General News of Monday, 24 June 2013
Pro-government pressure group, Inside Ghana, says former Chief of Staff Kwadwo Mpiani, former Attorney General Joe Ghartey and former Deputy Sports Minister O. B. Amoah must be arrested for criminal investigations and prosecution over their involvement in the award and abrogation of some international contracts during their tenure in office.
The group’s call comes on the heels of two unanimous Supreme Court rulings against international firms Waterville Holdings and Isofoton SA in two separate judgment debt case.
The two companies were taken to court by former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, who is on a campaign aimed at retrieving for the State, illegally paid judgment debts from individuals and firms.
The Waterville case involves 25 million euros. Isofoton SA, on the other hand, is to give back the state 325,000 dollars it also received as judgment debt.
The two rulings have ignited calls by some former government officials who served in the Kufuor administration, including Prof. Mike Ocquaye, to call for the arrest and prosecution of those who condoned the payment of the judgment awards.
Other opposition figures have made similar calls.
In its statement signed by Convener George Spencer Quaye, Inside Ghana says though it “concurs with the opposition that persons involved in the payment of judgment debts to these entities should be criminally investigated, such partial call can best be described as political pharisaism and cussedness when juxtaposed against the very foundation of the ruling; UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE CONTRACTS”.
The group noted that: “At the heart of the said judgments is the way and manner senior members of the erstwhile Kufuor administration irresponsibly awarded such contracts without recourse to article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana”.
“It is, therefore, imperative that all those involved in such capricious conduct be brought to justice. Their actions and inactions have not only caused the State gargantuan and mountainous financial losses, but have also brought shame and panic in the eyes of the international business community”, Inside Ghana averred.
It said former officials including Mr. Mpiani, Mr. Ghartey and O.B. Amoah, as well as “all those who played a role in these quirky and shameful deals”, which have now brought Ghana’s investment credentials into question, must be arrested and criminally investigated as a matter of urgency.
The group also says Mr. Ghartey, who is the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, must accordingly resign, since he ought to have acted in the interest of the country as the then Attorney General.
“It is, therefore, despicable and ignominious to the House that he is still occupying his seat,” the group noted.