President John Dramani Mahama has been asked to show his commitment to accept the final ruling of the Supreme Court by asking Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye, to obey a court order asking him to move out of the Number 2 Mango Street bungalow he is currently occupying.
An Accra High Court has ordered the Odododiodioo MP to hand over the keys to the contentious bungalow to the chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, who the Supreme Court ruled as having legally acquired the state bungalow in 2008.
This was after two government officials; Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Dr Omane Boamah, in 2009 went to the Supreme Court to challenge the rights of the NPP chairman to purchase the state bungalow which he (Jake) lived in while serving as a minister.
They, among other things, accused the NPP chair of conflict of interest, abuse of office and prayed the court to stop the sale of the property. However, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the NPP chairman, asking Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye to relinquish the property.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye has refused to vacate the bungalow, saying, it is only the Minister of Works and Housing who can order him out of the premises.
Hon Ursula Owusu, Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West constituency says if the President is ‘really and honestly’ committed to maintaining the peace in the country and accepting the final ruling of the Supreme Court concerning the election petition, he should start from within.
“If the Supreme Court has given an initial ruling concerning Jake’s bungalow and it is not being respected, what shows the ruling of the election petition will be accepted. Just saying you will respect the verdict of the Supreme Court is not enough because there is one that has not been respected. By your action, you have shown that you don’t respect that ruling and what shows you will accept the coming one” she quizzed.
Ursula opined that the only way President Mahama can show Ghanaians that he is committed to peace and the rule of law is by asking Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye to move out of the building.
“In the larger interest of peace and stability in this country and respect for the rule of law, President Mahama should show Ghanaians his commitment to rule of law; not just by talking, he should walk the talk and ask Nii Lantey Vanderpuiye to move out of the bungalow. That will show that he will truly respect and accept the verdict of the Supreme Court as far as the election petition is concerned…that is when Ghanaians will believe him when he talks about accepting the final ruling in the election petition,” Ursula voiced out in a panel discussion on PEACE FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’.
On their part as members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), she said: “we will not cast the first stone; we will forge to maintain the peace we have in this country and keep talking to our supporters. As for us we will choose the path of peace; we don’t like confusion”