The Attorney General has submitted documents concerning the controversial bus branding deal between the Transport Ministry and Smarttys Ghana Limited to Occupy Ghana minus one document.
The pressure group Occupy Ghana requested for the documents to enable it get to the bottom of the transaction which raised eyebrows over the tax payer’s money which was paid in excess to Smarttys for branding some metro mass buses at the cost of GHC 3.5 million.
The cost of the transaction caused a public uproar which led to an investigation by the Attorney General ordered by the Chief of Staff. The storm over the deal also led to the resignation of the then Transport Minister, Madam Dzifa Attivor.
After the AG’s investigations it emerged that in excess of GHC 1.5million had been paid to Smartty’s. Subsequently an order was given for the retrieval of the amount.
Occupy Ghana requested for documents about the entire transaction which was initially denied by the AG.
But in a turnaround move, the AG’s office has released the documents to Occupy Ghana without a specific one which was bothered on the investigations carried out by the AG’s office.
Below is the full statement by Occupy Ghana
8th MAY, 2016
OCCUPYGHANA® PRESS STATEMENT
OCCUPYGHANA® RECEIVES M.M.T. BUS BRANDING DOCUMENTS FROM ATTORNEY-GENERAL
OccupyGhana® is pleased to announce that it has received from the Honourable Attorney-General and the Ministry of Transport, 22 documents covering the Smarttys Transaction (“Transaction.”)
It would be recalled that by a letter dated 1st February, 2016, OccupyGhana® requested from the Honourable Attorney-General, documents covering the Transaction. However, by a letter dated 3rdFebruary, 2016, the Honourable Attorney-General declined to provide us with the documents on the ground that there was a pending legal action with respect to the same matter.
Not satisfied with this response, OccupyGhana® issued a Press Statement dated 7th February, 2016, in which it announced its intention to seek legal redress against the Honourable Attorney-General. On 18thFebruary, 2016, OccupyGhana® commenced legal action against the Honourable Attorney-General, in the exercise of our right to information under article 21 of the Constitution.
In the meantime, the other action to which the Honourable Attorney-General referred, as the basis of her refusal to give the documents to us, was heard and determined by the High Court against the Attorney-General. While we waited for our action to be heard, we received word from the Honourable Attorney-General that she would make the documents available to us.
True to her word, by an Affidavit dated 26th April 2016, filed on 28th April 2016 and sworn to by one Lawrence Kumi, Director of Research at the Ministry of Transport, the Honourable Attorney-General has delivered to us, documents relating to the Transaction, except one. The Honourable Attorney-General refuses to give to us, the report that she delivered to the Chief of Staff after her investigations on the ground that she considered that as confidential and privileged.
We have delivered these documents to our legal and audit teams for their review and advice. We will keep Ghanaians appraised and updated with the findings of our legal and audit teams, and as we have promised, should we find that any laws were broken or anything was done that was illegal, wrong or untoward, OccupyGhana® will pursue the matter to its logical and legal conclusions.
Yours in the service of occupying hearts and minds for God and Country
By Martin Asiedu-Dartey|3news.com|Ghana