The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its surrogate political parties have called for the establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry into the alleged bribery scandal that has rocked the Ghana Football Association (GFA), accusing President Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, of denting the image of the Presidency.
The parties namely APC, PNC, UFP, and NDC have grouped themselves under the Inter-Party Coalition on National Sovereignty, seeking to project President Akufo-Addo and his government as corrupt with regard to the expose on the GFA by the ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
Mr. Nyantakyi, the embattled former president of the GFA had stated in the video in an attempt to win a contract for some supposed investors who turned out to be investigators, that it would require them to offer Mr. Akufo-Addo $5 million, Dr. Bawumia $3 million, $2 million to the Roads and Highway Minister, Kwasi Amoako Atta, and $1 million to Deputy Minister for Roads and Highway, Anthony Karbo, in order to secure government’s contract.
Even though Mr. Nyantakyi has since apologized to the President and his government over the comments, the NDC is pushing hard to make a case out of it.
Addressing the media on Wednesday in Accra, spokesperson for the Coalition who doubles as Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, said “The gravity of these allegations therefore leaves a pall of uncertainty around the highest office of the land. The Presidency is the embodiment of the authority of the state and for its image to be brought into question in this manner demands the most robust response.”
He claimed, “So far, the actions taken by the Akufo-Addo administration have been wholly unsatisfactory,” calling for Mr. Akufo-Addo to be investigated over the Nyantakyi’s attempted bribery scandal.
Their argument for demanding for the President to be investigated is the fact that Mr. Nyantakyi “is by every account a very prominent personality whose word cannot be taken lightly.”
To buttress their argument, they stated “He (Nyantakyi) is also known to be well connected to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the extent that he was among the first batch of persons to be granted access to then President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo shortly after the results of the 2016 elections were declared.”
But when DAILY GUIDE asked members of the Coalition during question time at the press conference as to whether or not they also, in the spirit of fighting corruption, supported the calls for ex-President John Mahama to be investigated by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, for allegedly diverting into private pockets some $13 million made available by the E.O. Group for the development of the Western Region, they suddenly changed their tune as far as their fight towards corruption is concerned.
Some NDC’s top gurus namely General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture under the erstwhile Mahama’s administration, Hannah Bissiw, among others, who were at the conference, sought to intimidate, mock and prevent DAILY GUIDE from raising the issue of Mr. Mahama’s $13 million scandal and his alleged involvement in a deal for the acquisition of Embraer aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) from a Brazilian company.
Mahama was Vice President at the time when he was fingered in the aircraft deal and his boss, the late President John Evans Atta Mills, was said to have ordered investigations into the matter before his death in 2012.
Even though the NDC and the aforementioned parties are calling for President Akufo-Addo to be investigated on the basis that he is closely connected to the former GFA President and that the words of Mr. Nyantakyi cannot be taken lightly because he (Nyantakyi) is a prominent person, they did not want to hear discussions about former President Mahama being investigated as well over the alleged $13 million scandal, even though former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, a prominent personality within the Ghanaian society and a senior member of the NDC, made those allegations against him (Mahama) in an article published on December 7, 2016.
‘Call Your Own Press Conference’
In seeking to intimidate and make mockery of DAILY GUIDE, Mr. Nketiah asked him (reporter) to go and organize his own press conference to call for a Commission of Inquiry “that will investigate a set of allegations (against Mahama) then you state your source of the allegations which will be the basis of the investigations; so nothing prevents you from addressing your own press conference to address those issues.”
When the reporter raised an issue that if the words of Mr. Nyantakyi cannot be taken lightly as they have stated, then the reported claim of the former GFA boss that in 2016, his investors gave $8 million to sponsor the ex-President Mahama’s re-election bid, should also not be taken lightly, Mr. Mornah made an attempt to respond, but Mr. Nketiah blocked him from doing so, saying you have allowed him (reporter) to divert your attention from the substantive issues we are addressing, accusing the reporter of seeking to defend Nana Akufo-Addo even though both issues bother on corruption and denting of the image of the country’s presidency.
Even though their reason for asking for an independent Commission of Inquiry, they say, is that they lack faith in Mr. Akufo-Addo and his government to creditably probe the GFA scandal. NDC and its surrogate parties find nothing wrong with asking the President himself to investigate Mahama over allegations of corruption levelled against the NDC administration.
Responding to DAILY GUIDE’s question on Mahama’s alleged $13 million scandal, Mr. Mornah indicated that most of the corruption allegations against the NDC were speculations and that once President Akufo-Addo is now in power, if he wants, he (Akufo-Addo) could go ahead and probe Mahama in sharp contrast to the fact that they have made it clear they did not trust the current government to conduct trustworthy probe as far as corruption issues are concerned.