Ghanaians have still not forgotten the stingy Brazil Embraer 190 jet deal that was spearheaded by then Vice President John Dramani Mahama, and the subsequent alleged abortive probe that was commissioned into it by the late President Mills. The truth must explode! This makes the death of the late President still remains a mystery to the citizen vigilanté.
The death of the late President John Evans Atta Mills seize factual facts and must not be ignored as it may give the electorates picture of the persona of contestants on the ballot paper.
In 2010, the late John Evans Atta Mills set up a committee which was to investigate into the procurement scandal of an Embraer 190 jet. The committee was to investigate his deputy in a contract which received a lot of criticism.
The then vice president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, who is now the sitting president, was caught in the web of this unprecedented corrupt scandal. The misuse of the hard-earned tax payers’ money to purchase this jet which was estimated not to be more than 151,515,000.00 Ghanaian Cedis which is $37.8 million.
In the course of the negotiations and procurement processes, then vice-president John Dramani Mahama who led the negotiations bought from the manufacturers an Embraer 190 jet which is ranged between $28 million to $40 million with an enhance accessories.
What transpired in the contract still remains an enigma to Ghanaians as the Embraer 190 jet was bought with the taxpayers’ hard earned money with a whooping fee of $55.26 million. The jet bought by vice-president John Dramani Mahama was not of a good standard, therefore, it needed an extra tank estimated to cost $8million, an air stair case of $1million and an in-flight entertainer at a cost of $1.4 million.
President Dramani Mahama on his return later came telling the good people of Ghana that the manufacturer’s gave him a replica of the jet as a gift back home. Those times, some of the core members of the ruling NDC started to throw harsh words on the man and vehemently saying that such an act will cause the party to lose the 2012 general elections.
The relationship between the president and the vice-president in those times became more hostile when the $10 million Korean STS deal also came under the spotlight of the president after seeing the deceptive picture and claims of his deputy.
This was made clear in an open court hearing during the companies dispute with its local partners in Korea for what is known as facilitation fee. It was president John Dramani Mahama who also started the negotiations with the company. So who truly took that transaction fee from the company? President Mahama needs to tell the people of Ghana.
This was the reason why the late president John Evans Atta Mills set up a committee as he promised to probe into the matter to find out the bare facts and figures.
The committee of enquiry was established which included the membership of Hon. William Aboah, Mr. George Amoah and Brig. Gen. Allotey (Rtd) to investigate the processes of the acquisition of five aircraft, including Embraer 190 aircraft and hangar to the Ghana Army.
The Terms of Reference of the Committee include to determine whether the John Mahama-led team was diligent, truthful, incorrupt, patriotic, and prudent and was authorized to acquire five jets for Ghana, but sadly, the work of the committee of enquiry never started. Ghanaians do not know when that committee will resume its work to reveal the mysteries about that scandal masterminded by John Dramani Mahama (then vice president).
Martin Amidu, former Anthony General during the late President Mills’ era came out saying that, ‘’pressure groups never allowed the committee to take off.“ But the very fact that the late President Mills contemplated this Committee meant that he was uncomfortable with and suspicious of the alleged prices of the aircraft.’’ (Courtesy: Ghanaweb General News of Monday 22nd October 2012). This raises eyebrows and questions on the credibility of the contract and the truth of the procurement process still remains to be unravelled.
The case was thrown to the thrash as president Mills met his untimely death on 24th July, just five (5) months to the 2012 general elections. The committee needs to let the good people of Ghana know what actually transpired in the findings and whether the vice-president was guilty or not guilty of the corruption saga.
Again, the good people of Ghana need to know the exact amount that was used in buying the Embraer 190 jet and the replica jet that was giving to the vice-president as a gift back home as he claimed. This will clear the cliché that surrounds John Dramani Mahama as corrupt throughout his political life and at the same time put himself in a posture that he is fighting corruption.
Ghanaians need answers to issues that involves the use of tax payers’ money. In my next article, I will reveal why the chief of staff is seriously campaigning to avoid the head-cut.