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General News of Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Source: Richard Asamoah, Contributor

We support the call for a probe into Atta Mills’ death - GPHA ex-workers

The late Prof John Evans Atta Mills The late Prof John Evans Atta Mills

Some ex-workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority who were retrenched in 2002 without their severance benefits being paid have thrown their weight behind a Motion filed by some Majority MPs demanding a probe into the 2012 sudden death of Mills in office.

In a statement issued in Accra on Monday, the ex-workers who are still fighting for justice described the death as “mysterious.”

“Former President John Evans Atta Mills was a good man who deserved his full tenure at the Presidency where he served Ghana with compassion, humility and justice. We welcome the Motion by the Majority MPs in Parliament to have his death probed so that the unending mystery surrounding it will be solved once and for all.”

The statement is signed by the leader of the ex-workers, Mr. Stephen Ashitey Adjei.

It comes in the wake of four MPs of the Majority Group in Parliament filing a Motion demanding a probe into the July 24, 2012 sudden death which makes Mills the first and only Ghanaian president to die in office.

The group behind this motion is led by Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh Dompreh.

Tolon MP, Habib Iddrisu, Mpraeso MP, Davis Opoku Ansah, and Tema Central MP, Yves Hanson Nortey complete the quartet of lawmakers seeking the intervention of the house to investigate the death which occurred on July 24, 2012.

According to the GPHA ex-workers, “our interest in the matter is because the mysterious, sudden death of Professor Mills on that fateful 24th July, 2012 is one of the reasons the injustice against us has still not been resolved.

Just around the time of Mills’ demise, the ex-workers had written to Professor Mills about their predicament and had obtained what they say was a fiat from the President ordering that they be paid.

“We had been retrenched and left to go with a handshake. However, we started agitating and the GPHA was forced to pay five people out of the about, 4,000 of us. It looked as if all institutions in the system, including the courts were failing us. But not President Mills. Immediately we wrote to him, he started an investigation into our issue and soon issued a fiat to the Transport Ministry to ensure that we are paid, it is alleged that former president Kufuor, who wields enormous influence over president Mahama, advised against payment of the severance benefits because his nephew, Ben Owusu Mensah, a former director general of GPHA, who was part of the cartel that ‘chopped’ the poor ex workers money including Mr. Nestor P. Galley, a former director of Tema Port and Mr. Richard Anamoo, who was a project director of GPHA under Kufuor’s nephew and later became director general of GPHA.

They continue, “However, not long after that, President Mills suddenly died and he was succeeded by his Vice, former President John Mahama. Mr. Mahama then discontinued the process from where Mills had left off and never even replied to a single letter we wrote to him to follow up on our issue.”

According to the ex-workers, “with the mystery surrounding Professor Mills’ death, we are naturally curious to know how death managed to snatch his life just at the time that he had directed that we be paid what is due us. This is why we support the call for a probe into the death.”