While Nana Akufo-Addo has been criticised for not keeping his appointees in check, he has, in fact, taken firm actions against some officials found to have acted inappropriately. Over the last six years, he has sacked at least 13 of his appointees alleged to have behaved improperly, some corruption-related. YEN.com.gh goes back in time to unveil president Akufo-Addo’s appointees who have been relieved of their duties for acting in ways that did not promote his administration.
In the last couple of months, president Nana Akufo-Addo has come under pressure for the economic hardship in the country. While his administration has blamed the global economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war and the banking sector clean-up for Ghana’s worsening economic conditions, some have been quick to point accusing fingers at some of his appointees.
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For instance, some commentators on governance issues feel the health minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu should have been relieved of his duties over the Sputnik V vaccine fiasco. In the heat of the public criticism of the minister, the president called him hardworking, heightening public displeasure.
Similar sentiments have been expressed about the finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta for drowning Ghana into debt, but the president has said he has confidence in the minister.
The president has also ruled out the possibility of reshuffling his ministers, claiming that those calling for a ministerial reshuffle wish to destabilise his administration.
These have led some to accuse the president of failing to put his foot down when his appointees fail to deliver on their mandates or behave inappropriately. Many cite his inability to sack non-performing appointees for the country’s economic and other challenges.
However, the president has, in fact, demonstrated leadership by removing some appointees found to have flouted the tenets of good governance. While some of the causes of the dismissal of appointees under the Akufo-Addo administration have been corruption-related, others are unknown. In many instances, the president failed to give reasons for the dismissal.
YEN.com.gh has gone back to list appointees who lost their jobs after they grabbed news headlines for the wrong reasons. Below are the appointees and a brief narration of what caused their dismissal.
1. Boakye Agyarko Sacked Over AMERI Deal
A stalwart of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and good friend of the president, Mr Agyarko was sacked in 2018 to the surprise of many.
He was sacked as Energy Minister over alleged underhand dealings in a power purchase agreement between the Africa Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) and government.
The full details of the allegation against Mr Agyarko remain sketchy mainly because the Presidency did not come clear on that. However, the closest to an official explanation was that he misled the president in the renegotiation deal with AMERI.
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People with insights into the controversial deal have explained that instead of the $510 million that the government expected to pay for the power plant over 15 years, the government would be paying $1.375 billion after the renegotiation.
But it is expected that the government would pay a total of $1.375 billion for the AMERI power plant over approximately 15 years instead of the original $510 million.
Mr Agyarko’s dismissal was surprising to many because as the campaign manager in the 2016 elections, he played a major role in the election victory that won Nana Akufo-Addo the presidency.
Director of Communications at the Presidency Eugene Arhin explained the reason behind Mr Boakye Agyarko’s dismissal as follows:
“We all know the circumstances. We all know the story that has panned out as a result of the [AMERI] deal and the president believes that in the interest of the Ghanaian people, in the interest of the country and in the interest of his own administration, the Minister for Energy, Hon. Boakye Agyarko should be relieved of his position.”
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2. Sarah Adwoa Safo Sacked Over Absenteeism
Adwoa Safo’s dismissal as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection had been anticipated for a long time. There had been calls by the public for her to be removed a long time before it finally happened via a letter from the Presidency dated July 18, 2022.
She was sacked after absenting herself from her post for well over nine months. Again, the letter announcing that the minister and Dome-Kwabenya MP had been sacked failed to provide a reason for the decision.
Adwoa Safo gained notoriety for flying to the United States to be with her son. In Parliament, there was a fierce debate on whether she should be removed for breaching Parliamentary rules on absenteeism.
She also failed to honour a Privileges Committee sitting that sought to understand the reason for her absenteeism.
Ms. Safo was relieved of duties as a minister hours after Parliament was compelled to adjourn a heated debate on whether to kick her out and vacate her seat for absenteeism.
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There are indications that her Parliamentary seat could soon be declared vacant. The only thing preventing that from happening is a disagreement between the Minority and the Majority. Although Adwoa Safo is a member of the Majority, that side wants her kicked out, while the Minority rather fight for her to remain an MP.
3. Yaw Kwakwa Removed As GACL MD
Yaw Kwakwa was removed as Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) in January 2022. His dismissal letter from Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, was leaked online before Mr Kwakwa himself saw it.
It is speculated that he was dismissed over a brouhaha with McDan Aviation, owned by business mogul Daniel McKorley.
4. Adjenim Boateng Adjei Sacked For Breaching Conflict of Interest Rules
Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei was dismissed as Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) in 2020 for breaching conflict of interest rules.
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His predicament started after a journalist shed light on his corrupt act of selling government contracts he had obtained through restricted tendering to willing contractors at price and pocketing the money.
The Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) took up the matter and found Mr. Adjei guilty of conflict of interest and breaching procurement rules he was charged to protect.
It emerged that Mr. Adjei’s accounts since assuming office in 2017 stood at GH¢14.8 million even though he had just $4 in one of his accounts.
CHRAJ revealed Mr Adjei could not satisfactorily explain the source of huge wealth he had acquired in just two years.
5. William Asante Bediako Punished For Supporting Galamsey
Before being sacked by the president in 2020 as the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Amansie South District, William Asante Bediako grabbed headlines over a leaked tape in which he is heard justifying illegal mining, popularly called “galamsey”.
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Intriguing enough, the tape leaked at the time the president was on a heightened campaign to clamp down on illegal mining activities that destroy water bodies and vegetation.
Mr Bediako made the comments in support of galamsey in reaction to the clampdown on illegal mining. He claimed galamsey has been beneficial to him and others close to him.
A transcript of what he said on the infamous tape is as follows:
“Why would I not support ‘galamsey’? Had it not been for ‘galamsey’, we would not have had a storey building at Manso; had it not been ‘galamsey’ and the hardworking nature of the people of Manso, a young person from Manso would not have been able to purchase a car worth one billion Cedis.”
6. Dr Felix Anyah Sacked As Korle Bu CEO
Dr Felix Anyah was sacked as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in 2018. Again the Presidency did not explain why he had been removed from office just one year after his appointment.
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However, he is alleged to be the mastermind of police investigations of then Deputy Chiefs of Staff at the Office of the President, Francis Asenso-Boakye and Samuel Abu Jinapor.
Mr Jinapor, now Lands and Natural Resources Minister; and Asenso-Boakye, current Minister for Works and Housing, were alleged to have interfered in the problematic contract with the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital that Dr Anyah wanted to terminate.
7. Gifty Klenam Kicked Out As GEPA Boss
Gifty Klenam was sacked in 2018 as CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) after a year in office. Consistent with its dismissal letters, the Presidency failed to give any reasons for her termination.
It is alleged, however, that Gifty misappropriated funds.
8. Paul Asare Ansah Clashes With GPHA Workers
The President removed Paul Asare Ansah as Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) in 2018. No official justification was given.
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However, he was sacked after GPHA workers union made several allegations against him.
9. Alfred Obeng Boateng And BOST Scandals
The Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company (BOST) is a hotspot of scandals, and the tenure of Alfred Obeng Boateng as Managing Director of the company was no exception.
He was removed from office via a letter from the Presidency dated June 5, 2018. Here too, no reasons were given.
Of all the scandals that hit BOST while Mr Obeng Boateng was the MD, the one that hit hardest was the contaminated fuel saga in 2017.
10. Francis Boateng Could Not Save TOR
Mr Francis Boateng, then MD of the troubled Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) was sacked along with his deputy, Ato Morrison in 2021. He was the third MD of TOR in Nana Addo’s first administration in just 14 months. Mr Boateng’s dismissal followed claims by TOR workers that he was mismanaging statutory payments, among other allegations.
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Apart from these 10 dismissed appointees, the sacking of the following appointees in 2019 also made waves in the media:
11. CEO of Northern Development Authority, Dr Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun;
12. MD of Ghana Airports Company Limited, John Dekyem Attafuah; and
13. Acting CEO of NYA, Emmanuel Sin-Nyet Asigri.
While Akufo-Addo has been accused of failing to crack the whip, he has demonstrated that when it matters, he can put his foot down and sack erring appointees – even if he is not doing it often as some would want him to.