Former President John Agyekum Kufour has clashed with Dan Abodakpi, a former Trade and Industry Minister who recently claimed that his 2007 incarceration was solely masterminded by the former President.
Mr. Abodakpi, who was then a Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, was handed a 10-year jail term on February 5, 2007 after a five-year trial for willfully causing financial loss of $400,000 to the State.
Mr. Abodakpi was eventually granted a presidential pardon by ex-President Kufour barely two years into his sentence.
The former minister, in an interview with Accra based Adom FM on his intention to lead the NDC, explained that even though the facts did not support his conviction, President Kufour personally ordered that he should be jailed, describing him as ‘very vindictive.’
‘President Kufuor called for the docket and advised that some of the people implicated should be prosecuted, although the Attorney General advised him not to pursue the case in that manner. I think Akufo-Addo did a professional job, as a lawyer and Attorney General when he kicked against the prosecution,’ Mr. Abodakpi, a former Ghanaian High Commissioner to Malaysia stated.
‘I had a clash with Kufuor, then as leader of the opposition on a political platform at the Cape-Vars [University of Cape Coast]. He took a strong position and I took him on strongly. Later when he became president I had privileged information that President Kufuor told somebody ‘Dan insulted me, and I’m going to deal with him. And you this person, I know you are close to him. You better move away or you will suffer collateral damage, and indeed this person was dismissed as Director-General of Ghana Port,’ Mr. Abodakpi alleged.
‘Even the judges who jailed some of our people, I know they have conscience. After they jailed Peprah and others all the two judges died. I believe it’s their conscience that drove them to the grave.’
‘I’ve asked God to forgive him. I don’t bear President Kufuor any grudge. Because after all this, he had the presence of mind to grant me pardon. Never again should a new government decide to jail officials of the previous government in order to feel stronger.’
‘I think he should repent. What did I do wrong?’ he stated.
‘Very Bizarre’ allegation
But in a quick response to the allegation, the Office of former President John Agyekum Kufuor described the allegation as ‘very bizarre’.
Speaking to Myjoyonline.com on Monday, Spokesperson to the former president, Frank Agyekum debunked the allegation, saying the trial went according to the rule of law.
‘Nana Akufo-Addo and ex-President Kufuor are astute lawyers who believe that the executive should not intervene in the judiciary and so cannot allow such a thing to happen,’ Mr. Agyekum stated.
He was tried and found guilty together with the late Victor Selormey, a former Deputy Finance Minister on the counts of conspiracy to commit crime, defrauding by false pretences’ and ‘willfully causing financial loss to the State totaling GH¢273,000 (¢2.73 billion).
The two were found guilty when they co-chaired the Trade and Investment Programme.
By Raphael Ofori-Adeniran
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