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General News of Sunday, 11 October 2009

Source: GNA

M&J bribery scandal: Sipa-Adjah Yankey pleads innocent

Accra, Oct. 10, GNA - Dr.George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, who has resigned in the wake of the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal, said on Saturday that he was innocent of the allegations, but had to resign to end attacks on President John Evans Atta Mills and his government and allow them to room to concentrate on their work.
He said in Accra that for some time now, there had been attacks on the president and the government and that he did not want them to be distracted from their work.
Dr Yankey said he also resigned to clear his name, declaring: "I have never taken a bribe".
He said he had begun a number of initiatives to improve on the health of the people, such as the fight against Malaria, and expressed the hope that these would be continued.
An official statement in Accra on Saturday signed by Mr. John Henry Newman,Chief of Staff, said, Dr. Yankey and Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Minister of State at the Presidency, had resigned from the government and President Mills had accepted them.
It said this followed lengthy closed door discussions held over the last two days with Vice President John Dramani Mahama, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Betty Mould-Iddrisu and other close aides of the president.
It said President Mills had asked the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to conduct investigations into those allegations of bribery against Ghanaian public officials in the said case. "The President expressed regret at the resignations and was hopeful that the decision to ask CHRAJ to investigate the case would offer a platform for the public officials named in the case to clear their names and hard won reputations."
The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, returned from London last Wednesday after acquiring the relevant documents, including transcripts of witnesses, on the trial of Mabey and Johnson (M&J), during which allegations of bribery were made against some top Ghanaian officials. Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu also held meetings with top directors and other high-ranking officials of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK to build data for a thorough investigation into the allegations of corruption made against the Ghanaian officials by directors of M&J, a UK-based construction firm.
The Ghanaian officials mentioned in the alleged scandal include Dr. Yankey, who was then a director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and Alhaji Seidu, a Minister of State at the Castle, who was also a Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways in the 1990s.
The rest include Dr. Ato Quarshie, who was a Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Siddique, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing in the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor, who was a director at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning at the time of the alleged scandal, and one Mr Edward Attipoe.