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Opinions of Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

Amidu’s “Gargantuan Crime” Discovery and ....

Martin Amidu’s “Gargantuan Crime” Discovery and His Equally “Gargantuan” Dismissal-Matters Arising

It is said that the NDC as a party was formed on the principle of “probity and accountability” but we dare say on authority that it is just conglomerate of individuals joined together by fiendish and pungent desire to throw dust in the eyes of the unsuspecting Ghanaians to dupe them. If former President Rawlings indeed desired to create a political party to champion the cause of the ordinary Ghanaian as he wants the world to believe, then he owes mother Ghana an onerous responsibility to put the monster he has created back into its cage. President Rawlings owes it to Ghana and the suffering masses to disband the NDC as it is now or take it back from apologists of humility, false Christians and men and women of the pharisaic stock parading the corridors of power. We don’t think President Rawlings ever envisaged that his NDC will one day be taken over by men and women joined at the hip with greed and avarice as it today. Perhaps he never dreamt the day when con-artists, confident tricksters and debauchers will hijack the party he founded and signed into being with his own blood. And he still never figured out that the day will come when he would be jettisoned to a corner like a dirty napkin. Unfortunately for him and Ghana, that’s exactly the situation we find ourselves in.

By his own admission, President Rawlings’ party has been hijacked by “greedy bastards” and ingrates with insatiable desire to amass wealth leaving the devastating effect of Hurricane Katherine on the national purse. The stampede for property by people who have not even written job applications in their lives prior to their political appointments is horrendous. The evidence is clear for everyone to see. Usain Bolt would envy the speed with which some of the NDC appointees have acquired mansions and other properties across the length and breadth of the country. The President and his government are bereft of ideas and hence the open assault of the national kitty by the likes of Alfred Agbesi Woyomes, other NDC apparatchiks and their surrogates.

When seeking power from the electorates in 2008, then candidates Mills promised to investigate allegations of corruption when and if reported in the newspapers. The candidate Mills made this promise made because President Kuffour had suggested that, the onus is on who alleges corruption to provide evidence to enable the latter’s government to prosecute its members who were perceived to be corrupt. In his desperate effort to project himself as incorruptible, candidate Mills made the above promise without butting an eye. The chicken though has since come home to roost! What we see today in President Mills is a demonstration of politician who lacks the political will to tackle corruption in his own administration. From the Alhaji Muntaka saga, Stan Dogbe’s hampers, through the Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ videos to the current “Woyomegate”; all we have seen the President do is blow hot air upon hot air with no action. Whatever happened to Prof Mills’ campaign promise do deal with corruption is another matter. Alfred Agbesi Woyome has been consistent in saying on air that he did not and does not have any contract with Ghana but somehow, the gentleman managed to get as much $58 million dollars from Ghana with still more to come. To Alfred Woyome’s credit though; he has said time and again that he never had any contract with Ghana. The question therefore is; how did the then Attorney General Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the legal adviser to the government decide not to contest the case but gave the go ahead for the money to be paid to Alfred Woyome? I am not a lawyer and do not profess to be same but in this particular case and from Woyome’s own confession, there was no prima facie established for such monstrous amount to be paid to an individual who hadn’t hidden the fact that he never had any contract. But since this matter came to the fore through Honourable Kennedy Agyapong, the Deputy Attorney General Ebo Barton-Oduro and Deputy Chief of Staff, Alex Segbefia have all maintained their “Government had no defence” stance whilst Alfred Woyome, the man at the centre of this rigmarole as if crying for help, has hopped from one radio station to the other screaming he never had any contract with Ghana! If one juxtaposes Woyome’s admission of “…no contract with Ghana” against the comments of the Deputy Attorney General and the Deputy Chief Staff, it makes you wonder what the interests of the 2 deputies are in this whole saga. Are they conniving and colluding? President Kuffour, Kwadwo Mpianim, Yaw Osafo Marfo and others in the previous administration are all still alive and around to have been invited to clarify issues before payment was made to Alfred Woyome but someone was in an indecent haste to pay as quickly as possible for his/her cut and made sure the amount was paid in a record time. From the foregoing therefore, we agree with Nana Yaw Osafo-Marfo when he says that he would not honour the invitation of EOCO unless the latter first compel Alfred Woyome to pay back the money to the state. After all, what is the point in inviting Osafo-Marfo to help in retrieving monies paid more than a year ago when he was not first consulted before payment was made anyway? If the government wouldn’t compel Alfred Woyome to pay back the money, then Nana Yaw Osafo-Marfo should stay put and not honour EOCO invitation. But let the NDC choral group continue to sing ‘hallelujah chorus’ from one radio station to the other but they should be rest assured that this “gargantuan crime” will be painstakingly investigated; come 2013 and any one with their hand in the pie will prosecuted.

Ghanaians have heaved a sigh of relief when Martin Amidu, the immediate past Attorney General discovered “…a gargantuan crime against the people of Ghana” whilst investigating the payment of the $58 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome and promised to bring to book any one involved. If President Mills was serious about fighting corruption in the country, he would have sacked Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Ebo Barton-Oduro, Alex Segbefia and all those NDC extremists who have toed the “Government have no defence” line in this case. We are convinced that President Mills’ refusal to sack the afore-mentioned individuals is a clear manifestation that the former did not want Martin Amidu to reveal the identity of those behind this heinously “gargantuan crime”. Martin Amidu, like any other human being, may have his faults but in the matter of the ‘Woyomegate’, no one can doubt his heroics. He was the only sane voice in the NDC on this matter and even took on the “rented gutter press” of the party in his quest to expose those involved the “gargantuan crime” as he called it. Perhaps it was insane on his part to try to maintain his sanity at a time that everyone in the NDC seems to have gone insane about Alfred Woyome. He has left his mark in the annals of Ghana history for daring to take on his own party which seems intent on burying this crime under an avalanche of incoherent arguments and needless cacophonous propaganda.

Whilst this matter keeps unravelling, the President has failed to robe himself in glory and has betrayed the trust of the ordinary Ghanaian. President Mills should know that it is not enough to lachrymosely lament that, “…menyim ho hwee”. Now that he has sacked Martin Amidu though, no one will take him seriously that he abhors corruption and knows nothing about the payment. Since this matter came into public domain, all NDC ministers, appointees and foot soldiers have sung from same hymn sheet that Woyome did no wrong. All of them have conveniently chosen to ignore the fact that the man himself has said time and again that he never had any contract with the state of Ghana. Their interest has been how to drag the NPP into the matter just to even the score. It is only Martin Amidu who saw things differently. For the President to sack the only individual in his party who was also the State Attorney General and the person to have discovered the perpetration of “a gargantuan crime” against the nation Ghana is laughable. The flimsy excuse that Martin Amidu “mis-conducted” himself in a meeting with the President on 13.01.12 as stated in the letter to sack the former is indeed pathetic! Excerpts from the letter to sack the former Attorney General reads, “…The decision is as a result of Mr Amidu’s misconduct at a meeting last Friday, January 13.01.12 with his Excellency. Mr Amidu’s behaviour is incompatible with acceptable standards expected of ministers and appointees of the President” Why and how a so-called “humble” President couldn’t tolerate the “misconduct” of Martin Amidu just a little while; at least until after the latter has completed his investigation in this crime, punches holes in the former’s public posture as the whole denouement unravels. The President’s ministers who have stoically defended Woyome rather than the state have done nothing wrong but the only one who saw Woyome and his accomplices as criminal has “mis-conducted” himself!? The tone of the President’s letter to Martin Amidu demonstrates two things; that the former lacks the cojones to tackle corruption in his administration and secondly, he has little regard for the sentiments of Ghanaians. Perhaps our “humble” President has an intolerable pride which when pricked could cost the nation a cool $58 million. The former Attorney General is said to have “mis-conducted” himself and therefore was pushed before he could name those behind the “gargantuan crime”. We implore folks to remember the poor bloke ‘gargantuanly’ (my own coinage) in their prayers for his “gargantuan” effort but the country still awaits the day he will “spill the beans”.

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei