Godfred Dame

Attorney-General Godfred Dame says some clauses in the Health Ministry’s $64 million contract with Dubai-based businessman Sheik Al-Mahktoum, to supply Sputnik V vaccines to Ghana are in breach of Food and Drugs Authority regulations, as well as biased and skewed against the state.

In a letter dated April 12, 2021, to the Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, the Attorney-General urged the ministry to buy vaccines directly from Russia because other countries are doing that.

The agreement says the Ministry of Health shall not withhold payment for any supply doses of the vaccines over alleged defects unless written notice has been given to the seller.

The Attorney-General observes this clause is biased against Ghana. The agreement says the Ministry shall not undertake any batch recall without the prior consultation with and written documentation with the seller.

Mr Dame said the clause places Ghana at the mercy of the seller because the seller would have to agree before the buyer can initiate or undertake such a contract.

He observed that the distributor in the agreement indicated that it is not an agent in the manufacture and therefore would not be liable for any loss under the agreement.

The Attorney-General suggested that it would be more prudent for the Ministry to engage directly with manufacturers who can be held liable in case of adverse effect for the procurement of the next badge.

Well, even before the Ministry sent the agreement to the Attorney-General for advice, it had already signed the contract.

The contract was, however, terminated by Sheik Al-Mahktoum on 14th July 2021, a day before the Parliamentary Committee investigating the deal began its public probe.

The nine-member parliamentary committee probing the contract is expected to submit its report later this week.

Member of Parliament’s Health Committee, Charles Agbeve, says with the revelations that have emerged so far, the Health Minister has no business holding onto his position.

“The probe is fantastic, it’s bringing out the real issues and he’s also being honest about the facts I expect the Minister to jump, he shouldn’t be pushed. You don’t say these in certain countries and go scot-free,” he said.