Effutu MP Alex Afenyo-Markin has said the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), rather than witch-hunting flag bearers of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC), must channel their efforts into investigating the source of funding for the governing National Democratic Congress’ sprawling headquarters built in Accra.
He has accused EOCO of being “irresponsible” as far as its investigations into the source of funding of the PPP and the APC is concerned.
“That is irresponsible, that is outside the mandate of EOCO. EOCO must make sure that in trying to live up to their mandate, they don’t engage in political witch-hunting for crimes that do not exist. EOCO must know that it has limited mandate,” the NPP MP told Class News in an interview.
“If that is their case then there was a public interest with respect to how NDC funded its ultra-modern office. Mr Asiedu Nketia had said that certain financiers gave them support to do it. Why didn’t they [EOCO] take interest in that? They are in government so you can even raise issues of corruption and conflict of interest etc., EOCO should have taken interest in which contractors, which financiers [executed and funded the project]. Did they benefit from government, were they paying kickback? This is where they should have taken interest,” he said.
Meanwhile, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, has said if political parties in the country were funded publicly, the current scuffle between EOCO and the flag bearers of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and All People’s Congress (APC) over the source of their campaign funds could have been averted.
“… It is true that if we had public funding for political parties, some of these things may not occur but it’s an idea that politicians clamour for when they are in opposition, [but] when they get into power, they don’t want to have anything to do with it because they see it as a dangerous arsenal for political opponents …” Prof Gyampo told Regina Borley Bortey on 12Live on Class91.3FM on Monday, 24 October.
He also said: “… Let’s hope and pray that it is not going to be used as a tool to harass unnecessarily political organisations but if they are operating within the confines of their own mandate, I don’t see anything wrong with it. It may raise eyebrows because this may be the first time that you may be having some of these things being done but we must always start from somewhere as a nation.”
The PPP, has, meanwhile said Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom can pay 100 times more of the GHS1.7million as filing fees for his presidential nomination as well as that of his parliamentary aspirants in the 2016 presidential polls, the party’s policy advisor Kofi Asamoah-Siaw has said.
“… Dr Nduom can pay this money twice, five times, 100 times…”, Mr Asamoah-Siaw said in an interview with Prince Minkah on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Monday, 24 October, adding that EOCO must rather go after businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome and reclaim the GHS51 million the highest court of the land has ruled he fraudulently got from the state as judgement debt, rather than “harassing” the two politicians.
“Look, this EOCO people should do serious things. Woyome has taken our money and he’s gone away with it, you are not going to [chase after him] and you come to follow up [where Dr Nduom got his funding from]. …When did EOCO wake up for them to come and ask of sources for campaign funding? Are they in Ghana all this while? So, if I were the Director General [of EOCO], I won’t allow myself to be used to go and attack political opponents and harass them like that.”
Apart from demanding to know the source of the PPP’s GHS1.7m, EOCO, in a letter to the two disqualified presidential nominees, also demanded the source of $6 million Mr Ayariga said he had spent on his campaign vehicles for the December 2016 elections.
Mr Asamoah-Siaw accused EOCO and its boss of selectively applying the law. “The EOCO director has he never been in this country before when the PPP was asking that the EC had the responsibility to find out where political parties get their funding from? Where was he to come and write letters asking questions? The money came from the PPP. What is his problem? And the PPP are made up of human beings, some of whom have the money to pay that. What is he saying? That Dr Nduom doesn’t have that kind of money to pay the filing fee? What is GHS1.7million? So this joke should not be played on Ghanaians at all,” he noted.
“Why didn’t they call NPP people? The money we paid for our parliamentary candidates was GHS1.7million. The NPP paid GHS2.8million for their presidential candidate and parliamentary candidates. The NDC paid GHS2.8 million for all their 275 parliamentary candidates and their presidential candidate. Hasn’t EOCO heard that that GHS2.8 million is more than GHS1.7m? So where is the selective application [of the law] coming from?
“In any case, are they the people supposed to investigate the source of campaign funding? It is the Electoral Commission, so, why EOCO? Why this harassment? If President Mahama knows he’s lost the election, he should leave quickly and go. … All these kangaroo activities and deliberate harassment and intimidation and so [must stop]. Look, we are not going to keep quiet. Dr Nduom is a multibillion dollar businessman; he has a bank, in fact not only in Ghana, [but] in the US, in Liberia, in Togo, Ivory Coast that are coming up, so why is this thing coming up all of a sudden?
“These EOCO people, I don’t understand them. …You see, they shouldn’t make themselves a laughing stock. The institution of EOCO is for the state, it’s not for NDC or President Mahama. Why? …Why is the EOCO Director General becoming a laughing stock? Nobody can force us to belong to a one-party state. …If they (NDC) want to stay in power forever, they should do the good things and the people of Ghana will vote for them. If they see defeat staring them in the face, what is this harassment tactics that they are deploying? If EOCO is minded to investigate sources of campaign funding, where did the NDC also get their GHS2.8m from? Where did NPP also get their GHS2.8m from? Why are you coming to ask the PPP and Ayariga and the rest? Why not NDC and President Mahama; why not Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP? This selective thing makes your organisation lose the confidence that the public must have in you to do a better job. This EOCO is for Ghana, not for NDC or President Mahama or anybody.”
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