NDC eyes Kufuor men

Kwadwo Mpiani and Ebenezer Sekyi-HughesThe ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is turning all stones towards dragging certain key political office holders in the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to court and eventually having them jailed.

Although the Mills Administration has just witnessed its 100th day in office, the President has received copious reprimands for being languid in making good, ‘the jail them’ agenda.

In the past few days, the agenda has gained a fired currency with the party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, a.k.a. General Mosquito, allegedly threatening to resign from the political party if some NPP persons are not dragged to court for prosecution.

He made the threat in Jirapa when the NDC was campaigning in the by-election in that constituency, following the death of the late Edward Salia.

Now, the die is cast as the government prepares to drag six former appointees of the previous administration to court.

The recent hullabaloo about former Speaker Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Hughes allegedly making away with state property from his official residence, appears to have afforded fresh impetus to the NDC Scribe to have a go at the NPP once more.

Following a highly controversial ad hoc Parliamentary Service report on the allegation, General Mosquito has gone to town, dispatching a fresh letter to President Mills to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of the former Speaker for as he put it, “looting state property from his official residence upon leaving office”.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, when contacted about the committee report and which was given wide coverage yesterday, debunked it as lies.

General Mosquito has already written to President John Evans Atta Mills, stating that his call for prosecution is hinged on the NDC’s anti-corruption agenda as enshrined in the party’s 2008 manifesto.
“An NDC government will not make any excuses for corrupt ministers, officials and office holders generally. We shall promptly investigate allegations of corruption and allow the law to take its course,” he said.

Continuing, he stated in his correspondence that the Mills government, in its bid to make corruption a high risk activity, must drag the former Speaker to court to face the full rigours of the law.

The NDC, he stated, disagrees with the position by others that the former Speaker be allowed to go scot-free after returning some  of the items and paying for others since “this will amount to setting a bad precedence.

“As a socially democratic party, we maintain that all citizens of Ghana must be treated equally before the law. Stealing is stealing, whether the item involved is a cock, cassava or state furniture,” he stated in his release.

The Parliamentary Service Report is said to have concluded that the former Speaker had made away with appliances worth GH¢36,800.

DAILY GUIDE has unearthed plans by the ruling NDC to drag particular former ministers to court and this is coming against the backdrop of seeming pressure from ex-President Rawlings who has given President Mills six months to effect the ‘jail them’ agenda.

The former Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, is one person the NDC is working tooth and nail to drag to court over what the party considers, acts of impropriety in the handling of the Ghana at 50 celebrations.

Government sources told DAILY GUIDE that a list containing the names of certain individuals in the erstwhile Kufuor Administration is flying all over the corridors of power.

Since its days in opposition, the NDC, now in government, has been hammering the former minister over alleged mishandling of the accounts of Ghana @50.

Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin North, who is said to be currently out of the country, is also being dragged into the NDC net for what the party considers his interest in the contract for the rehabilitation of the Australia House awarded to Super Care.

Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, one-time Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, is also on the radar of the government over claims of a $12 million water project on the Densu River at Nsawam.

Hackman is allegedly being investigated over the water project which is supposed to have made water available to the people of Koforidua.

The one-time Minister of Information and National Orientation, Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has unspecified charges lined up against him but it is suspected he will be roped in connection with the environmental module of the National Youth Employment Scheme.

As for another one-time Minister of Information, Hon. Kwamena Bartels, his charges have to do with a project undertaken by his daughter.

Dr. Richard Anane, the Roads Transport Minister, who escaped unhurt in a major politically motivated charge leveled against him when he was minister, may have to prepare for another date with the court as he is also in the eye of the storm.

He is likely going to face a charge relating to all the road contracts executed during his tenure countrywide, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.

Meanwhile, the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) has served notice of its intention to demonstrate against some NPP political office holders on corruption allegations.

So far into the 100 day mark of the presidency, Castle has jumped into action anytime the pressure group threatens an action.

It would be recalled that when the NDC-inclined pressure group raised objections about the ex-gratia issue, President Mills ordered an immediate stoppage to its implementation and raked a lot of dust on the  political plane.

When the court sessions begin eventually, the Mills Administration would have entered a critical stage in its tenure.

How the country crosses that political bridge when it reaches that location would provide copious materials for the media and chroniclers of Ghana’s contemporary political history.

As for the former ministers, they remain defiant, taking solace in their confidence in the judicial system.

It would be recalled that hints about the  ‘jail them’ agenda was dropped long before the  party came to power in January by ex-President Jerry John Rawlings when he teasingly asked the then NPP government to expand the Nsawam Medium Security Prison to contain ministers at the end of the government’s tenure.

By A.R. Gomda