Former Chief of Staff under the erstwhile Kufuor administration has revived the controversial Isofoton judgment debt scandal with a strong plea of innocence.
Kwadwo Mpiani is accused of arbitrarily abrogating the contract with the Spanish company leading to a judgment debt of $1.3 million.
Isofoton was allegedly contracted to execute the rural solar electrification project for Ghana under the Spanish protocol agreement with the Government of Ghana.
Government spokespersons in their “Sunlight campaigns” on judgment debts have berated Mpiani for abrogating the contract the Ministry of Agriculture duly signed with Isofoton and awarding it to another Spanish Company.
Mpiani has been out of the country when the issue broke and had not been available for comment.
On Joy FM and MultiTV news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday, the issue of judgement was revisited. Mpiani was provoked to respond to the issue when a text message called for his prosecution for his illegal termination of the Isofoton contract.
Kwadwo Mpiani called into the show saying his conduct in the Isofoton case was beyond reproach.
He said contrary to claims that he breached the Isofoton contract and awarded it to Elecnor, Mpiani said he followed religiously the agreement in the Spanish protocol signed with government in 2006.
He adduced a letter written by the Ministry of Finance in 2007 to the Attorney General which sought to dismiss claims of breach of contract and corresponding damages being made by Isofoton against the government of Ghana.
Per that letter, it was only the Ministry of Finance which had the authority to sign a contract with any Spanish company under the Spanish protocol agreed with government.
The letter also spelt out the procedures for the award of contract and the implementation of the Protocol.
According to Mpiani, the letter shows that the contract Isofoton is claiming to have with the government was not properly procured and not signed by the appropriate institution- the Finance Ministry- and was justly abrogated.
He said the decision to abrogate that contract and award it to a new company was not unilaterally taken by him as critics would have the world believe but was taken by a committee he chaired.
According to him, the new company was selected after due process was followed which included informing the Ghana Embassy in Spain to shortlist the companies.
He said the committee then notified the Finance Ministry about the new company suggested by the Agency contacted by the Ghana Embassy in Spain.
When asked who at the Finance Ministry signed the contract with the new Spanish Company, Mpiani said he did not know but was confident the contract was signed by an official with the Finance Ministry as spelt out in the Spanish Protocol.
But Felix Ofosu Kwakye a member of the NDC Communications team who was on the panel said Mpiani’s intervention is untenable.
He described as strange the claims by Mpiani that the Agric Ministry cannot award the contract on behalf of the government of Ghana.
Reading a caution letter from the Agric Ministry, Kwakye Ofosu stated that at every point in the Agric Ministry’s activity to select a company and award a contract, it informed the Finance Ministry and the Attorney General.
He said after a diligent search, the Agric Ministry ended up with Isofotone and entered into an agreement with Isofoton on the advice of the Attorney General.
He said based on the agreement with Isofoton it was agreed that the solar irrigation needed to be ran on a pilot basis in Ashaiman.
He said it was based on that agreement that Isofoton sourced materials for the pilot scheme to be conducted.
Having regard to all this, it was the considered opinion of the then Agric Minister that any attempt to terminate the contract with Isofoton will attract court suits, Kwakye Ofosu read the then Minister as saying.
He argued further that Mpiani’s argument that the Spanish government had a stake in which company was selected for the project is contradictory to a letter purporting the same Spanish government as saying that the choice of company rested solely with the government of Ghana.