for writing to five Destination Inspection Companies to pay an amount of $35 million each to help defray a judgement debt of some 197 million cedis owed to Bankswitch.
The company signed a contract in 2007 under the erstwhile New Patriotic Party government to innovate a technology that would seal the loopholes at the country’s ports which have led to the country losing several millions of dollars.
However when the NDC government came into power, the contract with Bankswitch was abrogated. The company took the matter to the international arbitration and was awarded a judgement debt of some 197 million cedis.
Spio-Garbrah wrote to the five DICs asking them to pay $35 million each in return for a contracts from which they would recoup their ‘investment’.
Critics mostly within the opposition New Patriotic Party have described the Minister’s approach to paying the debt as bribery.
MP for Abuakwa South Atta Akyea argued that these DICs, by law, has to go through thorough procurement processes before they can be given any contract to perform but with the minister asking them to pay money for contracts it means the procure process will be side stepped.
But the Minister has defended his action and reiterated the point that the debt was caused by some “evil politicians.”
According to Spio-Gabrah Bankswitch has already been paid 200million cedis but certain people are still plotting to run the country by demanding an extra 1billion cedis, an amount that could easily be used to fund the building of schools, roads etc.
That is “totally unconscionable,” he said adding his outfit had to devise a means of stopping this 1 billion cedis from being paid, hence the decision to ask the DICs to intervene.
Meanwhile, a whistleblower Kudzo Akpabey who had first hand information on the transaction with Bankswitch said those who abrogated the contract must be prosecuted.
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