Ranking Member on Parliament’s Health Committee, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh says the government is yet to show evidence that proves the monies paid to Sheikh Al Maktoum have been retrieved as alleged.

According to him, the government had failed to furnish the committee with any document to prove their admission that said the money had been retrieved.

Following the Sputnik V vaccine probe, it was discovered that the amount of $2,850,000 (representing 50% of the contract sum of $5,700,000) had been paid to Messrs Al Maktoum despite the Minister claiming no payment had been made “to the best of my knowledge.”

The amount that translates into the cedi equivalent of GH¢16,331,640 converted at the then prevailing exchange rate of $1 to ¢5.73 was for 300,000 vaccines.

Sheikh Al Maktoum had only managed to supply 20,000 vaccines.

The Parliamentary ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the vaccine deal ordered the Finance Minister to retrieve the $2.47 million, representing the difference in the amount paid and quantity of vaccines supplied.

In August of last year, the Deputy Majority leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin had confirmed that the money had successfully been retrieved from the Sheikh.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Sheikh Al Maktoum stated that the requested amount of $2.47 million had already been refunded to the designated bank account as communicated by the government.

The communication had the SWIFT and the payment advice attached.

However, speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Mintah Akandoh noted that the government is yet to show with documents the money has actually been retrieved.

“I don’t remember. I remember very well that they came back telling us that they have retrieved the money, but I don’t remember them showing us any document to that effect,” he said.

He was adamant that no matter the status of the allegedly retrieved funds, the most pressing issue now was the immediate removal of the Health Minister for breaching procurement laws and ‘lying’ to Parliament.

“But you see whether they have returned the money or not, the substantive issue is, did we pay money for things that we have not taken delivery of, causing financial loss to the state? So the fact that you have refunded the money does not absolve you from committing that offence,” he said.

In Parliament, the Minority is calling for the head of the Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, for undertaking an international transaction without prior approval from the House.

In a Memo to the Speaker on Wednesday, the Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak explained that the Dormaa Central MP’s action is contrary to Article 191 of the 1992 Constitution.

Therefore, the Minority wants the appointing authority to give him the sack.

According to the Minority signing a procurement agreement with the “prior approval of the Board of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) under sections 40 and 41 of the PPA Act, 2003 (663) as amended by Act 914 which constitutes a criminal offence under the law.”

The Minority said, considering that “the above conduct, being in direct breach of the Constitution and Laws of passed by this honourable House, the Health Minister be removed from office as a Minister by a vote of censure passed in accordance with Article 82 of the Constitution.”