Feature Article of Thursday, 23 February 2012

Columnist: Lakpor, Juliet

“Operation Jail Woyome” in Progress

It has become necessary to issue this Press statement to throw further light on the agenda being pursued by a Group of people within the corridors of power, to attempt to do irreparable damage to the hard-won reputation of Alfred Agbesi Woyome. It is clear that the ultimate aim of this group is to have Mr. Woyome Jailed to make the NDC look good.

During the incarceration of Alfred Woyome, Government agents spent an inordinate amount of resources, time and energy, running from media house to media house, trying to get them to convince the general public that he was mentioning names in a vain attempt to show him up as someone who is already guilty and thus, making confessions. Of course, these were all palpable lies all calculated to further tarnish the image and create public hatred for Alfred Woyome in pursuit of the “Operation Jail Woyome” agenda.

It is interesting to note, for the records, that in this case, respectable and hitherto respected political commentators who have always portrayed themselves as the Apostles of the rule of law have found Alfred Woyome guilty even before trail begins. Conveniently, they have chosen to forget that a man is innocent until proven guilty.
The desire of the NDC Government to jail Mr. Woyome at all cost so they could boast later that they jailed one of their own as a way of fighting corruption, is appalling, and particularly saddening to us, especially because of the fact that it was birthed by a party (the National Democratic Congress) that we have all supported since its founding. Indeed, we are shocked that a fraternity to whom we have contributed so much, and for whom we have sacrificed so much, could engage in such a thing as this, thus, “Operation Jail Woyome”.

It is important want to bring to the notice of the general public that what looks like an attempt by the Government of the day to protect the public interest is, in actual fact, an orchestrated campaign to jail and destroy Alfred Woyome forever. On Tuesday, our attention was drawn to further pre-meditated evil machinations going on against Mr. Alfred Woyome evidenced by the illegal photocopying, and distribution (to the media and to NDC Government Communication team) of his cheque leaflets issued to clients and other individuals: This devious action is in clear breach of the confidentiality that is supposed to be enjoyed by every account holder of every bank in the world. These cheque leaflets which were sourced (by means only the Good Lord can reveal) from his bankers, the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB).

Question: how can a bank of the standing of ADB could allow its fiduciary mandate and responsibility to be breached in this manner? These transaction records and photocopies thereof could not have been procured except by illegal means, similar to those used by the Economic and Organized Crime Office [EOCO]. In our candid opinion, this is the saddest day in banking for all businessmen in Ghana.

Also, we believe that the Bank of Ghana is culpable in this instance since it broadly endorsed the EOCO’s illegal order to all banks and rural banks in the country to freeze all his accounts without a mandatory court order.
The Bank of Ghana has the following information on its website, which is culled from the Banking Act of Ghana, relative to the responsibilities of Banks to customers: maintain strict secrecy about customer's affairs, whiles the account is operational or after it had been closed except:
1. the disclosure is by an Act of Parliament or a Court Order,
2. the disclosure is in the public interest,
3. the disclosure is in the bank's interest,
4. the disclosure is with the express or implied consent of the customer.
• give reasonable notice to close an account in credit.
• exercise due care and diligence in the operation of a customer account.

From what has transpired both in the illegal freeze of his accounts, without proper warrant to do so, and the negligent provision/publication of his private information, the Bank has acted in direct contravention of the statutes and responsibilities enshrined in the Laws governing their operations. This is both disturbing and tanatamount to a criminal offence in itself.
We are hopeful that the ADB will explain its actions, and also that they will be properly sanctioned by the Banking fraternity’s governing body. Trust is the cornerstone of the industry and they have betrayed that trust through these actions.

We cannot be confident of any action being taken concerning this blatant theft, and the ongoing slanderous campaign to jail Alfred Woyome, because this matter, involving the liability of government for its failure to abide by a contract, and the damage that the Government has and is doing to the reputation of a hard working son of Ghana, is both politically and personally motivated, and is an attempt to cover up for the Government’s own failure to act appropriately in contractual matters.
The strong arm tactics, now employing, the behind the scenes threats, and bald faced manufacture of lies to divert attention from the truth, are tools being used which will be used again against other citizens, when certain individuals in the corridors of power, have much to lose, and become desperate to cover up.
By this press statement, we are informing the President and members of the Government of the Republic of Ghana that the powers given to them by the people of Ghana were not designed to be abused in this fashion. It is for this very reason that our founding fathers with great care, crafted a Constitution protective of the rights of the citizen, clearly separating the powers of the branches of government, to avoid this very self same shameless abuse, interference and malicious use of authority; to protect the citizen from the vindictive nature of leaders, and viciousness of people given temporary power. The government has forgotten that their authority is given to them through the people, and not the other way round. They are servants and not masters.
They are paying scant lip service to the Constitutuion and engaging in petty, bloody minded, and disgraceful abuses of their authority. There are civilized and constitutional channels to address any issues of concern to the State, and these do not include mudslinging, underhandedness, and destruction of the citizen.
We are, by this press statement, informing Ghanaians that we are in possession of some of the photocopied cheques distributed widely and attached to some other documents to convey a certain erroneous impression to the public targeted to further denigrate Alfred Woyome to prepare the grounds to jail him.
It is worth mentioning the fact that the significant contributions that Alfred Woyome made to various projects for both the Government and the NDC Party have not been made public. The afore-going clearly shows and affirms his assertion that all that is going in is a conspiracy to bastardise and criminalize him.
We will conclude by saying that if bank account holders under this Government are not safe, who then is safe under this regime?

Source: Juliet Lakpor a former Intelligent Officer in the PNDC era & Colleagues from Russia cell:+53 (0)7 864 FAIR email: julietlakpor1964@gmail.com