General News of Sunday, 4 September 2016
The outgoing moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey, has rejected calls on him to name the people who allegedly offered him bribes to ‘silence’ him.
According to Professor Martey, he had consistently stayed away from personalising his comments on issues and did not intend to change that trend despite the pressure on him to do so.
“They also say those who attempted to bribe professor Martey, if we give the names, we’ll all be happy. But you go back, I’ve been consistent. Never before have I mentioned any name, even those who mention my name and insult me,” he said while addressing a gathering at the Presbyterian College of Education at Abetifi in the Eastern Region.
“I don’t discuss personalities, I discuss issues. Issues of corruption, issues of bribery, issues of malfeasance, issues of reckless dissipation of public funds, issues of incompetence. I have never mentioned personalities because I don’t discuss personalities.”
The outspoken Moderator revealed last Tuesday that he turned down several attempts by politicians to buy his conscience with money and keep him from criticizing the government.
He claimed that he had been offered gifts by politicians including 100,000 dollars and a Trasacco House, all of which he rejected.
“Politicians had tried all means to muzzle me, to get me but they can’t, they come with bribes, fat envelopes, $100,000.”
He added that, some of these politicians also come with “the promises that if you keep quiet we will give you a house at Trasacco with swimming pool… We will give you Four Wheel drive [vehicle] but you know what; these people were lucky that I do not have big dogs in my house else I would have released the dogs for them to bite them,” Professor Martey added.
However, a former Public Relations Officer of the church, Emmanuel Osei Akyeampong, has said that Professor Martey accepted the bribe of $100,000, a claim which has since been denied by the Presbyterian Church.
‘Waste of Ghanaians’ time’
An anti-corruption campaigner, Sydney Casely-Hayford, described the claims made by Professor Martey as a waste of the Ghanaian public’s time.
According to him, it was needless for Professor Martey to make the revelations if he did not accept the bribes that were allegedly offered him.
“I don’t see the purpose of what Rev. Martey has done. If he didn’t take the money then there’s no point talking about it. If he did take the money, then he should tell us who he took it from so that we can make our own decisions as to whether it’s a good thing or bad thing in society,” Casely-Hayford said on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue on Saturday.
“I think that the revelation that somebody came to bribe me to keep my mouth quiet is a waste of the public’s time.”
He added however that, if the Presby Moderator felt strongly about the issue he should name the people who tried to induce him so that the public can get a better understanding of the matter.
“If the moderator is serious and feels passionately about what happened and that somebody is trying to influence him to keep quiet and he feels aggrieved about it, he should tell us who the person was. He should give us a name or names. It doesn’t matter if he can prosecute or not; at least he would bring up the matter and the public would be aware of what happened,” Sydney said.
“If it turns out that he’s not telling the truth and he puts someone’s name out in the public domain, then the person can sue him, we’ll know where we stand and the truth will come out.”