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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Columnist: Asamoa-Baah, Kofi

Now We Know

Why has it taken 7years to prosecute the former first lady and her cronies in the Nsawam Cannery Divestiture debacle . The facts are clear and straightforward , the evidence is rock solid . After 4 Attorney Generals and numerous postponements , one would have thought this case would be over by now .The longer the delay , the more this woman gets the nerve to go to court with her mindless coitre of hooligans and “rent-a-thug” crowd, who show up at the court ,singing war songs and creating all kinds of lawlessness . Could it be that the sitting judge is afraid , mindful of what happened to the 3 High Court judges in 1982?

Someone needs to show some guts and have the backbone to prosecute this case, and stop this wasteful practice of kicking the can down the road for the next Government.

Now comes this bribery scandal where the former President and his intrusive unelected wife , together with their trusted right hand man and alterego, P. V Obeng are accused of receiving huge sums of money from a Norwegian company Scancem, in order to monopolise the production and distribution of cement in the country.

According to the report published by a Norwegian magazine – DN Magasinet , between 1993 and 1998 , a total of US$1,690,000 was transferred to the Barclays Bank S A .Luxemburg for Nana Konadu Rawlings, and a total of US$2.460,000 was also paid into the UniBank S A in Geneva , Switzerlandr Mr. P .V. Obeng , then the Presidential Advisor to the PNDC regime headed by Nana Konadu’s husband , Mr . J . J . Rawlings .

Mr. P. V. Obeng has confessed receiving monies from the said company , explaining that the amount was much smaller than reported , and that it was for “consultancy services “ he rendered to the company !! Where have we heard this before .

Another NDC operative, Rojo Mettle mills “ rendered consultancy services” to some Venezuelan drug barons , even though he admitted he did not know the business his employers were in !! Tell that to the tooth fairy !!!!

When is the former President going to come out and explain to Ghanaians what happened in this sordid affair , or is he going to invoke Antoa Nyama or ask for a “ chemical interrogation “ , or hide behind his lawyers who will issue their usual useless press statements .

It was not long in our history when these self righteous hypocrites and false apostles of “ Probity and Accountability” , slaughtered other Ghanaians for simply and legitimately borrowing money from the banks for their businesses. Testifying in court ,Gerhard Heilberg , a SCANCEM official based in Ghana at the time , said Rawlings and his wife were among those who received money from scancem by cash payments and special coded forms, specially designed for the purpose. This is from the horses own mouth : the very same man who made the said payments .

Given the high secrecy and professional manner in which the whole bribery case was executed, we may never be able to trace these monies., but the perception and reality is that , something fishy went down , and the Rawlingses who parade themselves as “ paragons of virtue “ have been caught red handed with their fingers in the cookie jar.

It is inconceivable that Mr. P . V Obeng wii engage in such high level and sensitive negotiations without the tacit approval of Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings. The central dilemma for the Rawlingses is to extricate themselves form this tangled web of corruption , deceit and under-handedness ., which affected the economic life of all Ghanaians , who were forced to pay prohitively high prices for cement during that time. This bribery issue is a Ghana issue , because the reputation of the Presidency and the nation is at stake. Rawlings and his wife have brought shame not fame to the Presidency !!

Now we know where the money came from that has enabled the Rawlingses to live the good life : mansions , speedboats , expensive cars and jaccuzis At a time when thousands of Ghanaian school children studied under trees , the Rawlingses could send ALL 4 of their children to expensive private colleges abroad – all expenses paid for ,according to them , by some nameless friends !! Now we know where the money came from !!!

There is something to be said about a man who will call P. V. Obeng and former Nigerian dictator and thief Sani Abacha “ men of integrity “ . This is the time , a shining time for P.V. Obeng to sing and tell the whole story to Ghanaians , at least to justify the recent bogus national award he received . what for ??

We need answers NOW !! We cannot allow the former First lady to hide behind her “ women empowerment crap “ to steal state property for herself. Not since Emelda Marcos has a Firsts lady of a country been so corrupt and so hated in her own country !! We need justice NOW !! We cannot allow the former President to hide behind his “

So far , Prof . Fiifi Mills is eerily silent in the midst of the greatest bribery scandal in our history , and we appeal to the learned Prof to take a break from his useless “ I CARE FOR YOU “ tour ,and hold one of his mindless press conferences. You are judged not only by the company you keep , but also by the company you avoid.

This time we promise to listen, because we want to hear the rest of the story !!!

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