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General News of Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Source: Citifmonline.com

Effah-Dartey asked to pay rent to state

A top gun in the New Patriotic Party, Captain Nkrabea Effah Dartey will have to cough up some GH¢9,000 to the government for wrongfully occupying a state bungalow.

The former Deputy Interior Minister has been surcharged for continuing to occupy the bungalow after he was relieved of his post in 2006.

The surcharge of the ex-Berekum MP follows that of the NPP’s General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, who has also been requested by the Atta Mills government to pay some GH¢96,000 for 'squatting' in state bungalow for eight years and also for turning the property into “a commercial centre”.

The Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing Hannah Bissiw told Citi News that there are ten more former government officials who would be made to pay rent for the same reasons.

Citi News gathered that the Former Tourism Minister, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey would be one of the ten.

In the case of Capt (rtd) Effah Dartey, Dr. Bissiw said that a letter has been sent to him asking him to pay a sum of GH¢9,000 representing thirty months of staying in a state bungalow.

In a sharp response, Captain Effah Dartey told Citi News that the request from the Deputy Minister is “…misconceived, misplaced and improper and that she should advise herself properly.”

He explained that as an MP in the last Parliament, he was entitled to a Government accommodation and was therefore not required to pay rent.

“…the building is a government building and so whether you are a Minister or a Member of Parliament, you can live in a Government accommodation…I was a Member of Parliament, entitled to Government accommodation and so I was not supposed to pay rent and the question does not arise,” he rebutted.

Hannah Bissiw, in a counter rebuttal said the retired Army Captain was ignorant of the rules of engagement.

She contended that “parliamentarians have their own allocation as far as housing is concerned. That’s why parliamentarians were given some amount of money to go and rent while Ministers who were not parliamentarians were not given.”