By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Wednesday, July 9, 2015
Folks, the Sole Judgement Debt Commission has really stepped on big toes; and they are hurting!
After putting Akufo-Addo on the spot, the Commission's leaked report has turned the searchlight on former President John Agyekum Kufuor, indicting him on a $2.64 million land compensation payment case involving a British Family.
The Judgment Debt Commission has questioned the appropriateness of a $2.64 million land compensation payment authorized by former President Kufuor to a British Family on his last day in office. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/…/Kufuor-accuses-Judgment-Debt-Comm…).
And a quick reaction from Kufuor—as released by my old-time Ghana News Agency colleague (Frank Agyekum, Spokesman for Kufuor)—accused the Commission of not being fair to him by failing to invite him to the Commission's sittings to have his say on the matter.
“You called the Land Valuation Board for their side of the story, but you failed to invite President Kufuor or any of his ministers for their side of the story,” Mr. Agyekum said.
Oyiwa, folks!! We have already damned the Commission for not hearing directly from those it has indicted but we have also been quick to note that the Commission was not duty-bound to do so, especially if it had no need for personal confrontations in addition to the documentary evidence in its custody about the issues being inquired into. Its terms of reference guided its work; not so?
Some interesting aspects of the matter:
• Which “British Family” is at issue in this case is not revealed; and why Kufuor would have a special interest in the land compensation payment is also not known to us. Which land is it, though? We want to know everything about this matter. Will Kufuor’s spokesman shed more light on it for us?
• The fact that Kufuor's directive came on his last day in office itself raises eyebrows. Why at that time? We recall the haste with which Kufuor did things in the period, including freeing Tsatsu Tsikata from prison and stopping the trial of Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings. Did Kufuor not know that his rash actions on the last day in office would create doubts and spring back to cause problems for him (as is evident in this indictment)?
Mr. Agyekum's talk of the Kufuor camp's investigating the matter to know whether the land compensation was paid or not is bootless. It is neither here nor there. Even if it wasn't paid, was it morally (and economically) right for Kufuor to issue that directive on the last day in office? If the compensation was paid, will Kufuor retrieve the money from that British Family? So, what is the essence of such an investigation at all?
Folks, do you see how easy it is to fall on one's own sword and complicate issues for nothing?
When the focus was on Betty Mould Iddrissu, Barton Oduro, and others whose names were associated with judgement debt payments, the NPP camp mounted rooftops to shout loud in condemnation of the NDC administration. Now that their own involvement in impropriety is being exposed, they are hiding behind lame excuses of not being invited to attempt throwing dust into our eyes.
The overarching questions for Kufuor are simple: Did he give any directive for land compensation payment to be made to any British Family? If he did, why did he do so? If he didn't, then, why did that matter appear before the Commission? Even if he appeared before the Commission to deny ever ordering such a payment to be made, would he erode the documentary evidence from the Land Valuation Board that the Commission had?
Folks, do you see how these NPP people are? Not being heard doesn't mean that the act didn't occur. So, why the huffing and puffing at being indicted (understood here as "blamed" for the impropriety)?
I shall return…
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