The Executive Director of the Human Rights and Governance Centre, Martin Kpebu, has vowed to get the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu tried for perjury.
According to him, the Minister for Health lied under oath in Parliament when he appeared before the ad-hoc committee that probed the botched Sputnik V vaccine procurement deal.
Agyeman-Manu had said he was not aware of any payment to the intermediary helping Ghana to secure the vaccines from Russia; a claim disputed by the report put together by the committee that probed the botched deal.
It has emerged that an amount of $2.8 million had been paid to the intermediary.
“Out of the total amount of US$5,700,000.00 owed to Sheikh Al Maktoum, an amount of US$2,850,000.00 representing 50% has been paid to him and that translates into a Cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640.00 converted at the exchange rate of US$1 to GH¢5.73,” the committee said in its report.
The Committee has asked the Finance Minister to retrieve the amount.
Mr. Kpebu in a Citi News interview contended that such an amount could not be paid on the blind-side of the Minister.
“When we go into the trial, Ghanaians will see that such a huge sum of money ($2.8 million) cannot be paid on the blind-side of the Minister because there must be some approval from him the (Minister). No one can pay such a colossal sum of money without his knowledge. This man is just trying to take us for granted, and I think that he is underestimating Ghanaians.”
A number of Ghanaians and civil society groups have mounted pressure on Mr. Agyeman-Manu to resign for sidestepping procurement processes for the procurement of the vaccines.
As a result, a hashtag, #AgyemanManuMustGo has been trending on Twitter , with several Ghanaians calling for the resignation or dismissal of the minister.