General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has sent notice to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) that it will resist any attempt(s) to witch-hunt any appointee of former President John Dramani Mahama.
The notice follows Monday’s raid (July 24, 2017) of the residence of the former Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, by some officials from the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in connection with the controversial $510m Ameri deal.
Also, the house of the former Coordinator of the Emergency Power Programme at the Ministry of Power, Francis Gyata, was yesterday searched by some personnel of CID.
Today has learnt that these raids form part of ongoing investigations into the Ameri power deal. But speaking to Joy News in Accra, a member of the Minority in Parliament, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, who was fuming with anger, threatened that the minority will make Parliament ungovernable if the state continues to harass their colleague Member of Parliament (MP).
Mr. Vanderpuye who is the NDC MP for the Odododiodio constituency in the Greater Accra Region, condemned the act, and called on the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye to, as a matter of urgency, intervene.
“If the Speaker does not take action on this, we will not walk out, we will make Parliament impossible to sit,” the former youth and sports minister cautioned.
He accused the Akufo-Addo-led government of violating the privacy of the former power minister who is currently Pru East MP.
He wondered why the police would seize Mr. Donkor’s private laptops and try to also seize his personal phones.
“Why should the police decide to take his laptop? There are official laptops in the office, there are official phones that he used; they can go for them,” the MP explained.
The Odododiodio MP who has also been a victim of a state raid on his home said the “NDC MPs are going to be “very, very vociferous” in getting the Speaker’s attention in this matter.”
Earlier, MP for Sagnarigu constituency in the Northern Region, Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, stated that the minority would not countenance any form of harassment or intimidation from the NPP government.
“I can assure you that under our leader, Haruna Iddrisu, the minority will certainly not allow such infractions of the law to go unanswered and I’m sure that within the next day or two, you will hear from the Minority, especially from our leadership,” he said this on Class FM in Accra last Monday.
“Just last week you heard leading NPP appointees and functionaries including the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, in an address to NPP people in Brong Ahafo; he came out openly to say that they are almost getting ready to embark on the witch-hunt of going after NDC appointees and functionaries then they start these exercises, so we have been aware that these things they are doing are the works of the NPP, especially when they have nothing positive to show after seven months in government,” he alleged.
Even though he admitted that every Ghanaian was subject to the laws of the country, Mr. Fuseini said he cannot understand the basis for raiding Dr. Donkor’s home when no charges have been brought forward against the former minister officially.
“Has the minister formally been charged? Has he formally been told that he has been charged for causing financial loss? Are we in a jungle? Are we not governed by laws of this country?” he queried.
For him, the development only points to “an element of vindictiveness,” stating that “everyone is subject to the law, but we are talking about the manner which suggests clearly that it is a witch-hunt.”
But the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Sheila Abayie Buckman, has refuted media reports that officials from the CID raided the residence of former power minister.
Speaking to Rainbow Radio in Accra yesterday, the police PRO confirmed that they went to the residence of the former minister’s house with a search warrant granted by a court.
She said they only went to the house in connection with ongoing investigations into the AMERI deal, adding that “we want to establish whether he did not cause financial loss to the state.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Donkor has said that he “will petition the Speaker because I am a sitting MP and there is a certain protocol which has to be followed but has been breached.”
Four officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service led by an ASP, last Monday dawn, stormed the Spintex residence of the Pru East MP.
The officers got to his private residence while he was still asleep.
He is being investigated for willfully causing financial loss with regard to the AMERI deal.
A committee at the power ministry has found out that the $510m deal was over-priced by $150million.
The CID search, Today understands, occurred for between two and three hours.
His four pen drives and laptop were seized by the officers.