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General News of Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Akufo-Addo endorsement of Jospong changes nothing – Deputy A-G

A Deputy Attorney-General says the president’s pouring of laudations on the Chairman of the Jospong Group will not affect ongoing investigations into the conduct of some subsidiaries of the Group.

Some officials of the Jospong Group are being investigated for allegedly inflating the prices of contracts to render services to the state.

The police moved to investigate the officers after an investigation by Joy News’ Manasseh Azure Awuni highlighting how a contract signed between a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies and the Local Government Ministry was inflated by some GHS130 million.

In the waste bin contract between the company, the Local Government Ministry and government, the officers are said to have inflated the cost of a 240 litre bin from GHS135.00 to GHS 150.00.

But it is the president’s showering of praise on the Chairman of the Group, Joseph Siaw Agyepong and workers of the company during a tour in Accra that incensed many.

Many, especially anti-graft civil society organisations, believe the praise will obstruct investigations and criticised the president who has been touting his commitment to fighting corruption.

But Mr Dame said this will not happen.
He told the host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Kojo Yankson in an interview as part of CorruptionWatch that there is nothing wrong with the president appreciating what the Jospong Group is doing in dealing with sanitation in the country.

“I did not hear him to be encouraging or acting in a way contrary to law, neither did I hear him instruct or discourage any investigative body from prosecuting him,” he said.

He added that “There is no way the actions of the president can impede or interfere with actions or steps by his appointees or members of his government in dealing with Zoomlion.”

The Deputy Attorney General said state institutions handling the case are doing so independently.

This he said, is evident in the role he personally played in assisting Manasseh to get all the information he needed during his investigations.
A recent announcement by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) following the president’s comments that it has concluded investigations into the conduct of Zoomlion, a subsidiary of Jospong, is also indicative of the independence of the institutions handling the investigations, he said.

He admonished the media to, instead of picking on trivial issues, assist the government by emphasizing the ones that are relevant.

“I will still continue to work with Manasseh and I have not seen any directive from the president to relax or soften actions against Zoomlion.
“Institutions of state are working independently and I’m sure the CID since that time has taken actions so we don’t have to be unnecessarily alarmed by all these statements,” he added.