Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo has signaled that last-minute contracts signed by the then outgoing Mahama administration may have to go.
According to the senior minister, many of the late night contracts signed by then President John Mahama and his appointees shortly after they had lost the 2016 elections were not in the best interest of the country.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, has subsequently been instructed to review every single contract signed after the NDC government had lost the elections.
The directive also included looking at the disposal of state vehicles as parting gifts to party appointees at the presidency at ridiculous prices.
Mr Osafo-Maafo was speaking at an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) event on Tuesday to evaluate Ghana’s transition processes.
The senior minister, who was a co-chair of the transition team representing the incoming government at the time, accused President Mahama and his appointees of breach of faith.
He hinted that the Nana Akufo-Addo administration would review the contracts, once it settles down in office.
With over three months in office, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo said they had perused a number of the contracts and could say that the public had been shortchanged in many of them.
He would not disclose the details of the contracts 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 noted, saying some of which were done by Cocobod officials.
Cocobod is being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) over such contracts.
The senior minister hinted that some of the conditions in the contracts could lend themselves to a judgement debt if they were to be abrogated.
He said it is a “complete waste of time and man hours” for the new government to now sanitize the contracts.
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo called for an amendment of the Transition Act to make it impossible for any government to take some of the decisions that would be binding on the incoming government.
He said it is not for nothing that the lame duck president concept was introduced in the US because it is reasonable to admit that certain decisions cannot possibly be taken by a president and his appointees with just a 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 pointed out.
But a minister in John Mahama’s administration, Rashid Pelpuo, said the former administration 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.