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Opinions of Monday, 19 November 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Does Sammy Gyamfi have the wherewithal to erase Mahama’s descriptive corruption label?

Let us congratulate the young man, Sammy Gyamfi, for winning the epic battle to become the NDC’s Communication Officer.

That said, we do not envy the young man’s current position, given the seemingly insurmountable task ahead of him.

Prior to the NDC’s internal elections, we read that the then aspiring National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, allegedly accused the former President, Mr John Dramani Mahama for being corrupt to the high heaven (emphasis mine).

The said story was captioned: "Sammy Gyamfi attacks Mahama, labels him corrupt!" (ghanaweb.com, 20/08/2018).

Bizarrely, however, in his desperation to make amends, the then aspiring NDC Communication Officer stated in his pompous and tentative press statement that “unlike President Akufo-Addo and the vice President Dr Bawumia, Mr. John Mahama is incorruptible.”

To be quite honest, it would only take an inveterate propagandist or a disputatious character to contend thatAkufo-Addo and Bawumiah are incorruptible.

Indeed, it does not take any superior powers of the mind or transcendental powers to appreciate that the aforesaid gentlemen are true patriots who only want the best for Mother Ghana.

In fact, President Akufo-Addo’s actions and inactions towards the fight against the canker of corruption cannot be underestimated. How could anyone aim a finger at a man who has created the Office of the Special Prosecutor with the view to combating the corrosive effects of corruption?

How would you accuse someone who can even report his own right-hand men to the investigative body such as the Criminal Investigation Department?

Indeed, it is unreasonable for anybody to suggest that a politician who can even reject the juicy trappings of a ministerial post can be corrupt.

Believe it or not, it is absolutely true that the man Akufo-Addo has been in active politics for well over forty years and there hasn’t been a single corruption case against him. So, why must anybody with a reflective mind think that the septuagenarian president will now indulge in malfeasance?

To be quite honest, it is only the mischievous and the antagonists of Akufo-Addo who would aim accusing fingers when it comes to corruption.

Sammy Gyamfi, the fact of the matter is that there are more bribery and corruption scandals hanging on the neck of Ex-President Mahama than any other president in the history of Ghanaian politics.

Sammy Gyamfi, more recently, we read that four valiant Ghanaians had petitioned the Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu to probe into the alleged E.O. Group’s $13 million corporate social responsibility fund towards the development of the Western Region which the petitioners claimed to have been diverted by Ex-President Mahama (See: ‘Mahama diverted $13m E.O. Group money; probe him – Four citizens petition Amidu’-todaygh.com/ghanaweb.com, 18/06/2018).

And, a few years ago, the investigative work carried out by the award winning investigative journalist, Joy FM’s Manasseh Azuri, exposed former President Mahama’s clandestine gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 by the Burkinabe Contractor, Djibril Kanazoe.

According to the report, the Burkinabe Contractor Kanazoe undertook a number of contracts which were secured through sole-sourcing and handpicking, amid allegations of former president Mahama’s influence.

Manasseh reported that Djibril Kanazoe over the years took part in the bidding process for contracts in the country. However he was not successful until a middleman led him to meet then Vice President Mahama.

Subsequent to meeting the then Vice President Mahama, Kanazoe was handpicked to build the $650,000 Ghana Embassy fence wall in Burkina Faso.

In September 2014, when officials of the Bank of Ghana met the Public Accounts Committee of Ghana Parliament (PAC), it came to light that an amount of $656, 246.48 had been spent on the construction of a fence wall over a parcel of land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Burkina Faso.

Apparently, PAC requested the Bank of Ghana to look into what it referred to as: “the outrageous” cost of the project.

However, it came to light that the procurement process was violated to the advantage of former President Mahama’s Burkinabe friend.

Amazingly, however, during an interview with Manasseh, Djibril Kanazoe admitted that he did not put in a bid for the contract, but it was rather the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou that wrote to his company to request price quotations for the project. And, he subsequently forwarded the necessary quotes and was selected.

“Subsequently, the Burkinabe contractor delivered to former President Mahama, the ‘gift’ of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle in 2012, the same year his company was selected, again through sole-sourcing, to execute more projects” (See: ‘Burkinabe Contractor offers controversial gift to President Mahama’ ; myjoyonline.com, 15/06/2015).

Shockingly, despite unobjectionable evidence of wrong doing, the likes of Sammy Gyamfi kept defending former President Mahama until discerning Ghanaians rightly voted them out of power in 2016.

Frankly stating, some of us would be most grateful if the energetic NDC anti-corruption crusaders like Sammy Gyamfi can revisit the puzzling corruption scandals such as STX housing deal, the Brazilian aircrafts, the Ford Expedition Vehicle and the Armajaro corruption scandals.

If we take a stroll down memory lane, somewhere in October 2010, the British media brought up sensational reports about how the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama was lobbied by a British Cabinet Minister to get a reprieve for the ban imposed on Armajaro Holdings, one of the cocoa buying companies who were found guilty for smuggling the commodity out of Ghana.

Armajaro Company was banned together with a few other companies, when the award winning investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed the smuggling of uncountable bags of cocoa into neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire.

Shockingly, however, the British media reported that subsequent to the meeting between the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama and the British Cabinet Minister, Armajaro Company was given a needless reprieve and then started its operations.

Sammy Gyamfi, if you may recollect, a few years ago, Mr Martin Amidu came out and told the whole nation that in July 2011, there was a hue and cry about the prices for the acquisition of five (5) aircrafts for the Ghana Armed Forces which were negotiated by your former President John Dramani Mahama.

Mr Amidu however stressed that even though on 26th July 2011 the late Mills attempted to defend the purchase of the five aircrafts, he became convinced of the necessity to set up a Committee to investigate those purchases.

Mr Amidu’s stressed: “a Committee to Investigate the Processes of the Acquisition of Five Aircrafts (5) including Embraer 190 Aircraft and hanger for the Ghana Armed Forces consisting of Mr. William Aboah, Mr. George Amoah, and Brig. Gen. Allotey (Rtd) former Judge Advocate-General was put together”.

Mr Amidu avouched : “the terms of reference of the Committee as I was instructed and drafted them for the late President were: “(i) to investigate the processes adopted in selecting, negotiating, and agreeing on the acquisition of the aircrafts; (ii) to investigate the competitive advantage, prices of the aircrafts and the level of economic and financial due diligence conducted by relevant agencies in the process of acquisition of the aircrafts; and (iii) to investigate any other matter that in the opinion of the Committee is reasonably related to the foregoing terms of reference”. “Pressure groups never allowed the Committee to take off”.

“But the very fact that the late President Mills even contemplated this Committee meant that he was uncomfortable with and suspicious of the alleged inflated prices of the aircrafts”.

Sammy Gyamfi, don’t you think the dubious aircrafts deal stinks to high heaven?

Sammy Gyamfi, we also hope and pray that you and your minions don’t go to sleep any longer over the STX Housing deal which was supposed to provide affordable housing units to the security agencies.

If you may remember, Sammy Gyamfi, in spite of the fact that the deal did not materialise, the then Vice President Mahama is alleged to have given us a bill of an excess of $300 million. How strange?

It beggars belief that despite the wanton corruption, the arrogance of power and the crass incompetence exhibited by the erstwhile Mahama administration which resulted in massive economic meltdown, the NDC faithful would still have the moral authority to accuse others of non-existent corruption.

Sammy Gyamfi, given the illimitable rot in the Mahama’s administration, some of us cannot help but to giggle over you and your minions renewed zeal to expose and prevent perceived corruption in the NPP administration.

Sammy Gyamfi, apparently the Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) estimates that monies lost to corrupt and dubious transactions under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama amounted to GHC5billion.

However, the total of my calculations in respect of all the recorded corrupt and dubious transactions exceeds that of the PNF; I recorded GH7 billion.

In ending, Sammy Gyamfi, some of us, as a matter of principle, cannot end our arousing disgust anyhow and anytime soon over the erstwhile Mahama government’s irreversible incompetence and the corrupt practices which nonetheless destabilised Ghana’s macroeconomic indicators.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com