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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Columnist: Awuni, Manasseh Azure

CHRAJ Must Investigate P.C. Ofori’s Allegations!

A lot has been said and written about the Marbey and Johnson bribery scandal and I do not think there is any new angle from which to analyse the scandal better. What, however, irritates me and sends me writing this piece is how the serious allegation by the Member of Parliament of the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa Constitutuency, Hon. Paul Collins Appiah Ofori, is left to the party level. PC Appiah Ofori has been touted as someone who is dedicated to the fighting of corruption in Ghana. He was the only NPP MP who opposed the GT-Vodafone deal. He has come out to state on countless media platforms that the New Patriotic Party Members of Parliament received a bribe of US $5,000 each before voting for the controversial sale of 70% shares of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone. This anti-corruption campaigner claims he has documents of corrupt practices by the NPP government that, if released, could collapse the party.

He has however vowed that he will never release those documents unless he is invited by the Disciplinary Committee of his party. If indeed, if PC Appiah Ofori has documents and would not release them, then he is a nation wrecker and not an anti-corruption campaigner. Our elders say an elder who sits in the house for children to eat python is also countered as a python eater. He who does not expose crime is a criminal!

I see no reason why the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice cannot investigate the MP’s allegations. If the corrupt practices are true, they were committed against Ghana and not the NPP. The Commissioner of CHRAJ told GBC Radio over the weekend that the commission had started investigating the Marbey and Johnson scandal even before the president asked them to do so. This is a scandal which happened years ago, but PC Appiah Ofori’s allegations happened only last year and there are still calls for the review of the sale GT. For how long shall we continue to say, “As for Appiah Ofori, don’t mind him?” What if what he is saying is true? Do we have to wait for some directors of Vodafone to take over one day and go to court to say that their predecessors once bribed Ghanaian MPs? Or why do we not want to take this man serious? He is a Member of Parliament who has at least all his five senses untouched. He makes laws that are binding on all Ghanaians. If we have reason to believe that “there is something wrong with him” then he does not qualify to be in parliament in the first place. If the NPP MPs against whom this incriminating allegation has been made have decided to ignore him, CHRAJ must not. If CHRAJ started investigating the M and J scandal before they were given the nod to do so, then they must investigate PC’s bribery allegations.

If what he is saying has no basis, it will be laid bare after the investigation and all Ghanaians will know who P.C Appiah Ofori really is.

Credit: Manasseh Azure Awuni [azureachebe2@yahoo.com] The writer is the SRC President of the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Read more of Azure’s works on www.maxighana.com