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General News
Explosion At Castle Over Woyomegate 1/15/2012

There is a flurry of activities at the Castle as the Mills administration struggles to douse the inferno that has engulfed the government over the GH¢58million Woyome saga.

The Attorney General’s recent statement condemning certain anomalies in government and an allusion to a minister scheming against him because of a possibility that he would initiate a case which could implicate her criminally in the Woyomegate has for instance shaken the Castle to its foundation.

Unconfirmed information suggests that the AG is being asked to consider resigning, a call being fuelled by die-hard pro-Mills elements.

The Woyome saga remains a major fault-line in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Martin Amidu statement of a few days ago has widened the rift.

Unconfirmed reports said Mr. Amidu had been asked to leave the government following his explosive letter complaining about people allegedly fleecing the state in the name of a political party. Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, speaking on Metro TV yesterday, said the Attorney General would be made to substantiate his claims, confirming the president’s discomfort with the internal feud in his cabinet.
Mr. Amidu had said that some criminally-minded individuals parading as party members were causing harm to the corporate body of Ghana in the name of their political affiliations and that he was against the use of party name to commit crime.

“I have faith and belief in my Ministerial oath of office as a Minister of State and my cabinet oath that requires me to ‘uphold, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Republic of the Ghana as by law established…

“I wish to assure the people of Ghana that I still stand by my promise in spite of the fact that hard core criminals in our society today have made it a habit to hold paid membership cards of major political parties in the republic as an unconstitutional insurance against crime and criminal prosecutions.

“I wish core members and supporters of the NDC who cherish the principles and ideals upon which the party was founded to know that the attacks against me which started in the Daily Post publication of 3rd January 2012 were planned by a colleague Minister of State, who perceived that my integrity and professionalism as a lawyer was a threat to the concealment of gargantuan crimes against the people of Ghana in which they might be implicated”, he said in the statement. Even though Mr. Amidu did not mention anybody’s name, fingers are being pointed at his predecessor, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who did not put up any defence against the payment of the GH¢58million to Mr. Woyome.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu, now Minister of Education, is in the firing line, with the opposition NPP calling for her dismissal because of her handling of the Alfred Agbesi Woyome financial scandal.

Woyome did not have any contract with the state but Betty negotiated an agreement with him, leading to the payment of the gargantuan money which latest reports said stood at GH¢92million.

“I have sufficient integrity and experience as a Ghanaian and a legal practitioner who has personally conducted several leading cases reported in the Law Reports of Ghana to naively send hearsay and newspaper accusations to the courts of Justice only to lose them as was the practice a few years past. “Cool heads are what are needed in the office of the Attorney-General and not emotions, inexperience and crass incompetence in the practice of the law”, Mr Amidu stated.

He said some pro-NDC newspapers had been hired to attack his personal integrity.

“As for the section of the rented NDC press calling for my removal or dismissal from office, I wish to assure them that I never begged to be appointed Attorney-General: I opposed it on four separate occasions. That criminal section of the NDC press should be assured that I am ready, able and willing for that eventuality. The inescapable fact is that at the end of the day, truth will prevail over falsehood in the Republic of Ghana”, he stressed.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa described the comments of the Attorney General as unfortunate.


“He is also going to be pushed to name [the minister plotting against him],” he said, observing that: “So it appears to me that this is just the beginning of this very, very explosive statement which the Attorney General has uttered.”
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa also described the attacks on the newspapers as unfair and expressed worry about similar developments he said could damage the NDC and bring down the government.
“There seems to be too much internal feud within the National Democratic Congress.
There seems to be too much mistrust so that when newspapers are after you, a colleague minister should necessarily be behind it… are people in an indecent haste to cause an implosion in the National Democratic Congress? Are they in hurry to return to opposition?”

The issue has opened the floodgates for various groups to trade polemics regarding the money paid to the NDC self-styled financier who made his cash available to President Mills during last year’s FONKAR/GAME brouhaha.

The NDC Youth With Conviction of Principles (YWCP), a pro Rawlings group which championed the cause of the reconstruction of the gutted Ridge residence of the Rawlingses last year, had for instance demanded from President Mills a show of leadership in the face of what they considered a corruption of the ideals of the ruling party in its original form as represented by the Woyome scandal and the emanating statement from the Attorney General.

In a statement signed by the group’s Coordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Naziru, they frowned at the recent matters arising from the Woyome saga, pointing out that it demanded the President’s intervention so that the party’s diminishing image could be shored up.

“President Mills should rise to the occasion and salvage the party and government before matters get out of hand. President Mills must show leadership now. This is the time for the NDC leadership to practically demonstrate its commitment to the party’s core principles and values. We therefore do not expect anything to be swept under the carpet at the expense of transparency in the supreme interest of the Ghanaian people,” they pointed out. With their sights on the Martin Amidu bombshell of last Thursday, the group pointed out that the issues raised in the said statement showed a deviation of the party’s leadership from the ideals of the NDC.

The statement, they stressed, originating from a high-ranking member of the party and government, raised what they regarded as frightening issues.

The allusion to some elements in the NDC who were seeking to conceal crimes against the people of Ghana because they were implicated in these by the Attorney General, they noted, was also frightening, especially the leakage of official documents to sections of the press to truncate the AG’s call for prosecution of criminals.

According to the grouping, “if this is true, it certainly amounts to a sabotage of government business and injustice to the good people of Ghana.”

While taking exception to the anomaly, they said, “We do not believe that any true member of the NDC should use his party card as ‘an unconstitutional insurance against crime and prosecution’ as alleged by the A-G,” adding, “We also do not believe that any true member of the NDC should stand against probity, accountability and transparency.” In another vein, they stated that “neither do we believe that any true member of the NDC should be victimized or vilified for standing up to defend the ideals that form the bedrock of the NDC.”

The pro-Rawlings group’s position was in sharp contrast with that of others within the party who thought that Alfred Agbesi Woyome as a member of the party should be supported by all means possible.

Some of them have been vocal on rooftops defending the so-called financial engineer.

In another development, the General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, has taken issue with the Attorney General’s statement, asking that he named the minister he made allusions to.

“To the AG, we say, name the Minister, expedite actions to prosecute the persons and bring justice to Ghanaians. Anything short of this is a slap in the face of the NDC-led government’s commitment to fighting corruption, promoting good governance and strengthening democracy,” the PNC demanded.

The PNC, Mr. Mornah pointed out, “is alarmed, terrified and surprised about the incredulous information contained in the press statement of the Attorney General which borders on potential crimes and attack on free speech and which jointly have adverse effects on Ghana’s democracy.”
It is highly regrettable and irresponsible, the PNC noted, “that his statement falls short of naming, shaming and expediting actions that will prosecute the supposed Minister of State and accomplices so as to bring justice to the good people of Ghana.”


Source: A Daily Guide Report

























 
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