The Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, has said the Mahama administration sold state vehicles at least two days to the inauguration of Nana Akufo-Addo as President.
Disputing claims by Former President John Mahama that he left ‘a sea of vehicles’ for the Akufo-Addo administration, Mr. Hamid said the current administration came to meet only 179 vehicles.
“The vehicles that they handed over to us, per the documents they themselves compiled and gave to us are 179,” the Minister stated on Eyewitness News.
But beyond the 179, he said a number of vehicles were sold to government officials at the time.
NDC Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel George, had previously indicated that about 271 of vehicles possibly thought to be missing were purchased by some officials of the past government.
Staffers and state officials are allowed to purchase vehicles which have been in use for two years and longer.
Mr. Hamid noted that, the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, listed among other vehicles, 52 Hyundai i10s left for the Akufo-Addo administration, but “I am telling you on authority that we haven’t seen a single Hyundai i10 vehicle.”
He also said there was documentation to the effect that Julius Debrah sold a Nissan Sentra vehicle to a staffer in the VIP protection unit two days before the handing over on January 7, 2017.
“It would seem to me that even though these vehicles were in the hands of their officials, they proceeded to sell them off to their officials whilst giving us a list and pretending that those vehicles were available,” Mr. Hamid said.
The Akufo-Addo administration put in place a task-force to retrieve missing state cars, and the Information Minister said the committee was “still compiling” a list.
The saga of the missing cars at the Presidency was revived after Mr. Mahama refuted allegations that members of his administration stole cars from the presidential fleet during an interview on GTV on Tuesday.
The controversy started in March 2017, when the Director of Communications at the Presidency alleged that over 200 vehicles from the presidential car pool were unaccounted for following the change of government.