General News of Sunday, 29 January 2017
Posters of Sylvester Mensah have popped up announcing him as the preferred choice of presidential candidate for the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for 2020.
The posters, which bear his photo has the inscription, “Sylvester Mensah, our hope for years to come.”
It also describes the former National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) CEO as “our choice for president 2020.”
It is not clear yet where the posters are coming from, but it is worth recalling that on 7 January 2016, the NDC’s La Dade Kotopon Communication Director, Lawrence Lamptey, hinted at Mr Mensah’s future presidential ambition during the heat of his arrest and detention by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for alleged financial malfeasance during his tenure at the NHIS.
“Mr Sylvester Mensah is a young promising man… he might be thinking of being President…we believe he has a future and his image shouldn’t be dented,” Mr Lamptey told Ekow Mensah Shalders on Class91.3FM’s Executive Breakfast Show on Friday, 7 January when he condemned the former MP’s arrest.
“He has a political future of course… he has been an MP before, he has served in different capacities in the party and other levels, he has also served in government, he is still serving in government, so, he is still young, youthful, and active. He will still be aspiring for bigger positions; definitely, so, if he is eyeing a presidential position, I wouldn’t be shocked at all,” Mr Lamptey said.
Mr Mensah himself had said in that week that no evidence of fraud was established against him, as far as the BNI’s probe into his tenure at the NHIA was concerned.
Mr Mensah, who was also a presidential staffer at the time, said he was confident he will come out of the probe unscathed.
“I have submitted myself to the BNI and I have responded to most of the questions. I’m still waiting for further questions, if they have. As we speak today, what I can assure you of is that of all the discussions that we have had, there is nothing that makes Sylvester Mensah guilty of fraud. The interaction with the BNI has been very cordial. It is their responsibility, they have a duty, it is within their mandate to undertake that exercise, and I have submitted myself to them and I can assure you that we are going to end this exercise without any scratch,” the former La Dade Kotopon MP told angry party members and fans in the constituency Thursday 6 Janaury.
He made those comments after NDC supporters in the constituency locked up all party offices and ceased all party activity in protest to the probe which Mr Mensah was subjected to at the time.
A court ordered on Thursday 6 January that all bank accounts of the former legislator be frozen until investigations into alleged financial malfeasance levelled against him were over. The order was given by the Accra Financial and Economic court.
It followed an ex-parte application made by the Financial Intelligence Centre, which serves as a national centre for the receipt and analysis of: (a) suspicious transaction reports; and (b) other information relevant to money laundering, associated predicate offences and financing of terrorism.
He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.