Betty-Mould Iddrisu and Ebo Barton-Oduro
In Tense pressure is being brought to bear on the Mahama administration to prosecute government officials who were neck-deep in the infamous Woyome judgement debt scandal.
This follows a Supreme Court decision this week (Tuesday, July 29, 2014) ordering businessman and known financier of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to refund an amount of GH¢52 million wrongfully paid to him, back to the state.
Latest to join the fray after the call by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, is the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), which is also pushing for the prosecution of the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Betty-Mould Iddrisu and her then Deputy, Ebo Barton-Oduro, for their respective roles in the payment of the so-called judgment debt to Woyome.
They also mentioned the names of former Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Kwabena Duffour; former Chief of Staff, Henry Martey Newman and Vice President, Kwesi Amissah Arthur – who was then the Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana – as being those who were linked to the dubious payment.
‘If the President is not corrupt, he must act’, spokesman for AFAG, Arnold Boateng, said at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
This, he said, was because ‘these then State-fed, and clothed public officials individually and collectively contravened Section 62(1) (b) of the Financial Administration Act 2003(Act 654).
Section 62 (1) (b) of the Act states ‘Each officer or person acting in an office or employment connected with the collection, management or disbursement of public or trust moneys or with the control of Government stores who conspire with another to defraud the Government or makes an opportunity for another person to defraud the Government commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to both.’
According to AFAG,’The public officers involved have not only contravened Act 654, but also by their actions and inactions, undermined the Oath of Public Office at the time of their service. In the case of Mr. Alfred Woyome, it is a case of fraud as the court has proven.’
He therefore said, ‘AFAG is hereby calling for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the above persons who helped Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome to defraud the nation.’
In the case of Barten-Odro who is currently the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, AFAG has asked the Privileges Committee of Parliament to relieve him of his position whiles urging government to review any systemic failures, which might have allowed Woyome and his alleged collaborators to take advantage of the system.
AFAG commended erstwhile Attorney-General, Martin Alimisi Benz Kaiser Amidu for the courage and steadfastness he mustered in taking the issue to court.
‘It is therefore time for Woyome to name the collaborators and benefactors, and or the gang who helped him to defraud the nation as he has often threatened to do’, it noted.
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