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Politics of Friday, 22 August 2014

Source: The Republic

Corruption Rocks NPP: Afoko investigates Akufo-Addo boys

The National Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Afoko has exposed damning rot in the party, citing embezzlement and misappropriation of party funds by individuals manning important administrative positions.

According to him, Mr. Hammond’s expose was just the “tip of the iceberg” of similar acts of corruption by executives of the main opposition party.

He made this expose during Tuesday’s controversial press conference that saw machete-wielding party thugs attacking several people at the NPP headquarters.

The press conference was eventually truncated by the violent assault on people believed to be supporting the course of the Chairman and the party’s General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong.

Paul Afoko particularly cited Opare Hammond, the ousted Director of Finance and Administration for a series of actions bordering on corruptions.

“ was also found out that even after Tamale, where new executives had been elected, Mr. Opare Hammond continued to make withdrawals from the party’s accounts without authorization from the General Secretary or myself. These withdrawals are still a subject of investigations, and the results will be made known to party members and the general public in due course,” Paul Afoko indicated in a statement released on Tuesday.

According to him, Mr. Hammond also awarded to himself the contract to print accreditation cards needed for the party’s just-ended Tamale Conference to elect party national executives, even though a party member offered to print the accreditations free of charge for the party.

The contract sum was at a whooping sum of GHc13,000.00, “this is a serious conflict of interest situation. Mr. Opare Hammond was given GHc38, 000 to set up the event secretariat in Tamale but has failed to render accounts since the Tamale Conference. This subject is also being investigated, and the results will soon be brought to members of the party and the general public,” Paul Afoko narrated in an expose that has raised questions about the credibility of the opposition party fighting to win power in 2016.

According to sources, some people possibly caught hint of the expose the Chairman was going to make during the press conference and likely organised the thugs who stormed the headquarters to stop the press conference.

Opare Hammond was relieved of his post a couple of months ago but has caused serious uproar in the opposition party, as certain individuals questioned the rationale for his dismissal.

But Paul Afoko has maintained that contrary to attempts by some interest groups in the party to make Opare Hammond appear the victim, he was indeed fired because of his underhand dealings with party funds, “... For these reasons and more, Mr. Opare Hammond was relieved of his post. This is just the tip of the iceberg the rest of the story will be told when we come back to you," he said.

Mr. Hammond who protested his dismissal stated that he was sacked for no reason whatsoever, "No concrete reason has been assigned to me by them (Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong) why they called me into the just tell me that they have come to the end of the road with me," said Mr. Hammond. According to him, the Chairman and General secretary simply told him they could not work with him, so he should step down.

Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong are facing intense resistance from some section of the opposition party in their attempt to bring ‘professionalism’ to bear on how the party’s affairs are being run.

They have likely upset the some strong individuals with their crusade as they are being threatened with impeachment.

With the latest expose, critics have questioned the credibility of the opposition party which has accused the current ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of being corrupt and mismanaging public funds.