Feature Article of Wednesday, 10 October 2012
FROM: William Nana Yaw Beeko, NETWORK ORGANIZER, GHANA ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING JOURNALISTS NETWORK, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
It is quite befuddling to hear the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, talking so tough on the canker of corruption and how he and his NPP number-two government plans to tackle the menace.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has promised to introduce stiffer punishment that will make corruption unattractive and very expensive at all levels of the society when he is voted into power.
He has said his administration would, among other measures, amend the relevant sections of the Criminal Code and Offences Act “to make corruption a felony rather than a misdemeanour”, to make the theft of state funds more expensive for the criminal.
He was addressing a section of faculty members and students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi last week, where he trumpeted his personal incorruptible nature, and said: “I bring to the table and to the Office of President of this great country an unblemished track record of personal integrity and fortitude.”
Please see full story on http://www.modernghana.com/news/421889/1/nana-akufo-addo-pledges-to-make-corruption-unattra.html.
Indeed! Just characteristic of every electioneering year, eligible voters and the entire populace usually get bamboozled with all kinds of juicy promises in all endeavours of development but at the end it turns out to be an eternal hoax!
These promises coming from Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is no exception from the numerous number of unfulfilled promises from the then NPP in power from 2000 to 2008.
The Ghana Anti-Money Laundering Journalists Network will fully rally behind Nana Addo in this crusade, but what we want to shed light on is the necessary evil fact that, on one hand, it becomes a different story when one is far away from the reigns of power and also a different twist of event when one should assume the reigns of power.
Another year is here with us and as usual, the flood gate for sheer display of deceit and vague promises has been opened and we are hearing promises that do not even exist.
It is an inalienable fact that corruption, which contitutes money laundering, has plagued Ghana to the extent that it keeps spreading its tentacles like a wild inferno hence the need to curtail it.
However, it is intriguing to note that the NPP which did not show any political will under ex-President John Kofi Diawuo Agyekum Kufuor, to fight corruption is now in the thick of events as we draw closer to the polls, outlining their so called anti-corruption agenda.
Over the past years under the Kufuor administration, Ghana witnessed the highest level of corruption ever in its history.
For the first time in Ghana, we had over 17 political aspirants gunning for the ultimate post of the state within one political party.
Over here, each aspirant at the time of 2007 paid a nomination fee of GH¢25,000 [250,000,000] old cedis, all in the name of deepening and strenghtening Ghana’s fledgling democracy.
All the 17 aspirants embarked on nationwide campaign tours with proceeds from various stinky deals reminiscent of NDC’s shady STX deals among others we are seeing today, under President Kufuor.
We don’t need to be told how these 17 aspirants managed to pull resources from nowhere to fund their personal campaigns.
On top of that, they all assembled for a mammoth congress at the University of Ghana in 2007 which went down as one of the most patronised political activities in Africa.
NPP blew an amount of GH¢80,000,000 [eighty million new Ghana cedis] which is 800 Billion Old Ghana Cedis on the congress; don’t forget Ghana had just redenominated its cedi in July 2007 so there was more easy cash to spare.
These are the sort of chalartans in political suits parading themselves as academics and elite corps seeking to come back to rule again.
What is more, under the NPP, the drug trade boomed like nobody’s business right under the nose of President Kufuor. Where was Akufo-Addo at that time?
A major case of reference was the arrest of the Nkoranza North MP, Hon. Eric Amoateng, who is now languishing behind bars in the USA.
This was a fire-brand NPP scribe, who contributed merirtoriously to the campaign funding of the party in the year 2004, that saw President Kufuor winning a second term.
In his attempt to recoup for the loss after the 2004 elections when he was milked by President Kufuor and his NPP cohorts, he was arrested the following year in 2005.
He had travelled to the USA on an Emirates Airline flight to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with a friend, Nii Okai Adjei. The trip was ostensibly to buy wrist watches for resale in Ghana with US$9,000 seized from Amoateng.
Seven boxes of pottery which had landed at Newark Liberty International Airport from London, destined for JFK a day earlier were found to contain 136 pounds of heroin.
The reported street value of the drugs was about US$6 million. Amoateng and Adjei were monitored by security personnel as they took delivery of the cargo and sent it to an American Self-Storage location on Staten Island. They were arrested the next day when they went to inspect the goods.
Amoateng apparently unsuccessfully claimed diplomatic immunity following his arrest. They were charged with "conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin".
Another case of interest was the 77 Parcel MV Benjamin Cocaine Saga which involved hardened drug mafias in the likes of Kwabena Amaning, aka Tagor, Alhaji Issah Abbass, ACP Kofi Boakye and the Almighty ‘East Legon Jezebel’ Mama Thess.
So what sort of winless war against corruption is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his NPP going to fight in their NPP number-two administration?
THE GHANA ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING JOURNALISTS NETWORK is a Chapter of the GIABA-ECOWAS NETWORK OF WEST AFRICAN JOURNALISTS AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING
It was formed on Thursday, May, 27th 2010 at the Shehu Musa Yar’ Adua Conference Centre in Abuja capital city of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during a GIABA world press conference and open house and interactive session with media executives from West Africa and other dignitaries from the sub-regional body.
It included senior editors and journalists from Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia, Senegal, Togo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cape Verde among other West African countries to form a regional media alliance to wage massive crusade against money laundering and terrorism financing.
It is meant to empower journalists and media practitioners to crusade against trans-national organized crimes.
The aim of the media network is to recognize the crucial role of the media in the fight against money laundering and financing of terrorism hence building the capacity of journalists to report well on issues pertaining to money laundering and terrorism financing.