Former Deputy Health Minister Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye is among some 27 ministers in the Akufo-Addo government who did not declare their assets at all before assuming public office.
Despite taking the sacred Oath of Ministers, to “uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana,” the Fourth Estate has found that at least 19 ministers failed to declare their assets and liabilities at the end of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s first term.
On July 18, 2017, president Akufo-Addo said that all his appointees had declared their assets.
However, the Fourth Estate reveals that at least 19 of the ministers and deputy ministers of his first term did not declare their assets even once since 2017.
Dr Okoe-Boye, a former MP for Ledzokuku, is one of them.
On March 4, 2022,the Fourth Estate wrote to the Audit Service, using the right to information law, to request information on public office holders who had declared their assets from January 2013 up to that date.
The Audit Service responded with the data on May 17, 2022. Combing through the two booklets of almost 350 pages, the names of 28 ministers and deputy ministers who served or continue to serve in the Akufo-Addo administration since 2017 were missing.
According to the data, a deputy Trades and Industry Minister, Herbert Krapa, had not declared his assets.
Mr Krapa was President Akufo-Addo’s special aide when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was in opposition. He would even go on to study law, a profession that gave the president a name and fame.
He has not followed the example set by the president who appointed him.
By May last year, President Akufo-Addo had declared his assets and liabilities three times. The president first declared his assets on January 24, 2017. On February 17, 2021, he declared again for the end of his first term.
On May 7, 2021, the president declared his assets for the beginning of his second term. He did this in conformity with Article 286 of the 1992 Constitution and Act 550.
Defaulters in Akufo-Addo’s first term (2017 to January 2021)
By the end of President Akufo-Addo’s first term, he had appointed almost 130 people.
Prof Kwesi Yankah:The Fourth Estate could not find the name of the minister of state in charge of tertiary education, who served in the Akufo-Addo administration from 2017 to 2020.
An academic don, Prof. Yankah contested the 2020 parliamentary election in the Agona East Constituency on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) but lost. He was in office from April 4, 2017, to January 7, 2021.
Rockson Bukari: Mr. Bukari resigned in 2019 over allegations of attempted bribery of a journalist to kill a story. He did not declare his assets. He served from February 20, 2017, to April 29, 2019.
Tangoba Abayege: She succeeded Rockson Bukari as the Upper East Regional Minister after Mr. Bukari was moved to the presidency as minister of state in 2018.
He did not disclose his assets. He was in office from March 27, 2019, to August, 2019.
Evelyn Ama Kumi-Richardson: When the Bono Regional minister-designate came to the floor of parliament for approval in April 2019, it met stiff opposition from the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NDC lawmakers alleged at the Appointments Committee of Parliament that Evelyn Ama Kumi-Richardson, who had been a former Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, committed perjury in the declaration of assets and refund of money to the state as demanded in the Auditor General’s report.
There were also unanswered questions regarding the redistribution of a vested land. But the report of the Appointments Committee of Parliament, which recommended Ms Kumi-Richardson’s approval by majority decision, cleared her of all the allegations by the Auditor General.
After secret voting, the minority had their say but the majority had their way.
Despite this, Ms. Kumi Richardson did not declare her assets when parliament approved her to become a regional minister. She served from March 27, 2019, to January 7, 2021.
Siaka Stevens: He was a two term MP for Jaman North and also a Deputy Regional Minister for Bono.
Mr Stevens served in Akufo-Addo’s first term from March 27, 2019, to January 2021.
Also, on the list of the ministers and deputy ministers who failed to declare their assets are the following and the portfolios they served:
- Sulemana Alhassan–Upper West Regional Minister (March 27, 2019, to January 7, 2021)
- Carlos Ahenkorah–Deputy Minister, Trade and Industry (April 11, 2017, to July 3, 2020)
- William Owuraku Aidoo–Deputy Minister, Energy (April 11, 2017, to January 7, 2021.) He was reappointed when President Akufo-Addo won a second term.
- Vincent Sowah Odotei–Deputy Minister, Communications (April 2017 to April 2020).
- Bernard Oko Boye–Deputy Health Minister (April 20, 2020, to January 7, 2021).
- Anthony N-Yoh Puowele Karbo–Deputy Minister, Roads & Highways (April 11, 2017, to January 7, 2021)
- Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe–Deputy Minister, Fisheries & Aquaculture (April 11, 2017, to January 7, 2021)
- Samuel Yeyu Tika–Deputy Regional Minister, Savannah ( March 27, 2019, to January 2021)
- Tahiru Tia Ahmed–Deputy Regional Minister, North East – (March 27, 2019, to January 7, 2021)
- Johnson Avuletey–Deputy Regional Minister, Volta Region – (March 27, 2019, to January 2021)
- Thomas Adjei Baffour–Deputy Regional Minister, Central – March 3, 2017, to January 7, 2021
- Joseph Tetteh–Deputy Regional Minister, Eastern (March 3, 2017, to August 2018)
- Elizabeth Kwatsoo Tetteh Sackey–Deputy Regional Minister, Greater Accra (March 3, 2017, to January 7, 2021).
Two out of the 19 defaulters, Carlos Ahenkora and William Owuraku Aidoo, are still lawmakers in the current Parliament. But Vincent Sowah Odotei, Bernard Oko Boye, Anthony Karbo, Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, Siaka Steven and Joseph Tetteh lost their seats in the 2020 election.
Four others who were deputy regional ministers in Akufo Addo’s first term have been offered new jobs in the president’s second term.
They are William Owuraku Aidoo, Bernard Oko Boye, Elizabeth Kwatsoo Tetteh Sackey and Samuel Yeyu Tika. They are expected to declare their assets in their current positions but they haven’t.
The MPs in the list also swore the oath of lawmakers to “uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
But they desecrated the oath.
Defaulters in Akufo-Addo’s Second term (2021 to date)
Mr Krapa is not alone in breaching the asset declaration laws. Eight other ministers and deputy ministers currently serving in government also failed to declare their assets. These ministers and deputy ministers are:
Thomas Mbomba : He is a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration and a first-term legislator who represents Tatale-Sanguli.
Kwaku Ampratwum- Sarpong: The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration also represents the people of Mampong in Parliament. He is a second-term MP.
Frederick Obeng Adom: A Deputy Minister of Transport, he is a first-term lawmaker for Upper West Akim.
Kofi Amankwah-Manu: The Deputy Minister of Defence represents Atwima Kwanwoma Constituency in Parliament . He is a first-term parliamentarian.
Ama Pomaa Boateng: She is a third-term lawmaker, representing Juaben constituency in the Ashanti region and the Deputy Minister of Communication and Digitisation.
Abdulai Abanga: He is a first–term legislator for Binduri and the Deputy Minister of Works & Housing
Yidana Zakaria: The North East Regional Minister was an Assistant Registrar of the Tamale campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) before he was appointed.
Richard Obeng: The capital market analyst is Western North Regional Minister.
A call to Kwaku Ampratwum- Sarpong, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, dropped after the reporter introduced himself. Subsequent calls and a WhatsApp message to him were not responded to.
Messages to Richard Obeng, Western North Regional Minister and Herbert Krapa were not responded to. Others could not be reached for responses.
Source: The Fourth Estate