The status quo in Ghana is that you fleece the state, and if you’re unfortunate enough to be caught you just pay back the money and go your way, no harm no foul.
Which powerful person goes to jail for fraud in Ghana? Why punish those who steal millions when you can punish those who steal goats and 100 cedis out of necessity and poverty?
Selassie Ibrahim’s company Smarttys Management and Productions, which carried out the bus rebranding that cost Ghc 3.6m, have taken steps to ensure they refund the money, as ordered by the Attorney General’s report.
Lawyers for the company has submitted their payment plan, which shows the money would be paid in three instalments between January and March.
The money to be repaid has been further slashed down though. The initial report called for a refund of Ghc 1.9m, but the Attorney General now says the money to be retrieved should be Ghc 1,548,608.04. Something about VAT.
After the uproar over the ridiculous cost of Ghc 3.6m just for branding 116 buses with the likeness of President Mahama and his predecessors, the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, ordered the Attorney General to carry out a probe into the deal. The report said Smarttys should pay back some of the money. Transport Minister Dzifa Attivor resigned in the wake of the scandal.