Opinions Tue, 31 Jul 2012
By Margaret Jackson
But the reality on the ground is far from the truth as these men and women who constitute the New Patriotic Party (NPP) continue to score negative feats unprecedented in the annals of the country’s history. Never in the history of Ghana have we witnessed unparalleled negative and shameful behaviour from a party which believes that they are the pillars of democracy and the rule of law.
The NPP folks always brag around that apart from being the most learned people who have the country at heart hence their penchant of fiercely guarding the laws of the country, they are also incorruptible men and women. That is the false badge of honour they have worn all this while because they have always had the courts behind them.
Do you remember that anytime they are accused of doing something wrong, they boldly tell their accusers to go to court, knowing very well that “their courts” will always use some technicalities to throw away those cases without even going through the merits and demerits of the cases?
Ghanaians went to bed on Saturday December 10, 2005 hoping to wake up peacefully the next day to continue enjoying the weekend with some going to church to express their appreciation to the Almighty God for seeing them through another month whilst others were feverishly preparing towards the Yuletide. But that weekend of Ghanaians was suddenly jolted when wild news started flying that a sitting Member of Parliament (MP) from Ghana has been arrested in far away United States for peddling in heroin.
By mid-day in Ghana especially in Accra and Kumasi, the situation has turned into serious apprehension and the question on the lips of everybody was whether the information about the arrest of the MP was true or not and who indeed was the culprit. Phones in Ghana on Sunday December 11, 2005 were seriously jammed as everybody was trying to ascertain the truth of the matter.
It did not take too long when the fears of many Ghanaians were finally confirmed that indeed a sitting MP has been arrested in the United States for peddling in drugs. The thunderbolt that hit Ghanaians was beyond belief. Ghanaians were further given the rudest shock of their lives when the name of Eric Amoateng, the sitting NPP Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North finally popped up.
Eric Amoateng the flamboyant NPP MP who was known to dole out money to NPP supporters and attended the University of Ghana, Legon and obtained a Diploma in Religion in 1992, was seized together with his friend, Nii Okai Adjei who was travelling with him to the United States on the false pretense of going to buy watches for resale in Ghana. Apparently, the two were on the radar of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, and when they were seized on that day it was reported that they had shipped seven boxes of pottery which contained 136 pounds of heroin to the Newark Liberty International Airport with a street value of US $6 million.
The arrest of Eric Amoateng turned out to be a national disgrace because it was the first time in Ghana’s history that a sitting MP was arrested in a foreign soil let alone charged with peddling in drugs. Amoateng, who was the first MP for the then newly created Nkoranza North Constituency, had been MP for barely 11 months when he threw the country into national disgrace following his arrest in dealing with drugs.
There were so many controversies surrounding Amoateng right from the year 2000 when he first expressed his interest in running for office as an MP, yet the NPP turned the other way round because the guy was loaded with questionable cash. Many NPP members in Brong Ahafo Region especially in Amoateng’s area felt very uncomfortable with his supposed wealth which has some uncertainties surrounding it. Amoateng was also accused of visa fraud; therefore his candidacy for the 2004 elections was challenged in court. But Amoateng maneuvered with his money and mysteriously got the case against him withdrawn which paved the way for him to eventually stand for the elections which he won by 46.9 percentage vote.
The disgraced Amoateng was eventually sentenced to 10 years in jail by a US District Court in Brooklyn, New York on December 12, 2007 by Judge David G. Tragger. Amoateng who is currently cooling off at the correctional facility in CI Moshannon Valley, Phillipsburg, PA got the utmost support of the NPP spearheaded by Nana Akufo-Addo, then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who initiated a bill in parliament that would have enabled Ghanaians in foreign prisons to be repatriated home to serve their sentences in Ghana.
But that act by Amoateng which tainted the image of Ghana to the International Community seems not to have bothered the NPP folks; otherwise they would have learnt something from that incident which marked one of the darkest days in Ghana’s history.
In March 2009, just as ex-President Mills was seriously filling his cabinet positions, a Bawku based cattle farmer, Sumaila Biebel made news headlines when he filed a suit at the High Court challenging the eligibility of the NPP MP for Bawku Central, Adamu Dramani Sakande to his dual citizenship. Mr. Biebel alleged that the MP held both British and Burkinabe as well as Ghanaian passports; therefore, he was ineligible to be a Member of Parliament.
The NPP folks descended heavily on Biebel and condemned him in no uncertain terms saying he was a liar. The MP Sakande got lawyer Yoni Kulendi, a man with a criminal past which I will reveal one day to defend him.
But since God is good and is privy to all the evil deeds perpetrated on earth by mankind, the Supreme Court on Friday July 27, 2012 convicted Sakande on three counts of perjury, false declaration and deceit of a public officer. He was consequently jailed for two years concurrently on all counts.
The conviction and incarceration of Sakande, a sitting NPP MP, makes it two in a row for the NPP. This ‘award’ by the NPP is something that stinks to the highest heavens and should serve as an eye opener to Ghanaians about the true character traits of the NPP folks, who for the love of money would just do anything that will line their pockets.
Today we have the NPP setting another record with another MP sitting in jail. If you talk about these things, the NPP folks will never allow you to comment about it since it exposes the kind of people they really are.
The good name of Ghana is being dragged to the mud by the NPP folks who have no shame and are always ready to defend criminals in their midst because they always stand to benefit from the loot of such criminals.
Since Sakande went to parliament under deceit he should be made to refund to the state all salaries, loans and pecks which have been paid to him with interest from 2009 to date. This will serve as a deterrent to people who for love of power can even have three nationalities and throw every caution to the wind.
Mr. Biebel must be given a national award by President John Mahama for exposing Sakande. The vigilance and quest for truth and justice exhibited by Mr. Biebel, led to the conviction and jailing of Sakande, who will go down in history as the biggest fraudster of modern day. Indeed, Biebel would go down as a hero to many Ghanaians for what he did. Mr. Biebel, Mother Ghana owes you tons of praise for what you did!
Ghanaians must open their eyes to the diabolical acts of the NPP folks who for the sole purpose of money making will do anything even to disgrace Mother Ghana. Today we have two NPP MPs languishing in jail which is indeed unprecedented and puts the NPP to shame.
Food For Thought: Can lawyer Yoni Kulendi tell Ghanaians what he did as a teenager, which led to the death of his headmaster?
Columnist: Jackson, Margaret