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Ken Agyapong’s allegations against me borne out of ignorance – Ursula Owusu

The Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has refuted allegations of corruption made against her by maverick politician, Mr. Kennedy Agyepong in connection with the award of a supposed contract for the Production of national identification cards.

The Assin South legislator in a recent media outburst alleged that the Minister of Communications acted wrongly in the award of the contract for the production of National Identification Cards.

But, the Minister in a statement Friday, September 1, 2017 has described the allegations as “patently false” and challenged her accuser[Mr. Agyapong] to come forward with the evidence that corroborates his “outlandish allegations.”

She adds: “I welcome the investigations by the CID and even though I am yet be contacted, I will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ascertain the truth.”

She explained: “The falsehoods are clearly born of ignorance so it is important to clarify that the NIA is not an agency Ministry of Communications; that is why the directive was signed by the Chief of Staff in the office of the , President. In accordance with the law of the land, the NIA’s reporting line is directly to the Office of the President. Consequently, as the Minister of Communications, I did not and could not have awarded the contract for the NID, or indeed oversee the process. It would have been ultra vires.”

Below is her full response

MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS’ RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS

I am constrained to respond to the unwarranted and scurrilous allegations levelled against me in my capacity as Minister of Communications. These untruths have been widely and erroneously repeated in various media.

I categorically refute the allegations of corruption made against me in relation to the award of the Contract for the Production of national identification cards by Mr. Kennedy Agyepong. They are patently false and I challenge him to come forward with evidence that corroborates his outlandish allegations.

Following a comprehensive review and report by the technical and legal committees established by H.E The Vice President in January 2017, the government determined that the agreement between the National Identification Authority (NIA) and Identity Management Systems (IMS) constituted a “viable and effective” vehicle for the implementation of a modern, robust and reliable National Identification System (NIS) for Ghana. Subsequently, H.E the President formally directed the National Identification Authority to engage with IMS to ensure efficient roll out of the NID.

The falsehoods are clearly born of ignorance so it is important to clarify that the NIA is not an agency Ministry of Communications; that is why the directive was signed by the Chief of Staff in the office of the , President. In accordance with the law of the land, the NIA’s reporting line is directly to the Office of the President. Consequently, as the Minister of Communications, I did not and could not have awarded the contract for the NID, or indeed oversee the process. It would have been ultra vires.

The ministry, of Communications, alongside other agencies of government, is however a key stakeholder in the National identification project. Those others include social security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Births and Death Registry, National Health Insurance Authority, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority amongst others. We are thus actively in collaboration with the NIA and IMS to ensure the timely and efficient roll out of the national ID card in line with the government’s agenda.

I welcome the investigations by the CID and even though I am yet be contacted, I will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ascertain the truth.

A strong message needs to be sent out to those who deliberately disseminate disinformation. I look forward to a swift resolution of this matter.

In the meantime, I urge my family, friends and sympathisers, especially the good people of Ablekurna West, to remain calm The battle remains the Lord’s but The Victory shall be ours.

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