Feature Article of Saturday, 21 January 2012
Columnist: Tetteh, Ephraim
Many observers have tried to understand why President Mills rightly or wrongly fired the the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mr Martin Amidu. Whereas the opposition parties, especially the New Patriotic Party, feel the government"s chief legal luminary was fired because he had become a threat to the concealment of hefty crimes against the state, the NDC oriented press or even the government communicators for that matter, including the Director of Communications at the seat of government, the castle, Koku Anyidoho have come up with a rather interesting reason, i.e. Mr Amidu was fired for failing to substantiate so called allegations he made in his recent press release. And indeed, these NDC spokesperons and the "rented ndc press" have been literally spewing out these reasons from radio station to radio station. I was therefore tempted to believe their version until i saw, on the internet, a copy of the dismissal letter from castle, and i was completely taken aback because the official reason as given by the Chief of Staff, Mr Martey Newman, is very different from what the NDC apologists are telling us. So what happened to the virtue called truth in this NDC regime. It is like wherever you turn to,there is some kind of propaganda or outright deception being doled out to the public.
Now, for those of you who have not seen the dismissal letter , the main thrust unfolds here " His Excellency Prez John Evans Atta Mills has with immediate effect, relieved Mr Martin Amidu of his post as Attorney -General and Minister of Justice. The decision is as a result of Mr Amidu "s misconduct at a meeting last friday, january 13th presided over by his Excellency". Nowhere in the letter does Mr Amidu"s supposed failure to substantiate allegations in his press release feature in the official letter. So where is Anyidoho"s theory coming from, or even here too, they want to do propaganda because they find the official reason not tangible enough. Or he thinks the Chief of Staff letter has some gaps that must be filled. Or is he simply saying that the Chief of Staff is not intelligent enough to know what to write about and that his press release must be helped in some way. This is outrageous because Anyidoho is supposed to tow his masters line and not deviate from it. He must preserve the integrity of the vewpoints of his superiors, otherwise he risks creating a state of confusion in public information matters that certainly cannot help the presidency. So in effect, readers must know that Mr Martin Amidu was sacked not for incompetence or any other reason but for misconduct exhibited at a meeting with the president. Indeed even on the question of failing to sustantiate allegations, there are other reports from so called castle sources ( pls read current edition of the new stateman) where it has been indicated that he stood up to the president and mentioned names to the point that he was almost heckled at the meeting by his peers and that was when he went ballistic.
In any case, since when did the collection of evidence become Pres Mills"s benchmark for conducting investigations. Didnt President Mills ,when in opposition, really vilify former Pres Kuffour for demanding evidence before acting on allegations. If people have forgottten this, i will remind them. President Mills, then candidate Mills in August 2008, stated that if elected president, any allegations brought against any of his appointees, even on the pages of newspapers would be thoroughly investigated. but before the investigations start, the accused would be asked to step aside. "Read my lips", said prof mills.
So if Pres Mills reallly is serious about fighting corruption, does he need any other evidence to act on the former Attorney General"s revelations. And indeed is the wrongful payment of a collosal 58 million to NDC financier Alfred Woyome (when there was no contract) itself not a gargantuan crime. Or is it the case that because NDC has an interest in the money, President Mills is trying to prevent the truth from coming out by not agreeing to a public enquiry as the NPP is clamouring for. President Mills has irredeemably disappointed me. I came down to Ghana to vote for him in the 2008 elections because i thought he was sincere, truthful and, most importantly, will not condone corruption. But this Woyome scandal and the sole sourcing modus operandi "system" of this government operating in the various government departments which really is the corruption octopus of this government, and the many corruption issues we have pointed out time and again, make me wonder what the future holds for this country.
So back to Mr Martin Amidu"s dismissal issue again; some of us are beginning to discover how ruthlessly corrupt this Atta Mills government is, and for me, his continuing failure to axe those very corrupt ministers around him who are feeding fat on our national resources rather than honest people like Martin Amidu make him very complicit in all this thievery going on in government circles. Pres Mills must know that he can fool the country for some of the time with his perceived religious piety but certainly not all the time, as some ghanaians are beginning to "shine" their eyes now to discern the wolves in sheep clothing.
PS. Meanwhile, the remaining question on the lips of most ghanaians is that, now that Mr Amidu who was chasing the stolen money is gone, who will lead the national crusade to recover the 58 million from Mr Woyome back to our national coffers?. Is it Mr Ebo Barton Oduro ( the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice), EAOCO or BNI or is it even Nana Addo of the NPP. We of the Ghana Public Procurement Observatory will be keenly watching.
Dr Ephraim Tetteh Anti corruption crusader Biscayne Bay, Miami