Many Ghanaians have been shocked by the obscene form of state capture, cronyism and nepotism that have characterized the Akuffo Addo led administration. Until now however, it had been believed that this was limited to the packing of government and state agencies with countless number of friends, concubines, sponsors, business associates, allies and cronies of the president. That view is, a lesser rendition of the sick and convulsing republic created under this present government and underestimated the extent of family infiltration that has currently bedeviled this country,Ghana.
Despite the numerous concerns raised by Ghanaians about the state capture by friends,cronies,blood relations and ex-concubines of the president, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, the signs are quiet obvious his administration is not perturbed about the marauding state of nepotism that has engulfed governance in this present day, a situation that defiles rule of law built on uncompromised accountability and principles of ethics in our body politics..
However, it is sad to note the new twist to this ugly development, the state capture by wives of big shots in the Npp. Records and documents supporting these claims are already public, numerous top state managerial positions and big contracts have been awarded to the wives of certain big wigs in the Npp despite themselves holding other big positions. The maverick member of parliament for Assin Central,Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Sammy Awuku, the national youth organizer of the rulling party, Mr. Mac Manu, the former campaign manager of the Npp and Gabby Asare Okyere Darko, nephew of the president and several others have succeeded in securing juicy contracts and positions for their spouses in what many people described as unprecedented levels of nepotism and cronyism in the political history of Ghana. Aside the spouses’ state capture, there are hundreds of blood relations of the president both direct and indirect occupying various positions in government including the daughter of the president and his ex-concubine.
According to Ghana Palaver’s Tuesday publication, it was reported the paper had stumbled on exclusive and credible information that a lucrative feeding contract packaged was awarded by the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, Michael Okyere Baafi, to a company owned by Mary Awuku, the wife of NPP Youth Leader, Sammi Awuku,” the newspaper claimed. The report also indicated that the Authority “vandalized” procurement processes in awarding what it described as a “juicy” and “lucrative” feeding contract to a company owned by Mary Awuku.
In separate development, another contract worth millions of dollars has been awarded to ‘APRIL JUNE LIMITED’ a company according to sources is linked to the Awuku’s family. It has emerged that the company belongs to the wife of the National Youth Organizer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammi Awuku. Other bidders had raised questions about the tender, implying that the husband’s relationship with the President and position in the party earned her the contracts.The source claim APRIL JUNE LIMITED is the only company given all the cleaning contracts right from the Jubilee House to Exim Bank to COCOBOD, NHIS, Free Zones Board and many other state offices. Investigation conducted indicate that company was not registered; meaning that the lucrative contract was given to Mrs. Awuku without following proper tender process contrary to the claims by the procurement board that the contract was awarded through a proper procedure. Even though Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), debunked claims that it breached procurement laws in awarding the contract to the wife of the National Youth Organizer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammy Awuku but did not deny the claims that the said contracted was awarded to Mrs Awuku.
In another development, information we gathered from the Palaver newspaper indicates that $20 million contract was awarded to Gabby Asare Okyere Darko’s newly incorporated firm ‘Africa Legal Associates’ somewhere last year, Gabby’s little-known Law firm, Africa Legal Associates, is said to have been contracted by the Finance Minister to review all agreements and contracts entered into by the Finance Ministry over the last 15 years. Our source (Ghana Palaver) indicated in the said publication that the contract estimated at US$ 20 million was tainted with strange feature of being open-ended with no discernible time limits. According to reports, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko for lack of capacity to render the said assignment recruited, US Law firm, White and Case to undertake the exercise on its behalf, the same person who is a nephew of the president, has had his wife Nana Adjoa Hackman appointed to the Board of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Again the maverick member of parliament Kennedy Agyapong’s wife Mrs Stella Agyapong , who according to mynewsgh.com is the board chairman of the Ghana Shippers Authority, was recently awarded a contact worth millions of Ghana cedis to supply streets LED streetlight, a contract which according to reports was awarded through sole-sourcing. Mr Agyapong in a couple weeks ago appeared on Adom TV and confirmed the award of the said contract to his wife but claimed it was not sole sourcing as has been claimed in the media but the contract was awarded to his wife through Restrictive tendering. He indicated the contract awarded to Mrs Stella Wilson Agyapong’s Imperial World Ventures is worth GH¢100,260,000 through restrictive tendering by the Ministry of Energy to supply 150W LED streetlights. Restrictive tendering of a contract is subject to approval by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for the purchase of urgently needed products. There are other reasons that could necessitate it but urgency that necessitated the award of such contracted through restrictive tendering is still to be confirmed.
Workers of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHAPOHA) in the Western region recently also accused their board chairman, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, of conflict of interest by giving contracts to his wife and children. Addressing a press conference on Thursday, 24 May 2018, the chairman of the Senior Staff Association, John Aseeph, alleged that the wife of the former New Patriotic Party (NPP) chairman has taken over ticketing for staff travels, adding the Authority “is being priced at cut-throat prices.”“We are paying two and three times more than other competitors are offering for ticketing,” he alleged. According to Mr. Aseeph, the chairman has imposed himself on the board of the Marine Ports Services. The Union further accused Mr Mac Manu of awarding a $4 million contract to wire the newly constructed electrical and materials block of GHAPOHA to his own company.
This is how the Akufo-Addo government operates, giving out tenders to friends, party members and cronies. If you are not a friend to the President, a member of the NPP or a friend to party stalwarts you won’t get a tender.President Akufo-Addo during the 2016 electioneering campaign lambasted the Mahama administration for allegedly turning its cabinet meetings into contract bonanza sessions. The President himself, then candidate Akufo-Addo, had to retract similar allegations he made against Madam Lordina Mahama after he has been alerted of the recklessness of his allegation.