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General News of Friday, 6 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Freddie Blay purchased buses with UMB loan – Spokesperson

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) aspiring Chairman, Freddie Blay, contracted a loan facility from Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), to procure 275 buses for party constituency executives, according to the acting Chairman’s spokesperson.

The Spokesperson, Richard Nyamah, stressed on Eyewitness News that Mr. Blay did not procure the buses with his own money.

These comments were made in response to claims that Mr. Blay purchased the buses to influence the vote at the upcoming NPP delegates conference in Koforidua on Saturday July 7.

The other National Chairman aspirant, Stephen Ntim, has made known his vote-buying concerns.

But Mr. Nyamah explained that “Mr. Blay has taken a facility to empower and facilitate the NPP as a party going forward. It is not his personal money from his pocket or his bank account.”

“He has gone into an agreement with a bank, where the bank will make a profit and the constituencies at the end of every month, would also get some payments in their accounts to pay the party at the constituency level.”

The buses will also remain under the name of UMB, “until the facility is fully paid,” he added.

“When the facility is paid off, the buses will be owned by the constituencies and ownership transferred to them.”



Special Prosecutor probe

Nonetheless, the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has his sights on Mr. Blay over how he funded the purchase of the 275 buses for all 275 constituencies of the party.

Mr. Blay has faced criticism for taking steps to fulfill his promise of purchasing the cars, after he took delivery of the first batch of 100 minibuses at the Port on Wednesday.

Mr. Blay is reported to have made a down payment of 3 million dollars, which constitutes 30% of the total cost of 11.4 million dollars for the 275 cars.

A source at the Office of the Special Prosecutor told Citi News that Mr. Amidu will go ahead with the investigations whether or not Mr. Blay wins this Saturday’s election.

The source said Mr. Martin Amidu is of the view that, Mr. Blay is a public officer as a Board Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), and also as a national officer of the governing party with influence, he falls under the Criminal offenses Act (1960) Act 29, and must therefore be questioned on his source of funding.