General News of Wednesday, 20 June 2018
A spokesperson for former President John Dramani Mahama sparked heated political debate after she launched unprovoked attacks on President Akufo-Addo.
Reacting to a supposed petition that is seeking to trigger investigations into the alleged conduct of Mr Mahama, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, a cousin of the former president who served under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, said her boss, unlike President Nana Akufo-Addo, is incorruptible.
She accused New Patriotic Party (NPP) government of being behind the petition.
The petition for criminal investigation of Mr. Mahama for alleged diversion of $13 million into private pockets meant for the development of Western Region from the E.O. Group was reportedly sent to the Special Prosecutor’s Office by Emmanuel Owusu, Eric Dumenu Akatsi, Peprah Kyei Baffour and Dawda Eric.
The petitioners are seeking to invoke Section 3 (1) (b) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) to have the former president investigated for alleged diversion of $13 million meant for the development of Western Region as part of the corporate social responsibility of the E.O Group.
“The basis upon which this petition is brought to your office is as a result of an article published on Ghanaweb.com on the 2nd December, 2016 by the longest serving Deputy Attorney General of the Republic of Ghana in the person of Hon. Martin Alamisi Amidu,” the petitioners said, adding “the said article alleged that former President John Dramani diverted $13 million to private pockets when he served as Vice President.”
They added, “We do consider the allegation against him as criminal and for that matter, we humbly beseech your office to have this matter investigated to get those monies retrieved to the public purse. It is our conviction that the issue be considered in the interest of the Republic of Ghana.”
In the ensuing heat, the office of the former president, in a statement, described Mr. Mahama as ‘incorruptible’ and rather accused President Akufo-Addo of corruption without evidence.
The former president was also fingered in a deal for the acquisition of Embraer aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) from the Brazilian company.
Former President Atta Mills was said to have ordered the investigation before his death.
“Former President Mahama, unlike President Nana Akufo-Addo, is incorruptible,” Ms Bawa-Mogtari said, adding that “Mr. Mahama expects the Special Prosecutor, who the petitioners claim is the originator and source of the false and dubious claims, to expeditiously commence its work.”
She said, “The petition is obviously another false and dubious claim; furthermore, the said petition is another orchestrated but failed attempt by the NPP government to divert attention from the numerous corruption scandals suffocating it.”
“It actually makes mockery of the Special Prosecutor that the surrogates of the NPP will cite as their evidence, an article they say was written by him. This is a man who during his public vetting before parliament said the allegations he made against various people over the years were based on perception.”
“To suggest as the petition claims that a president can divert funds from a private company in the circumstances described is absurd.”
The said article written by then Citizen Vigilante, who is now Special Prosecutor Martin A.B.K. Amidu on December 2, 2016 and released to the media on December 7, said, “This President (then President Mahama) pretends to prosecute only those he dislikes like Abuga Pele, the MP for Paga, and a few others. But he only uses the pretended prosecutions to whip his wayward party members into line. Heed well, they say past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour.”
He continued, “John Mahama is not a newcomer to the corrupt practice of aiding the looting of the public purse. As a condition for President Mills signing the controversial executive consent to permit the E.O. Group to assign its $300 million shares to Tullow, the E.O. Group agreed to pay $13 million to the government for the development of the Western Region, and they called it corporate social responsibility.”
“It was John Mahama (as the Vice President) who orchestrated the unlawful deal which I refused to endorse as the Attorney General at the time. It was Mahama who ensured that the $13 million was paid not to the government of Ghana for the benefit of the people, but into private pockets which the late President Mills was shocked to hear shortly before his death. So what is the talk of anti-corruption by this incumbent President Mahama?”
“During his tenure, Ben Kumbour who succeeded me as Attorney General refused to give the indemnity that was demanded from me by this President (then as Vice President). The indemnity was given in December 2014 when the late Miss Aikins (who was DPP when I was Attorney General) was ordered to produce that criminal case docket I had left in her custody to an officer of the Attorney General’s office upon the instructions of this President. We are told this President is incorruptible? Tell it to the marines.”