The two most prominent members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who were prosecuted and sent to prison for forensically established embezzlement of the taxpayer’s money were Mr. Abuga Pele, from the Upper-East Region, who headed the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP), and may very well have been involved in a mysterious murder case involving the medical-doctor son of a political rival or a political opponent that was never investigated by the Mahama regime, and an Abuga Pele associate called Mr. Philip Assibit, the Chief Executive Officer of an organization called Goodwill International.
The latter criminal convict was handed down some 12 years’ imprisonment, while Mr. Pele, whom I thought deserved a stiffer prison sentence, perhaps because he had once served as the National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for one of the Upper-East Region’s constituencies, was literally slapped on the wrist with a half-dozen years’ prison sentence.
Even so, like the Woyome Mega-Heist, which the late President John Evans Atta-Mills had publicly and shamelessly lauded, and his even more corrupt successor, President John Dramani Mahama, had, at best, only grotesquely pretended to have attempted to be doing something about, the Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit case would be brought to a conclusive judicial resolution – and some would say, a very satisfactory judicial resolution – by the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). The new President would be caustically carped by some cynical elements of the recently outgone Mahama regime. Naturally, Nana Akufo-Addo would be forced to set records straight amidst a torrential wave of charges of witch-hunting by members of the new government against the Mahama Posse. The former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, under President John Agyekum-Kufuor, would pointedly remind his critics that it was, in fact, his predecessor who had ordered Messrs. Pele and Assibit to defend their culpable official misbehavior before the judge of a legitimately constituted court of the land.
And so it is rather preposterous for Mr. Mahama to have smugly vaunted that his administration was keener on having criminally culpable operatives judicially disciplined. The latter credit, of course, actually belongs to President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Indeed, it clearly appears that had he been retained at the Jubilee-Flagstaff House, Mr. Mahama’s first order of business would have been to either promptly quash judicial proceedings against Messrs. Pele and Assibit, just as he had done by cavalierly riding roughshod over the verdict of the Wood-presided Supreme Court of Ghana in the scandalous matter of the Montie Trio of paid propagandists of the Mahama regime, by getting these would-be rapists of then-Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood out of the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison, and into an atmosphere of joyous festivities. The fact of the matter is that the former National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for Gonja-West is a pathological liar, by his own admission, and a criminal scofflaw who never ought to have been selected as his running-mate by then third-time Candidate John Evans Atta-Mills, let alone be voted substantive President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana, and be controversially certified as such by the Atuguba-presided panel of Supreme Court jurists.
Were he, indeed, that keen about prosecuting appointees caught in the maelstrom of the criminal dragnet of corruption and the unconscionable embezzlement of State funds, then-President Mahama would have ensured that the likes of Mr. Sylvester Mensah, then Executive-Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), would have been promptly prosecuted and imprisoned, if Mr. Mahama really believed the former to have wantonly and deliberately misappropriated public funds. How about the $72 Million SSNIT technology-overhaul scam? The same cannot be said of such Akufo-Addo cabinet appointees as Mr. Alan Kyerematen; National Sports Board Chairman, Mr. Kwadwo Baah; former Deputy Sports Minister, Mr. Pius Enam Hadzide; and BOST CEO, Mr. Alfred Obeng, all of whom were promptly investigated on the orders of President Akufo-Addo and duly cleared of all charges. Now, cynical dissenters may bicker over the question of whether these officials were cleared by a dispassionate investigative process or not.
It would be equally appropriate and relevant to ask: whatever happened to the media reporter-mauling Presidential Staffer called Mr. Stanislav X. Dogbe? You are right, Mr. Mahama, you really fought corruption and abuse of power in your government like Scotland Yard!
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York