General News of Thursday, 23 February 2017
Former president, John Mahama has confirmed that the controversial Ford vehicle gifted to him by a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe, while in office has been handed over the new government.
He said the vehicle was among the many others left in the presidential pool and bequeathed to the Akufo-Addo-led government.
Speaking on South Africa-based Power FM on Thursday [February 23, 2017], John Mahama said he had never been under the impression that the gift was for his private use.
He insisted that while in office, the vehicle was used as a state vehicle and not as his personal vehicle. “It went to the Commission of Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ) and a determination was given.
That vehicle is still in the pool of government and even as I handed over to my predecessor [Nana Akufo-Addo], that vehicle is in the service of the Government of Ghana. I was never under any illusion that the vehicle was given to me as a gift personally, and so I never ever considered it as a personal gift.
The vehicle continued to serve the government under my administration and has been left to the new government,” Mahama said. His statement comes to support claims by a former Deputy Minister for Communications, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, that the $100,000 Ford vehicle had been added to the state’s vehicle pool bequeathed to the new government.
Speaking on Eyewitness News earlier, he said, “that vehicle is still in the possession of the Presidency. About 370 vehicles were handed over physically to the Ayikoi Otoo-led committee and that vehicle is part of it [vehicle pool].”
This was in response to the NPP’s claim that it could not find some over 200 vehicles the NDC claimed it had left for the state. ‘Ford gift saga’ President Mahama admitted receiving a Ford vehicle gift worth about $100,000 in 2012 from a Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazoe after investigations by journalist, Manesseh Azure Awuni.
The gift was considered an inducement as Kanazoe was subsequently awarded a contract to construct the Dodo Pepeso-Nkwanta road. This was after he had constructed a fence wall for a land belonging to Ghana’s Embassy in Burkina Faso for nearly half a million dollars. President Mahama was harshly criticized for accepting the vehicle he claims to have put in the state’s pool of vehicles.
Critics alleged that the revelation indicated a case of conflict of interest and called for his impeachment. CHRAJ, after an investigation into the matter said John Mahama violated the gift policy by accepting the vehicle; but cleared him of any allegation of corruption.