Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates-based agent in Ghana’s botched attempt to procure Sputnik V vaccines, has finally refunded the sum of US$2.47 million to the government of Ghana, being the “remaining amount for the non-supplied doses” of the vaccines.
Sheikh Al Maktoum was due to supply about 300,000 Sputnik V vaccines in an agreement signed with the government, but his outfit delivered only 20,000.
The parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the controversial Sputnik V vaccine deal has ordered the Finance Minister to retrieve the money.
In a letter addressed to the chief director of the Ministry of Health, Sheikh Al Maktoum said: “The requested amount of two million, four hundred and seventy thousand United States dollars (US$2.47 million) has already been refunded to the designated bank account as communicated by you.
“The SWIFT and the payment advice for the refund is hereby attached for your reference and record.
“We also confirm that no funds have ever been drawn under the LC. Also kindly note that the LC stands expired since June 2021 and is no longer a valid legal instrument issued in our favour,” the letter explained further.
Pressure to resign
Meanwhile, the pressure group OccupyGhana has called for the resignation or dismissal of Agyeman-Manu, the health minister, over the botched Sputnik V vaccine procurement contract.
Reacting to the recommendations by the Alexander Afenyo-Markin-led ad-hoc parliamentary committee set up to investigate the controversial Sputnik V vaccine deal, OccupyGhana said it does not believe the crisis situation brought about by the outbreak of disease was sufficient reason for the Health Minister to breach the law.
“We do not think that the emergency situation created by the pandemic, and the urgency required, constituted sufficient reasons to bypass all of these steps that are required by law. As Parliament has indicated, it would have acted with the speed and urgency that the emergency required, had the request for approval been made to it,” said a statement from OccupyGhana, dated 9 August 2021.