General News of Tuesday, 23 June 2015
Former Minister Dr. Akoto Osei is claiming that the actions of some government officials in cancelling a contract awarded to an I.T solutions provider, Bankswitch, eventually caused the death of President John Mills.
The Bankswitch contract, Dr. Akoto Osei claimed, was cancelled without the authorization of the late President Evans Atta Mills.
The cancellation eventually led to a judgment debt in excess of 197million cedis that has become the subject of a brewing national scandal.
In trying to settle the debt, the Trade Minister has requested five Destination Inspection Companies at Ghana’s ports to contribute $35 million each to pay for the judgment debt.
In exchange the companies will be “considered” for contracts. The Trade Minister has gone ahead to accuse that some “evil” politicians are behind efforts to cause the taxpayer to pay the huge debt.
This has incurred the displeasure of the NPP. Former Minister of Finance who signed the Bankswtich contract shot back accusing the minister of doing “cheap politics”.
“He [Dr. Spio Garbrah] should be careful what he speaks about. If he wants to play politics with something that has caused somebody’s death”.
According to the former Minister, President Mills died because he kept worrying about the handling of the Bankswitch cancellation.
“Go and ask them what the good professor was worried about the day before he died. Go and ask Martey Newman the Chief of Staff, the people who knew about this issue”.
He claimed President Mills “never authorized the letter purported that he had given the [bankswitch] contract to somebody else. On the contrary, the late President ordered that Bankswitch be given three months trial to justify their capacity by the terms of the contract to help government block revenue leakages at the ports.
“In fact he [President Mills] physically visited their office [Bankswitch] at East Airport. Go and check the records,” Dr. Akoto Osei insisted.
“If they want the ‘body’ of president Mills to come back they should go ahead and do cheap politics”, he stated.
Earlier on the Joy FM Super Morning Show Monday, a whistleblower and Revenue Mobilisation consultant Kudzo Akpabey revealed that some powerful collaborators within the Trade and Finance Ministries cancelled the revenue collection contract awarded to Bankswitch without the knowledge of the late President Mills.
Government is also on record to have admitted that its decision to cancel the contract it signed with Bankswitch Ghana in 2007 was inappropriate and a failure on its part.
The then Information Minister Mahama Ayariga said in 2014:
“If there is any real fault, perhaps it comes from deciding to not accept particular arrangement and not taking the right processes to terminate what clearly would have been an agreement with the government of Ghana even if it was a pilot programme”.
“At the time, we insisted and continued with the contract, we ought to have gone through the processes. For terminating this particular agreement in that aspect, I think of course some failure on our part took place,” he explained.