Government over the weekend took delivery of Thirty Four  cars for the presidency, ten of which have bullet resistant exterior.
Sources say the luxury cars arrived on a Global African Airlines cargo plane. The presidential fleet contract was awarded by the John Mahama administration barely a week before they left office.
The original number of cars ordered was Forty Three . The New Patriotic Party administration, which had attempted to cancel the entire contract but failed due to certain clauses in the contract, managed to reduce the number to 34.
According to government sources, the reduction in the number of vehicles to 34, consequently reduced the initial cost of 9 million dollars by about 3 million dollars, as they have also avoided incurring a judgement debt, by deciding not to cancel the contract.
Back in June 2017, some NDC officials accused the NPP administration of playing double-standards, after news about the presidential fleet emerged, despite an order by President Nana Akufo-Addo, halting the purchase of new vehicles.
The government then explained that it could not be blamed for the presidential fleet because the order had already been placed by John Dramani Mahama administration before they exited office after the elections in 2016.
43 new cars were purchased on NPP’s request – Apaak
Former NDC appointees including Dr. Clement Apaak, who worked at the presidency, suggested that the cars were ordered upon the request of the NPP government during the transition period, a claim the government vehemently denied.
Dr. Apaak noted that, the Mahama administration agreed to the request by Nana Akufo-Addo’s side of the transition team because they had raised concerns about the incoming President’s security.
Contract was signed before transition team was formed
As the back and forth went on between the two parties, Citi News sighted a letter signed by the then Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, authorizing the purchase.
This letter was signed two days before then President; John Mahama, inaugurated the Presidential transition team, which he co-chaired with then President-elect, Nana Akufo Addo.
This revelation appears to have defeated the NDC’s claims that the NPP made the request during the transition period.
Earlier documents sighted by Citi News revealed that, the contract for the new cars for the Presidency was specifically awarded by the Mahama government on the 3rd of January, 2017, to Amalgamated Security Services LTD.
The two-paragraph letter authorizing the purchase was dated December 9, 2016, whereas the transition team was officially inaugurated on December 11, 2016.
Deal authorized by Terkper
The letter noted that, the deal was authorized by the outgoing Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, to take note of the decision to purchase the 43 vehicles “for necessary action accordingly.”
The letter also clearly stated that, the outgoing government had “decided to acquire some vehicles for the incoming administration”.