Many of the late night contracts signed by then president John Mahama and his appointees shortly after they lost the 2016 election were not in the best interest of the country, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo has said.
According to him, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Gloria Akuffo has thus been instructed to review every single contract signed after the NDC government lost the elections.
He was speaking at an Institute of Economic Affairs event held Tuesday to evaluate Ghana’s transition processes.
The period of the transition was as controversial as the period just before the elections with the government elect accusing officials of the outgoing government of awarding contracts and doling out appointments with glee.
Yaw Osafo Maafo who was co-chair of the transition team at the time accused the president and his appointees of breach of faith.
He hinted the Nana Akufo-Addo government would review the contracts once it settles down in office.
With over three months in office, Yaw Osafo Maafo said they have perused a number of the contracts and can say that the public has been shortchanged in many of them.
He would not disclose the details of the contract except to say that the Attorney General is currently reviewing them.
He does not understand why the Mahama government would deliberately corner his successor with some of these unwholesome contracts.
“Many of the contracts were signed in the last 14 days of their administration,” he suggested some of which were done by COCOBOD officials.
He also hinted some of the conditions in the contract could lend itself to a judgement debt if they were to abrogate the contract.
He said it is a “complete of waste of time and man hours” for the new government to now look to sanitizing the contracts.
Yaw Osafo Maafo called for an amendment of the Transition Act to make it impossible for any government to take some of these decisions that will be binding on the next government.
He said it is not for nothing that the lame duck president concept was introduced in the US because it reasonable to admit that certain decisions cannot possibly be taken by a president and his appointees with just few days to leave office.
“During the lame duck president period you don’t do anything that is of significance. It has to be clear in the law as to what can be done and what cannot be done by a president,” he said.
But a minister in the John Mahama led administration Rashid Pelpuo said the they did no wrong by tying the new government down with new contracts .
He said in the view of the former appointees, all the contracts signed were in the best interest of the country.
Rashid Pelpuo said the new government erred by thinking the contracts were signed on the spare of the moment without any due diligence.
He explained some of the contracts had been pending for months with the ministers or even the president doing due diligence before signing.
That these contracts were signed only after the election defeat was immaterial to him, he pointed out and wondered why people are criticising officials of the previous governement.
“Such criticisms may only be subjective and based on moral persuasion,” he argued.
“Nothing prevents the minister or the president from signing contracts after elections,” he indicated but added there is the need for the Transition Act to be reviewed to spell what a government can and cannot do after losing elections.