The controversy surrounding the whereabouts of a GH¢1.6 Million meant for the People’s National Convention (PNC) 2012 election campaign is far from over as 2012 presidential candidate of the party, Hassan Ayariga, who is in the centre of this raging dispute is heading to court to clear his name.
Mr. Ayariga has been accused of pocketing the said amount, and has threatened to take some members of the PNC including his former aide, Mr. Akane Adam, to court on Monday, February 10, 2014 for “wrongly” accusing him of embezzling the said amount [GH¢1.6 million].
Speaking on Okay FM, an Accra-based radio station yesterday, Mr. Ayariga confirmed that: “I’ve already consulted my solicitors on the matter, adding that: “I would this time round not sit idle for those unscrupulous PNC members to destroy my hard-earned reputation…if they are men they should continue their lies…against me. I will sue them all.”
Mr. Ayariga went on to dismiss the allegation of embezzlement of party money [GH¢1.6M,] adding that he is not accountable to the party over monies dispensed during the 2012 electioneering campaign.
“I must say on authority that I did not receive any pesewa from anybody in the PNC neither did I receive money from President John Dramani Mahama as my critics are going round misinforming the whole world,” Mr. Ayariga indicated.
The livid Ayariga said the allegation against him makes him look ridiculous in the eyes of the public, particularly during newspaper review segments of radio stations.
He called on the public to disregard a recent statement by two PNC members—his former aide, Mr. Adam, and the Treasurer, David Apasara—to the effect that he [Mr. Hassan Ayariga] should be hauled before the PNC’s Central Committee to account for the missing GH¢1.6 million.
According to Mr. Ayariga, the PNC members who made the allegation of fraud against him said, he [Mr. Hassan Ayariga] received many cars including Land Cruisers and pickups as well as different amounts of money as donation in the name of the party but kept all of them to himself.
Mr. Apasara’s accusations against Mr. Ayariga follows demands by a youth group in the party, Convention Forum, for the party’s leadership to account for GH¢1.6 million meant for the 2012 election campaign.
And though Mr. Ayariga conceded receiving monies from his campaign just like his fellow presidential candidates, he added that all expenses for his 2012 campaign were borne by him without a cedi from the party.
According to him, he was compelled to close down all three of his restaurants because he had to channel funds from those personal businesses into his campaign.
He added that until he became the flag-bearer of the PNC, the party was virtually dead and so could not have attracted any sponsorship from anybody or groups of people.
“The chairman is the leader of the party so if there’s money missing, I think they are the right people to explain to us where the money came from, who gave the money and how much was the money and where it went to.
“As a flag-bearer, I had the right to go round and campaign. I did my campaign solely. Not even the party could raise one cedi to help Ayariga in his campaign. ..I used my life, used the little monies that I got from friends and colleagues that is not for the PNC,” he pointed out.
“…If my brother calls me and says ‘Ayariga this is GH¢100,000, go and use it for your campaign, it is not meant for me to bring it to the leadership of the PNC and say look this is for you, go and do your campaign,” Mr. Ayariga stated.
He added that if there was any money missing, the right people who were at the helm of affairs should rather be held accountable and not him.
He stressed: “I conducted my campaign independently; I put up 1,500 billboards across the nation; I posted so many posters all over the country…so I don’t believe that the party thinks I have money from them,” he insisted.
According to the 2012 PNC presidential candidate, he was just the face of the party and “it was not the PNC who sponsored me. PNC cannot pay for my office, and they didn’t pay for my campaign.”
“I was just the face of the PNC and I don’t receive monies for them. I’m not the PNC accountant so I’m so sad that someone is talking like this when PNC could not even raise GH¢1 for my campaign,” he affirmed.