General News of Sun, 31 Dec 201796
Support my appointees who may be prosecuted – Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama has asked members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to sympathize with former appointees of his administration who may be indicted in any corruption probe under the current government.
His call comes on the back of President Nana Addo’s promise to prosecute corrupt officials under the Mahama administration. The President repeated this promise during his recent tour of the Eastern Region.
Speaking at the 31st December Revolution Anniversary held at Ho in the Volta Region, Mr. Mahama welcomed the move, asking party members to support colleagues who may be indicted.
“Recently, President Akuffo Addo was threatening members of our administration with prosecution when he visited the Eastern Region and I said yes, we are prepared to accept the probity of our tenure in office. Having been the disciples of probity and accountability, we must not run away from probity and accountability, we must be prepared to face any prosecution that this government throws to us, but we must do this with commitment and solidarity. Solidarity with our colleagues who will fall foul of the law because the law says you are innocent until proven guilty by competence and justice of the court, and so we cannot pronounce our colleagues guilty on the basis of allegations by the NPP.
“They will have their day in court and until they have that day in court, it is our duty to solidarize with them to make sure they have the best legal representation to be able to put their case in order, and it is my wish that things will turn out well for them,” he said.
Pursue corrupt NPP officials too
He was however quick to remind the President to also pursue corrupt officials in the current administration, saying “let me point out that the easiest part in the fight against corruption is prosecuting your political opponent. It does not take courage, it does not take bravery to prosecute one’s political opponent. The true test in the fight against corruption is holding your own people accountable when they go wrong… We must not pursue post regime accountability, we must pursue accountability while your regime exists.”
The Mahama administration was rocked with a number of corruption scandals including the GHC3.2 million bus branding saga, GYEEDA and the Subah among others.
President Akufo-Addo during the 2016 election, expressed his commitment to fight corruption by ensuring that persons indicted in these scandals under the previous administration face the law.
As part of efforts to implement this promise, the NPP administration introduced the idea of setting up the Special Prosecutor to deal with these cases.
The Special Prosecutor Bill which was laid before Parliament has since been passed, with the office expected to be operational soon.
Former NCA boss, 4 others charged with causing financial loss
Already, the immediate past Chief Executive Officer of the National Communication Authority (NCA), William Tevie, and four others, have been put before a High Court over the alleged fraudulent $6 million contract between the NCA and Infraloks Development Limited (IDL).
Mr. Tevie, alongside the former board chairman, Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie; Alhaji Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator; Nana Owusu Ensaw, a former board member and the head of IDL, George Oppong, have been charged and arraigned for willfully causing financial loss to the State contrary to section 23(1) and section 179(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29.
They have also been charged with 16 other offences. The suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were granted bail to the tune of $1 million each with 3 sureties.
They are also to surrender their passports to the court Registrar. The five are facing trial over some $4 million withdrawn from the NCA’s accounts, purportedly for the purchase of a surveillance equipment.
Reports indicate that an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited was contracted to supply the surveillance equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons believed to be engaged in terrorism.
IDL was also reportedly charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.
The three, through the said contract, allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the NCA and have failed to account for it.
Only $1 million was paid into the accounts of the Israeli company.