Following attempts by the Ministry of Information to deny government knowledge and involvement in the purchase of the 43 vehicles by the former Mahama government, a former presidential staffer, Dr. Clement Apaak, has maintained that there are documentary proofs to support his claim that the incoming NPP government was in the know before an order was placed for the purchase of the 43 vehicles for use at the presidency.
Speaking to this paper in an interview, he said up until the NDC-led government handed over the reign of government to the incoming Akufo-Addo administration, the then Mahama administration was in charge of government affairs, hence the move to act on behalf of the incoming government, per consultations with the transition team of the new government.
The Member of Parliament for Buila South constituency noted that some leading members of the incoming government were contacted before a final approval was given to the dealer.
“There is documentation that was out of those conversations, subsequent actions have been taken, and they are the government of the day if they have no need of the cars they know what to do. The fact still remains that I have it on authority that the NPP government made that request.”
According to Dr. Apaak, all documentations surrounding the purchase of those 43 Vehicles by the previous Mahama government are currently with the Minister in charge of finance, and maintained that the NDC-led administration per their action while in power did nothing wrong.
“I believe that that letter should also be on the file of the current minister for finance. I don’t want to believe that when the minister of finance was leaving he took communications with him, so quite clearly it is on document but you should also understand that up until we handed over we were still in charge but the processes were ongoing. So at that time, the onus fell on us to act on behalf of Ghana and in the best interest of Ghana,” he intimated.
Efforts by Deputy Information of Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, to paint the NDC government black by coming out to state that the Akufo-Addo administration’s side of the transition team had no hand in the ordering of the 43 new vehicles has back fired, as further proof emanating from the said transaction indicates some level of correspondence that ensued between key leading members of both transition teams.
Although the leader of the NPP government transition, Mr. Yaw Osafo- Maafo, has not officially made any comments on the said 43 vehicles, except comments attributed to him by the Deputy Information Minister, claiming his innocence, Dr. Apaak is firm in his conviction that earlier conversation that may have taken place before a green light was given to the purchase of the 43 armored vehicles was between Senior Minister Mr. Osafo-Maafo and Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
The former NDC led administration is alleged to have ordered for the supply of 43 specialised vehicles barely eight days to handing over power to the incoming NPP government.
According to reports, the cars, which are said to be capable of firing rounds of ammunition and are designed to withstand the effects of a hand grenade, were reportedly sanctioned for purchase by former Deputy National Security Coordinator, Alhaji Salifu Osman.
The supplier, Shell Speciality Vehicles, describes the cars as having all four passenger compartments and roof protected by high-quality armour steel and glass to defeat NATO ball ammunition.