Founding President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, has said the controversial video that shows President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo accepting what the governing party says was campaign donation presents a good opportunity to open a conversation about political party financing.
Mr Cudjoe said while the discussion has been about whether the $40,000 or Gh¢40,000 was a bribe or a campaign donation, the lack of an express framework on political party financing has become one of the serious things that Ghana needs to look into properly.
“I don’t believe that the state should fund political parties because then you get all kinds of crazy political parties being formed. But clearly, political party financing must be looked at and this should be linked to illicit financial flows,” he said.
The IMANI Africa President was speaking to GhanaWeb on Thursday, December 3, 2020, following an allegation by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the President accepted a bribe in the early days of his administration.
The NDC backs the allegations with the now-viral video, which it says was made by an investigative journalist.
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the government communication machinery have discredited the video, saying it's fake.
The NPP says the video released by the NDC is doctored and has released what it says is the original video. According to the NPP, the video was made when Nana Akufo-Addo was in opposition in 2016 and not when he was President as the NDC has claimed.
The video shows the President accepting something in a brown envelope. While the NDC says the envelope contained the $40,000 bribe, the NPP says it was GH¢40,000 donation.
Franklin Cudjoe in his interview with GhanaWeb said if the NPP’s justification is accepted, the question that the party should seek to answer is why Akufo-Addo was the one to receive the cash.
“If the narrative from the NPP is that these were campaign contributions, the question would have been, 'well is there a designated party [desk] that receives these types of donations?' And what was the purpose of the person recording it?” he said.
Franklin Cudjoe also said linked to political party financing is the flow of illicit goods into the country through Ghana’s ports.
“Our ports are so porous and the new system they have now is so porous that there are so many entry points where people illegally bring in illicit stuff. Through that illicit funds and illicit money is also gained and those things tend to feed into the political party financing as well,” he said.