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Monday, September 5, 2011

Joe Gidisu for court over luxury Chinese BMW

Roads and Highways Minister Joe Gidisu
Roads Minister Joe Gidisu is considering going to court over reports he has received a luxury BMW saloon car from a Chinese construction firm working on the Achimota-Ofankor highway.

The vehicle has been widely reported as a gift which President Atta Mills has ordered him to surrender to government, but Mr. Gidisu maintains he handed it over to the Castle voluntarily.

Mr Gidisu however insists the luxury car was not for his personal use.

“It is a project vehicle bought on a project account which is usual with the ministry and other ministries that run projects,” he said.

“I mean that car was never a gift to me as Joe Gidisu in office as Minister for Roads and Highways. It was a car bought by an agency under the ministry, that is, the Ghana Highways Authority where we have documents covering the request and the delivery of the vehicle to the Ghana Highways Authority on behalf of the ministry.”

“The car is for the office use of the ministry for the state minister and it is not peculiar to the Ghana Highways Authority nor the Ministry of Roads and Highways,” he indicated.

Mr Gidisu says he’s conferring with his legal team to decide his next line of action.

“I am referring the case to my legal advisors for the necessary action. I’m never the type who should be associated with such a bill,” he said.

Conflict of interest

A road contractor Osamanu Guarantee believes the vehicle was a bribe.

“Immediately such item is being given to a minister then there is a conflict of interest in the contractor,” he indicated.

He said it was wrong for the minister to have received the vehicle which appears to be denting the reputation of the minister.

“There shouldn’t be any vehicle whatsoever between the contractor and the minister let alone for it to be a luxurious vehicle…I think in this case the minister should have rejected the vehicle outright to set as an example to other ministries.”

“If they are putting it…as a contract vehicle or a project vehicle then I’m sorry to say the minister has got nothing directly to do with the contractor,” he indicated.

He said “contract vehicles” and “project vehicles” are “only terminologies used to cover up such conflict of interest.”

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