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General News of Sunday, 29 April 2018


Stop ‘media trial’ against ex-appointees – Mahama to NPP

Former President John Dramani Mahama has taken a swipe at the governing New Patriotic Party urging the government to focus on transforming the country instead of baselessly crucifying former appointees in the media.

According to him, if the government has evidence of corruption against any of the former appointees, they should use due process and pursue them in court instead of using what he described as “media trial.”

“This trial by newspaper affects the credibility of the government. If you hear that several sums of money have gone missing yet no one has been arrested for prosecution, then you are destroying the confidence of people in the credibility of the government. So the trial by media must stop,” he said.

Ever since the NPP assumed office, the government has accused some former officials of the Mahama administration of causing financial loss to the state.
Some government communicators recently said the Tema Oil Refinery could not account for an amount of GHc150 billion from its coffers, an amount which they said went missing under the Mahama government.

The Sanitation Minister, Kofi Adda had also said a GHc99 million plastic waste levy collected by the John Mahama-led administration could not be traced.

But addressing members of the National Democratic Congress in Kumasi during the party’s Unity Walk session on Saturday, Mahama said such allegations are baseless.

“Instead of focusing on the job to make Ghana a better place, every day they complain that an amount of money has gone missing. If money has been lost, conduct the investigation and arrest the perpetrators. Who has the power?”

“Recently they said GHc150 billion at TOR is missing. How can GHc150 billion be lost? If such amount is missing, arrest those who stole that amount. Another person also said that GHc90 million is missing from the sanitation fund. We set up the sanitation fund and asked Local Government Ministry to submit guidelines before the money will be released, but Local Government [Ministry] could not submit the guidelines, so the money was not given. How can that be missing?”

More than one year into office, the NPP government which had tagged the erstwhile government as incompetent and corrupt is prosecuting only a few of the former appointees.

Government is currently prosecuting the former COCOBOD CEO, Dr Stephen Opuni, former board chair of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Eugene Baffoe Bonnie and four others who are believed to have caused the state to lose vast sums of monies.

Four persons, including the former Director General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Ernest Thompson, are also being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office’s (EOCO) for allegedly causing financial loss to the state for the role they played in the SSNIT software scandal.