General News of Monday, 27 February 2017
The controversy surrounding the acquisition of state properties, particularly vehicles, by members of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration does not appear to end any time soon.
This is because a new list has emerged, detailing how the NDC government under John Mahama, auctioned about 250 vehicles belonging to the state to its appointees and other staffers within a period of three weeks.
According to a former appointee of the Mahama administration, Sam George, about 271 allegedly missing vehicles from the president’s office were sold to some officials of the NDC government.
The mass sale of the vehicles – majority of which were offered at ridiculous prices – was done between December 23, 2016 and January 7, 2017 in the period of the transition when the NDC had been heavily defeated by the New Patriotic Party and the former party was on its way out of government.
It is turning out that some of the vehicles did not qualify to be auctioned under the law and some of the appointees that benefited from the auction did not qualify either, according to the rules.
DAILY GUIDE has taken hold of the list of all NDC bigwigs who benefited from the auction; and it explains how some of the vehicles which were barely two years old, were sold in clear breach of the law.
The document titled, “Auctioned vehicles for the period December 2016 to January 2017,” indicates date of approval, vehicle registration number, vehicle type, chassis number, present owner/address, new owner/address as well as issuing office.
From the list, former ministers of state, presidential staffers, CEOs of corporations and even journalists and chiefs, among others, all grabbed the state vehicles at give-away prices – at the time President Mahama had outlawed the sale of government properties to appointees.
Most of the vehicles that were auctioned were in the name of the Office of the President while a couple of them were in the names of some ministries or agencies.
For instance, Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, former Minister for Youth and Sports, got 2015 Toyota Avensis from the Office of the President, while President John Mahama’s trusted lieutenant, Stan Dogbe, had 2014 Toyota Avalon – the same car driven by the president when he was in power- with former Defence Minister, Benjamin Kumbuor, grabbing 2014 Toyota Camry, also from the Office of the President.
Dzifa Aku Attivor, who supervised the infamous GH¢3.6 million bus branding and resigned from government as Transport Minister, had 2014 Toyota Camry; Alfred Ekow Gyan of the Western Region Coordinating Council grabbed 2015 Toyota Avensis, while Dr. Michael Kpessa Whyte, the immediate-past National Service Scheme (NSS) boss, got 2013 Toyota Camry from the Office of the President.
Vincent Senam Kuagbenu, the man who was responsible for coordinating the re-registration of government vehicles under the Mahama administration and the former deputy Chief of Staff, Dr. Valerie Sawyerr, both grabbed 2014 and 2013 Toyota Camry respectively, while another staffer, James Agyenim Boateng, formerly of Radio Gold, as well as the former Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, took away 2014 Toyota Camry and Toyota Avensis respectively.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, former Minister of Agriculture, had 2015 Nissan Teana, while Alex Kyereme, former Minister of Education and Philip Senyo Tsagli got 2015 Toyota Avensis and Toyota Camry respectively. The CEO of Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), George Smith Graham, grabbed 2014 Toyota Camry with former Deputy Power Minister, John Abdulai Jinapor, annexing a 2014 Honda Accord and former Interior Minister, Mark Owen Woyongo, getting 2014 Toyota Camry.
Former Minister for Fisheries, Hani Sherry Ayitey, grabbed 2014 VW Passat with former deputy Health Minister, Dr. Victor Bampoe, getting 2014 Toyota Camry, while Helga Boadi, the immediate-past Chief Executive Officer of Youth Enterprise Support, took home 2014 Toyota Camry.
Former Eastern Regional Minister, Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere, who had left his position long before the NDC lost power, grabbed 2016 Toyota Camry from the Office of the President, while the minority leader in parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, had 2013 BMW 750.
Cassiel Ato Forson, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, grabbed 2013 Toyota Camry, while former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Nii Osah Mills, had 2014 Toyota Camry with Dr Alfred Sugri Tia, former Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, going home with 2014 VW Passat.
For former Ashanti Regional Minister, Peter Anarfi Mensah, grabbed 2016 Toyota Avensis as his counterpart in the Eastern Region, Mavis Frimpong, annexed a 2014 Toyota Camry.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, also annexed a 2013 BMW 5231, while former Deputy Chief of Staff, Johnny Osei Kofi, went with a 2014 Toyota Camry as former Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, also got a 2014 Toyota Camry.
In all, there were about 86 Toyota Camry vehicles, 15 Toyota Avalons, 54 Toyota Corollas, 52 Toyota Avensis vehicles and 17 Nissan Sentras auctioned to NDC members.
The rest include 55 Hyudai i10s, 9 BMWs, 8 VW Passats, 5 Nissan Teanas, 9 Hyndai Elantras and 6 Hyudai Accents, among others.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that the valuation of the vehicles was all done at the Flagstaff House and not at the State Transport Corporation as being claimed by some former appointees.
“A source said some STC staff were invited to the Flagstaff House to give the exercise a semblance of proper valuation while they put their own values on the cars,” the source claimed.