The National Democratic Congress says its rival, the ruling NPP is dazed by the rousing welcome the Thank You Tour embarked on by Former President John Mahama received hence the incessant attacks on him.
Mr Mahama last week began what he says was a tour to thank Ghanaians for keeping faith with him and voting for the NDC in the 2020 elections.
The New Patriotic Party has since issued a number of responses criticizing the Former President for making unfounded claims. The NPP has accused him of attempting to foist a narrative of hardships on Ghanaians and leveling misleading corruption allegations at the government.
Particularly, the NPP was not pleased by a call from Mr Mahama for them to be voted out in the 2024 as the only way of holding them to account for their stewardship.
Responding to these claims at a press conference in Accra today, National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, said the NPP had panicked over Mr Mahama’s call for accountability because it was neck deep in “systematic corruption” led by President Akufo-Addo and his Vice President Bawumia.
He recounted a series of corruption allegations which he says the government had refused to investigate and punish perpetrators. He mentioned the PDS and Movinpibna scandals as well as the Sputnik V scandal.
He said Ghanaians “have not forgotten about the infamous PDS scam through which Ghana lost over a billion dollars of grant from the United States of America. You would recall how in the year 2019, PDS a company made up of an appointee and cronies of President Akufo-Addo, used a “fraudulent” Insurance Guarantee to takeover the GHc20 billion assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana.
“This scam was occasioned and facilitated by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Bawumia to amend the requirement of a bank guarantee that has to be provided by the concessionaire (PDS) into an Insurance guarantee, the validity of which government deliberately refused to authenticate so they could capture that important state asset, ECG for the family and friends of President Akufo-Addo. Even more bizarre and sad is the fact that till date, PDS has refused to refund to the State the electricity bills worth over GHc1.2 billion which they collected from ECG customers during the pendency of the ECG-PDS concession Agreement,” the NDC firebrand stated.
Mr. Gyamfi accused the Akufo-Addo government of a grand scheme to empty the public purse for personal gain.
This, he said the former President’s call was timely as it was the only viable option left to the people of Ghana due to the intransigence of the NPP on the issue of corruption.
He urged Ghanaians to disregard the NPP’s claims and remain focused on voting them out in 2024.
Read full statement below:
SPEECH DELIVERED BY SAMMY GYAMFI ESQ., NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER OF THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS AT A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD AT THE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE PARTY, IN RESPONSE TO SOME RECKLESS PRESS CONFERENCES RECENTLY HELD BY THE NPP ON COMMENTS MADE BY PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA, ON HIS THANK YOU TOUR OF THE FIVE (5) NORTHERN REGIONS.
30th August, 2021
Good afternoon distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the media. On behalf of the National Democratic Congress, I welcome you to our headquarters for this all-important press conference. We are grateful for your continuous collaboration and cooperation with us in our collective struggle to consolidate our democracy and build a prosperous Ghana
We have invited you here this afternoon to formally respond to some irresponsible and frivolous attacks that the NPP, through some of its key functionaries, has been heaping on the person of H.E John Dramani Mahama over factual comments he made during his recent thank you tour of the five (5) northern regions.
As you may be aware, last Tuesday, President John Dramani Mahama, wrapped up the first phase of his “Thank You Tour”, which took him to five Regions in the Northern Sector of the country. The tour is designed to convey his deep appreciation personally to the millions of Ghanaians who voted for him across the country and even those who may not have voted for him but deemed it necessary to enhance Ghana’s democracy through their participation in the electoral process.
Mr. Mahama also took time during the tour to engage in media interviews during which he commented on a number of issues of national importance. Among others, he decried the mismanagement of the economy and the unsustainable debt hole the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has plunged the country into and the resultant economic hardships emanating from their imposition of several taxes on Ghanaians.
He also lamented the rising spate of corruption in government and the non-chalance that has attended the subject. He observed that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government was simply unwilling to account for their stewardship and was not motivated to fight corruption which has led to large-scale looting and abuse of the public purse. It had become obvious in the circumstance, that the only way to exact any measure of accountability is to vote out the NPP after their eight-year tenure in 2024 which would be in keeping with the established electoral trend since 1992.
In fact, President Mahama echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of Ghanaians who feel scandalized by the unbridled corruption and plain thievery that has become the hallmark of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government. The alarming scale of sleaze and corruption under this government is such that Ghanaians cannot wait to exact accountability by voting out the NPP after their eight-year tenure in 2024. Anything short of that will spell doom for the public purse which will be subjected to further systematic abuse should their mandate be renewed beyond 2024.
Clearly, these factual statements made by President Mahama have hit the bull’s-eye. Our detractors in the NPP are dazed and agitated by the factual statements by H.E John Mahama because they know he spoke the naked truth. It is obvious that they are very worried about how President Mahama is exposing the true character of President Akufo-Addo, a man who rode on the back of a self-proclaimed propaganda of incorruptibility into power, only to turn around and supervise the most obscene abuse of the public purse ever witnessed in the history of this country.
First to respond was NPP Communications Director, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, who staged a performance reminiscent of the hey days of Comical Ali, the legendary Iraqi Information Minister, infamous for his denial of very obvious facts and truths. Mr. Asamoah inexplicably claimed that the excruciating economic hardships Ghanaians are going through has only been spoken into place by President Mahama and that it was not being felt by Ghanaians.
In other words, all the taxes introduced by this government since 2017 and the rampant increases in fuel prices and every other commodity on the market leading to hardships are just the words of President Mahama. Ladies and gentlemen, I must say that Mr. Buabeng’s comical display is as amusing as it is disturbing. It is amusing because it demonstrates the willingness of this government to trivialize the suffering of people, and it is disturbing because it shows that the NPP and their leaders have completely detached themselves from the very harsh economic conditions of Ghanaians and chosen to dwell in a delusional bubble. Clearly, they are living in their own world of luxury and comfort, far removed from the realities in the country today.
It bears reminding the Akufo-Addo government that the current economic difficulties of Ghanaians are not the product of any imaginary or delusional fantasy of members of the opposition. The economic hardships Ghanaians from all walks of life are experiencing, are the direct effects of the mismanagement of the economy through reckless squandering of scarce resources to secure re-election in 2020 which has left our finances in shambles. The excessive and reckless borrowing of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has ensured that we are barely able to service our debts, pay the salary of Public sector workers and have anything significant left to meet critical expenditure.
That is why over half a dozen different taxes were introduced in the 2021 budget alone to plug the hole they have created in the economy. These taxes coupled with other bad policies of the government have conspired to increase prices of fuel, food commodities, building materials and cost of living in general to unbearable proportions without any commensurate increment in incomes. The NPP must take responsibility for the consequences of their insensitive and poor economic management decisions and refrain from the ludicrous display of willful blindness put up by Yaw Buabeng Asamoah.
Next in line to respond to President Mahama, was Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, a self-styled puppet master of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government who likes to conceal his role behind a veneer of non-involvement and the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr. John Boadu. It is clear from a cursory examination of the above ridiculous positions, that these are men who appear to be haunted by their own shadows, even though the torch of accountability is yet to be shone on them. Otchere Darko on his part, took umbrage at President Mahama’s advise to Ghanaians to vote out the NPP if they want anyone held accountable for the dizzying levels of corruption being perpetrated today. John Boadu also claimed that there is no evidence to buttress President Mahama’s claim that this government is corrupt.
These assertions by Gabby and by the NPP’s Chief scribe are preposterous to say the least. The systematic governmental corruption spearheaded by President Akufo-Addo and his jocular Vice Bawumia, has been so overt and public that the condemnation of same by Ghanaians including conscientious and principled members of the NPP has been unanimous. If Ghanaians are raising their voices in condemnation of corruption and rot within this government, it is because they have lost hope that the canker will ever be tackled as long as the NPP remains in power. They have too many examples of very clear corrupt practices that have gone unpunished to base their conclusions on.
Ghanaians are aware of the fact that President Akufo-Addo has flattered to deceive on his 2016 campaign promise to protect the public purse when elected. In fact, we are all aware of how President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia who once professed to be incorruptible have made corruption the most attractive venture in Ghana today and have turned out to be the biggest promoters and enablers of corruption in the history of this country.
Friends from the media, Ghanaians have not forgotten how in the year 2017, five (5) million litres of contaminated fuel belonging to the State, was sold by BOST to unregistered and unlicensed entities, Movinpina Energy and Zup Oil in breach of the National Petroleum Act and the Public Procurement Act and the proceeds pocketed by the entities involved and their accomplices in the corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government.
Ghanaians have not forgotten about the infamous PDS scam through which Ghana lost over a billion dollars of grant from the United States of America. You would recall how in the year 2019, PDS a company made up of an appointee and cronies of President Akufo-Addo, used a “fraudulent” Insurance Guarantee to takeover the GHc20 billion assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana. This scam was occasioned and facilitated by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Bawumia to amend the requirement of a bank guarantee that has to provided by the concessionaire (PDS) into an Insurance guarantee, the validity of which government deliberately refused to authenticate so they could capture that important state asset, ECG for the family and friends of President Akufo-Addo. Even more bizarre and sad is the fact that till date, PDS has refused to refund to the State the electricity bills worth over GHc1.2 billion which they collected from ECG customers during the pendency of the ECG-PDS concession Agreement.
Ladies and gentlemen, you would also recall how this same jocular and corrupt Vice President, Dr. Bawumia, who is now very much aware of his very dubious reputation as the most perfidious politician Ghanaians have ever seen, procured an already existing Asaase GPS app, at a cost of a whopping US$2.5 million (i.e about 110 billion old Ghana cedis at the time) and branded it as a GhanaPost GPS app for Ghanaians which he claimed was more advanced than the GPS systems of advanced counties such as the UK, Germany, Sweden etc. This was despite the fact that the original app was already available and accessible to all Ghanaians for free, hence, there was no need for government to have paid that a huge sum of money for that app.
Again, Ghanaians have not forgotten how President Akufo-Addo in the year 2018 sort to personally defraud the State by giving executive approval for the Ameri-Novation deal, the cost of which had been inflated by US$800 million dollars. But for the vigilance of the NDC minority in Parliament and certain patriotic Civil Society Organizations, that is how much President Akufo-Addo would have stolen from the state through that transaction alone.
We have not forgotten how President Akufo-Addo and his cabal of family friends sort to capture and appropriate Ghana’s gold royalties for themselves through the infamous “Agyapa” deal. Here again, but for the vigilance of the NDC minority in Parliament, certain patriotic Civil Society Organizations, and the Special Prosecutor at the time, Martin Amidu, President Akufo-Addo and his cronies would have captured our national gold royalties for the next fifteen (15) years. In fact, as we speak the millions of monies that were paid by government to African Legal Associates, a law firm owned by cousin to the President, Gabby Otchere Darko have not been refunded to the State. This is despite the fact that the State hasn’t benefited in any way from the shady “Agyapa” deal which has been suspended by the President.
Ghanaians have also not forgotten about the PPA “Donkomi” Contracts for sale scandal in which the then Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority, Mr. A.B Adjei and his agents were caught on tape selling government contracts that had been awarded by certain Ministries and government agencies to his private company, Talent Discovery Limited in flagrant disregard for the Public Procurement Act. Indeed, investigations conducted by the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) revealed that Mr. A.B Adjei siphoned and stashed millions of Ghana cedis totaling over GHc34 million (i.e 340 billion old cedis) into his personal bank account, the source of which he could not explain or justify.
Also, we have not forgotten how President Akufo-Addo after appointing dozens of his family relatives including his own daughter and “Baby Mama” into key positions in his government, went ahead to give the Duty Free Shop and CIP lounge at Terminal 3 built by the visionary Nation Builder, John Dramani Mahama to his daughter, Valerie Obaze and the wife of his cousin and Executive Secretray, Nana Asante Bediatuo and a daughter of his Personal Assistant Saratu Atta, in breach of the Public Procurement Act. Today, these cash cows that should have generated funds for the Ghana Airport Company to pay back the loan they contracted to build terminal 3 and to improve the financial health of the company have been given to cronies of the President, while the GACL is starved of funds to even pay the welfare and retirement benefits of their workers.
More importantly, friends from the media, we have also not forgotten about how between the years 2018-2020, over 500 excavators seized from illegal miners were stolen, sold and in some cases distributed to government officials and NPP apparatchiks to promote their illegal mining businesses. Till date, none of the 500 excavators, gold and other equipment seized from illegal miners by the illegal mining Taskforce established by President Akufo-Addo have been accounted for.
You would recall that when the missing excavators scandal broke, the then minister for Environment Prof. Frimpong Boateng accused the NPP Regional Vice Chairman for the Central Region, Mr. Ekow Ewusi of stealing the excavators in question and filed a criminal complaint with the Police to that effect, whereupon Ekow was arrested. Subsequent to that, a video tape recording emerged which captured the two individuals in a heated argument about how the seized excavators were distributed to officials and functionaries of the ruling NPP and the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government on grounds that their party needs money (“Party hia Sika”). In that tape, Ekow Ewusi was heard mentioning the General Secreatry of the NPP, Mr. John Boadu as one of the NPP bigwigs who were given some of the seized excavators for his illegal mining businesses that have destroyed our water bodies and environment.
Is it not therefore the height of hypocrisy or perhaps sheer impudence driven by the intoxications of political power for John Boadu to mount a moral horse and talk about corruption today? We are calling on John Boadu and other NPP functionaries who are alleged to be neck-deep in the destruction of our forests through illegal mining activities to come out and clear their sullied reputations first, before gathering the moral high ground to pontificate about corruption.
We can understand why John Boadu is pained and petrified by President Mahama’s call for Ghanaians to vote out the NPP in 2024 so they can be held accountable for their unprecedented thievery and corruption. Clearly, John Boadu knows that he cannot pass the accountability test when his role in that infamous missing excavators scandal and the illicit galamsey trade is scrutinized. We wish to remind John Boadu that the day of accountability may tarry, but it will surely arrive.
Of course ladies and gentlemen, we have not forgotten, the “galamsey fraud” expose by ace investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas in which a Presidential staffer and Secretary to the then Inter-Ministerial Committee against illegal Mining, Charles Bissue was caught on tape taking bribes to promote the illegal mining activities of some foreigners and their local NPP collaborators.
So alarming and pervasive has corruption become under the watch of President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia that even fertilizer worth millions of cedis meant for farmers under their much-touted Planting for & Jobs program have been stolen and smuggled outside the country by some greedy elements in the ruling NPP. When the Minister of Agriculture was asked about this, he shamelessly told the nation that these tonnes of fertilizer were stolen and smuggled by Camels and donkeys to Burkinafaso, hence government’s inability to arrest the perpetrators of this broad daylight thievery. Only in Ghana, can such cock and bull stories be entertained for a minute by public officials. However, let this message get to the Agric Minister and others who are milking the nation through shady deals under the Planting for Food and Jobs Program, that we are watching with eagle eyes, and we shall hold them to account one by one.
Friends from media, these are just ten (10) classic cases of corruption and stealing that we have perpetrated against the Ghanaian people by President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia. Time constraints will not allow me to talk about the Australia Visa Fraud Scandal, the National Youth Authority street light scandal, the missing tricycles scandal, the Premix fuel diversion scandal, the National Lotteries Authority scandal, the Frontiers Health Services Scandal and other numerous corruption scandals that the “Mother Serpernt of Corruption” President Akufo-Addo and his jocular Vice President, Dr. Bawumia have supervised in the last five (5) years. We will leave that for another day.
What is clear from all these cases of corruption and stealing which have have cemented President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia’s reputation as the most corrupt President and Vice President in Ghana’s history is that, President Mahama was absolutely right when he said that this NPP government is corrupt and that they must be kicked out in 2024 if we have any intention of holding them accountable for their rot. Never in the history of Ghana have we had such sophisticated thieves at the Presidency and in government. No wonder the Presidency has today become the breeding ground for criminals under their watch.
What is instructive in all this is the fact that, none of the government officials and NPP functionaries responsible for all these cases of corruption which have occasioned huge financial losses to the state have been held responsible for any of these corrupt acts. Instead of Prosecuting them and ensuring that the monies involved are refunded to the State, President Akufo-Addo has cleared, shielded and even defended many of the culprits of these criminal acts including himself. This is what has made corruption a free-for-all pageant show in the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government and has emboldened many more appointees and officials of government to engage in more acts of corruption and plain stealing with brazen impunity.
Coupled with this, is the extreme levels of intolerance and heavy handedness towards independent anti-corruption institutions and office holders and Civil Society activists who have dared to hold the feet of this government to the fire of accountability. President Akufo-Addo removed the Auditor-General, Mr. Yao Domelevo from office in clear retaliation for surcharging his Senior Minister for his role in the US$ 1 million Kroll scandal. His own acclaimed Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, cited direct interference to extricate his cousin and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, during the “Agyapa” corruption risk assessment, as the reason for his resignation.
The President is also on record to have shown open hostility and hurled abuse at prominent Civil Society Leaders for criticizing his handling of corruption cases. Describing some of them variously as “thoughtless and loose talking” and “Politicians in CSO clothing”. These constitute unprecedented attacks on accountability institutions and have contributed to the total collapse of the wobbly fight against corruption under the watch of President Akufo-Addo.
What is most despicable is how officials of the Akufo-Adddo/Bawumia government are busy profiting from the COVID-19 pandemic which has and continues to claim many precious lives. State funds allocated for the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic are being misappropriated by greedy and shameless officials of this government through many shady deals. You are all aware of how recently the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang Manu and the minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta violated the Public Procurement Act and the Public Financial Management Act in the procurement of 3.4 million doses of overpriced Sputnik V Vaccines. Under this corrupt deal, government without Parliamentary approval contracted to pay and actually paid $19 dollars per dose of Sputnik V Vaccine to Sheik Dalmook of Dubai when they knew that the approved international market price of the vaccine in question is less than US$10 per dose. But for the vigilance and patriotism of the NDC Minority in Parliament and the media, Ghana would have lost over US$20 million dollars through this corrupt deal alone.
In spite of several calls by the President to sack the Health Minister and Finance Minister who were implicated in this unlawful and corrupt deal, both of them continue to remain at post. Only weeks ago, Ghanaians witnessed President Akufo-Addo make light joke of this serous scandal following a clamour for the dismissal and prosecution of the Health and Finance Ministers for their roles in this affair.
Distinguished friends from the media, the latest of these COVID-related thievery are the hyper-inflated expenditures captured at appendix 4B and 4E of the 2021 Mid-year budget review, where the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government claims to have spent a whopping US$100 million dollars equivalent to GHc600 million (i.e 6 trillion old cedis) on the procurement of face masks, hand sanitizers and Veronica buckets for Secondary school children in 2021 alone and another US$75 million equivalent to GHc401 million (i.e 4 trillion old cedis) on the procurement of the same items for the Electoral Commission and the National Identification Authority for the registration exercises they conducted in the year 2020.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, what in the world can justify these clearly hyper-inflated and outrageous COVID-related expenditures. Just ask yourself how many secondary schools we have in this country? How many Veronica buckets were procured and distributed to each of them by government? How many secondary school children do we have in Ghana? How many face masks and hand sanitizers were distributed to them? As a patriotic Ghanaian, ask yourself whether even if these items (face masks, hand sanitizers, Veronica buckets etc.) were made of gold and diamonds, these outrageous and hyper-inflated expenditures are justifiable.
We in the NDC are deeply worried about how monies which should have been used to provide roads, hospitals, schools, potable water, jobs and for other productive ventures that can benefit the good people of this country are being wasted on corruption and profligacy by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government. We are deeply concerned because we care about our dear nation.
Even though this government has borrowed more money than any government in Ghana’s history, thereby increasing our public debt from GHc120 billion in 2016 to a whopping GHc336 billion, they have very little to show relative to developmental projects, be it in the education, health and all other sectors of the economy. This is because they have wasted most of the unprecedented revenues that have accrued to them in the last five (5) years on corruption, profligacy and consumption. They have wasted all those monies on “chop chop”.
Ladies and gentlemen, how long can we continue like this as a country? I am sure you would agree with me that the dizzying levels of corruption, naked thievery and insensitivity of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government which is depriving Ghanaians of the development and comfort they deserve must come to an end. We the good people of this country who still have our conscience and integrity intact, have a duty to unborn generations to rescue our beloved country from the clutches of this incompetent, dishonest, nepotistic and corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government and restore her back to the path of development, accountability, inclusivity and true progress.
This is why President Mahama is calling on all of us to kick these greedy thieves out of office in 2024 to afford the next NDC administration the opportunity to hold them accountable for their many corrupt acts. We cannot afford to give them four (4) more years to coverup and enjoy their loot while majority of Ghanaians continue to wallow in squalor and abject poverty. Regime change, is our only hope of holding President Akufo-Addo, Dr. Bawumia and their appointees accountable for their stewardship. It is the only way we can retrieve the huge sums of monies they have stolen from the state and punish them in accordance with law.
Our friends in the NPP know that most of them cannot pass the accountability test when they leave office. This is why they are panicking and desperately jumping over themselves to “break the 8” at all cost. And, this is why they are desperately trying to run down the hard-won reputation and integrity of President John Dramani Mahama whose public image stands tall and continues to shine like a towering lighthouse. As for the NPP and their corrupt surrogates, their cup is full to the brim and running over. Time has exposed their chicanery and criminal acts. Ghanaians are well awake this time around and have come to appreciate them for who they truly are; an incompetent, dishonest and corrupt bunch who only came to power to enrich themselves at the expense of the State. They will not be third time lucky with lies and no amount of subterfuge and comical attacks they heap on the person of H.E John Dramani Mahama can hoodwink Ghanaians and keep them in power behind 2024.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, we will not bore you with any response to the false and baseless corruption allegations leveled against the NDC and President Mahama by these NPP thieves who are busy looking for corruption class mates. All the stale and contrived allegations they rehashed at their last press conference addressed by their General Secretary have been discredited over and over again. Like the Akans say, “Yate abre”, to wit, we are tired of listening to these same old lies.
Five years (5) after leaving office, President Mahama remains squeaky clean with unblemished integrity. His impeccable record is there for all to see and shows clearly that indeed, he came into office to serve the Ghanaian people and develop this country with honesty, humility, selflessness and patriotism.
Till date, not a scintilla of evidence has been adduced by the NPP to substantiate any of the allegations of corruption they leveled against President Mahama when he was in office, including those made by no less a person than the opposition leader at the time, candidate Akufo-Addo that President Mahama had spent US$10 million on the printing of Presidential diaries and inflated the cost of the Ridge Hospital, Kasoa Interchange, Kumasi Airport Rehabilitation projects among others.
During his time in office, President Mahama fought corruption head-on no matter whose ox was gored including prosecuting his own appointees for alleged corrupt acts as he did in the GYEEDA case, a standard President Akufo-Addo has never and can never live up to. Unlike, “The Mother Serpent of Corruption” who has corruption embedded in his DNA, President Mahama never shielded or defended any appointee of his who was found to have engaged in corruption. So high was his commitment to the fight against corruption that a Deputy Minister in his government who privately expressed a mere intention to quit politics if she made US$1 million was asked to step aside. His track-record relative to the fight against corruption is unassailable and no amount of lies can change this fact.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media finally, let me deal with what is perhaps the most ridiculous and preposterous of all the claims the NPP made at their last press conference, which is the claim that they are fighting corruption because they are prosecuting some officials of the former NDC/Mahama government for corruption-related offenses. This claim is very ridiculous and laughable because if the fight against corruption was all about the prosecution of political opponents, then anybody at all can fight corruption. This is because the mere prosecution of political opponents is the easiest path to the fight against corruption. As President Mahama said sometime ago, the true test of one’s commitment to the fight against corruption doesn’t lie in the prosecution of their political opponents but rather, the prosecution their own.
In fact, most of the cases of criminal prosecution against some officials of the former NDC regime the NPP keeps bragging about are beginning to crumble like a pack of cards right before their very eyes. What we are seeing is a desperate regime which is not interested in upholding fair trial and the interest of justice but determined to do everything possible under the sun to convict former NDC government officials at all cost for cheap political goal-scoring.
Classical examples that highlight this fact is the case against the former SSNIT Boss, Ernest Thompson which has been dismissed by the Supreme Court on grounds of defective charges and the case of the former Chief Executive Officer of Cocobod, Dr. Stephen Opuni and Alhaji Seidu Agongo. In the case of the Opuni trial, even after the Supreme Court of the Republic has prohibited the trial Judge, Justice Honyenugah from presiding over the case on grounds of his manifest prejudice and bias against the accused persons, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame who is supposed to advance the interest of justice in all cases wants the Judge reinstated on grounds that starting the case afresh will be at great expense or cost to the State. This is most unfortunate and a slap in the face of fair trial and the administration of justice.
There are about four (4) High court judges at the Criminal Division of the High Court. But for some reasons, Justice Honyenugah, then Justice of the Court of Appeal was given a special warrant to preside over the prosecution of Dr Stephen Opuni and Seidu Agongo. Few months after that, he was promoted to the Supreme Court by President Akufo-Addo.
We are talking about the judge who during the 2020 election campaign, publicly endorsed and campaigned for a second term for President Akufo-Addo when he visited his palace. The judge who has said in open court that the Opuni case is distracting him from his Supreme Court duties hence he wants to conclude the case quickly so he can focus on his Supreme Court duties. The judge who in his ruling on a submission of no case, decided to exclude from the evidence on record, as many as 18 exhibits that vindicates the case of the accused persons and which were tendered through various prosecution witnesses without any objection whatsoever.
The insistence by the Attorney General to have Justice Honyenugah continue with this case suggest that the Attorney General is desirous of having his own preferred judge preside over a case that he is prosecuting. This singular conduct has the tendency to completely erode public confidence in the judiciary as an independent arm of Government.
The simple questions government and Godfred Dame must answer are: why must Justice Honyenugah preside over the Opuni trial at all cost despite the clear prejudice and bias he has exhibited against the accused persons? Is he the only judge in Ghana who can preside over the Opuni case? And more importantly, why must fair trial and justice be sacrificed on the alter of cost?
Clearly, Godfred Dame is engaged in head-hunting for his preferred judge in the Opuni trial for an outcome that should be obvious to any objective mind. Most of the criminal cases against former NDC appointees that the NPP would have us believe are evidence of their commitment to the fight corruption are cases of persecution and not prosecution. As such, these cannot and should not be believed as evidence of any genuine commitment to fight corruption.
Friends from the media, in conclusion, I wish to remind the NPP that Ghanaians are well aware of the fact that the wobbly and fraudulent fight against corruption President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia have supervised in the last five (5) years has been lost completely. No attempt to cover this up will suffice as the people of Ghana are sufficiently aware of which party really protects the public purse and which one merely pays lip service to it only to subject the same purse to abuse.
The only motivation for President Akufo-Addo, Dr. Bawumia and the NPP to want to “Break the Eight” in their own words, is to help them perpetuate this regime of corruption, naked thievery, ostentation and impunity. Most of all, their wish is that in 2024, Ghanaians will give them another opportunity to cover-up their bad deeds and continue to dim the torch of accountability while further enriching themselves and impoverishing the Ghanaian people. However, we are quite confident that come 2024, all well-meaning Ghanaians who wish to see the progress of our nation, will join forces with us to break the eight years of stealing, break the eight years of nepotism, break the eight years of lawlessness and impunity, break the eight years of deception and broken promises and break the eight years injustice and intolerance.
President Mahama will continue to express his gratitude to the people of Ghana for their support and would provide a voice for the voiceless to ensure good governance and accountability. No amount of misrepresentations and verbal attacks would dissuade him from doing and saying what he deems to be right and in the interest of the nation.
We wish to encourage the media, who are the fourth Estate of realm and anti-corruption CSOs who are being abused by President Akufo-Addo for their relentless fight against corruption under him. We salute your courage and patriotism. Please, don’t give up or give in to the abuses and threats of this intolerant and despotic regime. Let’s kick out in 2024 so we can hold them accountable for their thievery. And let’s work together to rescue this country from the hands of this corrupt NPP government and build the prosperous and better Ghana we all yearn for. Thanks for your attention and may God bless our homeland Ghana.
Sammy Gyamfi Esq.
National Communications Officer