Several online portals have reported of the arrest of Chief Executive Officer of the Bluegrass Group Ltd, Kwadwo Darko-Mensah, also known as Onasis, by officials of the National Investigations Bureaus (NIB).
Mr Darko-Mensah is to assist in an ongoing investigation as a suspect regarding the procurement of some 853,000 pieces of mathematical sets.
Mr Darko-Mensah is the Local Agent of an international company, Cornfield Group Ltd which was mandated in 2019 to deliver a total of 853,000 pieces of maths sets at a cost of ¢75 per unit.
The contract was awarded by the Ministry of Education in September 2019 but the products were neither delivered on schedule or in full.
According to Mynewsgh, the online portal that first broke the story, 853,000 mathematical sets were supposed to be given to students for the 2020 WASSCE.
Because of the WASSCE timeline, the contract was treated as “urgent” and sole-sourced in September 2019 to the company without any form of bidding.
Apart from sole-sourcing the contract, Bluegrass Limited was granted a free tax waiver of $3.6 million by the government on the recommendation of Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the then Minister of Education, a tax waiver which was approved by Parliament.
Throughout the 2020 WASSCE however, no student received the “math sets” from the government.
The Institute for Education Studies (IFEST) for example questioned why the mathematical sets which were sole-sourced at a “high price” were never delivered on time for the very purpose it was tagged as “urgent”.
They also criticized the validity of the sole sourcing procedure adopted and the 75 Ghana cedis cost because the contract couldn’t be classified as an urgent need for the WASSCE candidates now.
At ¢75 per mathematical set, the total contract came to ¢63,975,675. Blueglass Limited failed to deliver within the agreed time.
Blueglass Limited was said to have later issued PR-statements, announcing it had delivered “first consignment” without stating any figure, even long after the WASSCE was over.
NAPO’s vetting and the popping up of Bluegrass Ltd
The issue of the Mathematical sets contract and the arrest and detention of CEO of Bluegrass Ltd Kwadwo Darko-Mensah came up during the vetting of Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh with the former Education Minister disowning Mr Darko-Mensah.
He told Parliament’s Appointment Committee that he “didn’t know him from anywhere.
Mathew Opoku Prempeh struggled to answer questions posed on the maths set matter by NDC MP, Alhassan Suhuyini.
The former Minister of Education also attempted to deflect blame to his deputy, Dr Osei Adutwum after the latter had also told the Committee at his vetting that he had no answer for the question on the Mathematical sets.