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General News of Monday, 9 September 2019


Akufo-Addo’s fight against corruption: Manasseh issues 'deception alert'

Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni

Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni has issued what he terms as a "Deception Alert" ahead of the President’s planned speech on the fight against corruption in his government at the 2019/2020 Annual General Conference of the Ghana Bar Association.

Manasseh who recently aired a documentary on corruption titled “Contracts for Sale” on alleged corruption at the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), believes that the government is not committed to the fight against corruption.

He has likened the President to the ‘Chief Clearing Agent’ of the Republic who has cleared all persons involved in the Australian Visa Scandal even though the said did scandal happen.

The President is scheduled to address the Bar Conference in Takoradi later today. He shall be focusing on strides made by his government in the fight against corruption.

Read the full text of his statement below;

Dear Lawyer attending the Bar Conference in Takoradi,

I hear the President will, this morning, extol the virtues of his government in the fight against corruption at your annual conference. If you ever get close to his ear in the course of the conference, whisper to him some questions for me.

Remind him that I brought his attention to a fraudulent and unconscionable deal between Zoomlion and the government that cost the nation more than ONE BILLION, SIX HUNDRED MILLION GHANA CEDIS between 2013 and 2019 without any written agreement. Ask him why he and his party called the contract fraudulent, while in opposition, but when they took over the running of the nation, they renewed it without a written agreement. Ask the President why he failed to act even though I brought this to his attention. Ask him why he and his party campaigned with this remnant of the GYEEDA scandal but continued it after winning power?

And if you ever get close to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, ask her this question for me: one of the angles I explored in my “Robbing the Assemblies” investigative documentary series in 2017 was the fact that government officials in the previous regime fraudulently paid over 200 Million Ghana Cedis to Zoomlion and its sister companies for fumigation, which the assemblies were already paying Zoomlion to undertake. There’s no evidence work done at the assemblies’ level where the contract was to be executed. Ask the Attorney General why, after two years, and with the dossier of evidence submitted by the Police CID to her Department, nothing has been done?

Did the President swear to protect the public purse and the general interest of Ghanaians or he swore to shield individuals and businesses whose fraudulent deals have hurt and continue to destroy this country?

Ask the President to tell you whether there were spirits from heaven or hell who descended here and committed the Australian visa scandal. All the officials have been exonerated and cleared by the Chief Clearing Agent of Republic. But the offence was committed. So how does such a government convince lawyers, the class of people considered to be the most enlightened in our society, that it is committed to the fight against corruption?

I know the Office of the Special Prosecutor may come up as his biggest achievement and weapon in the fight against graft. Dear lawyer, if it does, remember the story of a king who gave his beautiful daughter to the most handsome and well-built young man in the country to marry. After the fanfare that accompanied the marriage, he dispossessed the young man of his manhood. Ask the president how useful that marriage is, especially when the fiercely outspoken man dispossessed of his six-inch mini cobra, mysteriously, keeps blaming everyone for his inability to consummate the marriage, but exonerates the king who dispossessed him of is prized asset.

There’s a lot to say, but let’s leave it here. This is meant to be just a “Deception Alert” from a concerned friend of the “learned”. Share it, and encourage your colleagues to listen to the president’s anti-corruption sermon with cotton wool in both ears. Scientists say it prevents political flu.

Yours sincerely,

Manasseh Azure Awuni

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