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General News of Friday, 26 April 2019

Source: XYZ

Mahama not ‘clearing agent’ like Akufo-Addo – Omane Boamah

Former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah has said the erstwhile Mahama government was not corrupt as the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The former minister averred the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) government under Mr John Mahama never shielded corrupt officials like president Nana Akufo-Addo does in his government.

He made the remark on radio XYZ 93.1 when speaking to Inside Politics host Mugabe Maase. Dr Omane Boamah who did not mince words observed the NPP government was more corrupt than the Mahama administration.

Referring to the successful prosecution of some appointees in the previous NDC government, the former spokesperson for Mr Mahama stated the then government did not condone corrupt practices because the president at that time was interested in protecting the public purse.

“It is never true that the NDC government was corrupt. We [NDC] did not accept corrupt practices. John Mahama was not a clearing agent like president Akufo-Addo who is only interested in clearing appointees who engage in corrupt practices,” Dr Omane Boamah jabbed.

To him, President Akufo-Addo clears his appointees cited for corrupt activities despite evidence that may be available to Ghanaians in that regard.

Mahama

In January last year, former president Mahama who was addressing party members after a ‘unity walk’ in Techiman stated NDC appointees were not afraid of the Special Prosecutor, the Attorney General or any state prosecutor, adding they are apostles of probity and accountability.

“We the members of NDC are not scared. Whether Special Prosecutor, Attorney General or state Attorney…I said at Ho that we are the apostles and disciples of probity and accountability. So if we are out of government and you want to subject us to probity and accountability, we don’t have a problem but we must make sure that all our colleagues, ex-appointees who are accused of any wrongdoing go through the right process and are convicted by a competent judge,” the former president said.

He continued, “We the NDC members should not pass judgement on our colleagues because they are deemed innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Clearing Agent

Dr Omane Boamah’s reaction comes on the back of various corrupt activities that directly involve some appointees within the administration of Nana Akufo-Addo.

Despite the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to deal with corruption cases, the canker has become endemic in Ghana with an estimated annual loss of €3 billion.

In February 2018, a parliamentary Committee probing what became known as ‘cash for Seat saga’ exonerated Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, of any wrongdoing in the controversial transactions with expatriate business entities.

This was after Mr Kyerematen was accused of extorting monies from some expatriates to the tune of $100,000 to sit close to the President during an award ceremony in 2017.

The ad hoc committee found as improper the use of public accounts to receive private monies by the trade ministry, as occurred during the expatriate business awards in 2017.

Before the committee could bring out its report, President Akufo-Addo cleared Mr Kyeremateng and his ministry of wrongdoing despite leaked documents that affirmed the act.

Charles Cromwell Bissue, a presidential staffer who was made a secretary to government’s Inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining (IMCIM) was recently caught on camera receiving monies from some persons to facilitate processes and provide security for their company to engage in illegal mining.

The government has refused to crack the whip ever since the Tiger Eye PI and investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released the tape.

Charles Bissue only stepped aside after the galamsey fraud exposé but is still working at the seat of the President.

Andy Owusu, an aide to the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the ruling NPP, Benard Antwi Boasiako (Chairman Wontumi) who was also captured by the Tiger Eye P.I collecting monies from the investigative team to facilitate their illegal mining operation, is walking freely.

Criticism

Many analysts and anti-graft crusaders are sceptical about Nana Akufo-Addo’s commitment to fighting corruption especially prosecuting his own appointees following the clearing of some of them who were fingered for purported corrupt activities.

Anti Corruption campaigner, Vituz Azeem believes the president cannot fight graft as he promised prior to his investiture in January 2017.

He was speaking on ‘Ete Sen’ on Radio XYZ 93.1 on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, on the back of the suspension of the Eastern Regional Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), Fred Dzeny for his comment that urged the President to show commitment towards fighting corruption by prosecuting corrupt officials within his government.

When host of the programme, Kwame Minkah, asked if he thought the government was doing well in the fight against corruption with commitments shown in setting up the office of the Special Prosecutor, Mr Azeem said “there is still some hope but at least with the current happenings in this government, we can say all is lost with regards to this government’s commitment to fighting against corruption because if this can happen to EOCO, what is the guarantee that it wouldn’t happen to the Special Prosecutor?”