Pressure group OccupyGhana has revealed that the AG, Marrietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has provided the documents for the reports on the bus branding deal except for one which the department considered as “confidential and privileged”
…And the Smarttys saga continues. Just when we thought the matter has been laid to rest, another issue emerges from the scandalous bus branding deal saga. Pressure group OccupyGhana has revealed that the Attorney-General, Marrietta Brew Appiah-Oppong has provided the documents for the reports on the bus branding deal except for one which the department considered as “confidential and privileged”. The content of the withheld document is not clearly known.
According to officials of the group, the report the A-G delivered to the Chief of Staff after her initial investigations to uncover the underhand dealing was not handed to them on the ground that it is “confidential and privileged”.
The pressure group had filed a suit against government, praying court to order the A-G to provide all the relevant reports on the controversial GHc3.5 million bus re-branding deal executed by Smartty’s Management and Production Limited.
On April 13 the Human Rights Court gave its ruling asking for full disclosure of government’s contract with Smarttys Production over the 116 branded Metro Mass buses to them. The Presiding Judge had ordered the A-G to give all the documents of the bus branding deal contract to the group.
In accordance with the court ruling, the AG in an affidavit sworn to by the Director of Research at the Ministry of Transport, Lawrence Kumi, gave her word to release the documents to the group. However it was gathered that court did not order the A-G to release that which has to do with trade secrets, and national defence. This bring us to the document which the A-G has described as “confidential and privileged”.
The Pressure group on acknowledging their reception of the documents stated clearly that she withheld one. A statement released by OccupyGhana said that the group has received 22 documents covering the Smartty’s transaction from the A-G but noted that she withheld ”the report that she delivered to the Chief of Staff after her investigations”
Notwithstanding the withheld document, the group has said it will continue its investigation to find out if the AG defaulted in any way on the bus branding deal.
On discovering that up to GHC 3.6million was spent on the re-branding of some 116 Metro Mass Transit (MMT) buses, government has been massively criticized by the public. After a loud outcry on the mismanagement of funds by government, Former Transport Minister Dzifa Attivor was compelled to resign amid the controversy.
The Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, had ordered the Attorney General to investigate the matter after which Smarttys was ordered to refund the excess payments made. Smarttys after the report was asked to refund GHC1.9 million to the state, which they have begun refunding.