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12 February 2017

Sam George: I never said ‘missing’ cars were purchased

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MP for Ningo-Prampram and a Presidential Staffer in the John Mahama administration has denied a report attributed to him about the whereabouts of 200 vehicles missing from the Presidential pool.

Sam George was reported on Saturday by an Accra-based online news portal as saying the missing vehicles were bought by former Presidential staffers.

According to officials of the current administration, the missing vehicles were identified after a thorough stock-taking endeavour, using documents handed them by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

Communications Director at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, announced last Thursday that in all about 208 state vehicles, including Toyota four-wheel-drives and saloon cars, could not be accounted for.

Former government officials have responded by publishing documents they handed to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, documents that are different from those presented by the Administrator-General’s office.

The previous government’s list has 641 vehicles, however, the Administrator-General’s list exceeds 641, although the Administrator-General is mandated by law to take stock of state assets during a transition.

In the heat of the controversy, citifmonline.com reported that Sam George had said the missing vehicles were purchased by former government officials.

However, in a Facebook post on Sunday, the Ningo-Prampram MP said his comments to the media house were misrepresented.

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“Like I indicated yesterday, my comments on the Big Issue were misrepresented by www.citifmonline.com in the headline and story they ran,” he posted.

He adds, “I still maintain that on no occasion and nowhere in the attached voice clip do I indicate that the so-called ‘missing’ vehicles were bought by former staffers. The attempt to stretch my submission that far points to an unfortunate attempt to seek an escape route for a government that has eggs in its face over their false claims.”

In the voice clip that Sam George refers to, he admits that Presidential staffers purchased state vehicles, some 271 of them, but he seems to suggest (in the Facebook post) that those vehicles were not the same ones the current administration cannot find in the Presidential fleet.

Meanwhile, a task force set up by the current administration to retrieve state assets it says are in the possession of former government officials is yet to fulfill its mandate.

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