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Well meaning Ghanaians were last Friday shocked to the marrow when news came in that some serving ministers of state in the President Mills government had been mentioned in a court ruling in the UK for receiving bribes from a British construction firm, Mabey and Johnson to the detriment of Ghana in the 1990s.

What exacerbated the concerns of Ghanaians most was that most of the people mentioned by the court served as government officials under former President Jerry Rawlings and Prof. J.E.A Mills who was then the vice-president and head of the Economic management team. The London court mentioned Dr. George Sipa-Yankey (sitting health minister) Ato Quarshie (former Roads minister) Saddique Boniface (then student in the UK) Amadu Seidu (former Deputy Roads Minister and now a Minister of state at the Presidency) Edward Lord-Attivor (Chairman Inter-city Transport Corp) as receiving bribes from the construction firm.

From December 1994 to 18 August 1999, a period under Mr. Rawlings “M&J used the GDF and associated accounts to pay bribes directly to named Ghanaian officials totaling 470,792.60 pounds, the court indicated. The court further stated that “…In Jamaica and Ghana M&J knew that its agents were involved in corrupt relationships with public officials with influence over M&J’s affairs in those jurisdictions. M&J accept that they agreed with their agents to pay bribes directly to public servants in those jurisdictions.

Those bribes were deducted from the overall commission due to the agents…”. Former President Rawlings under whose eagle watch as a sitting president that criminal activity was virtually given a state blessing quickly in a manner characteristic of him run to the media to demand of President Mills to “act quickly and decisively” on the ruling.

Mr. Rawlings who has seen the imminent crumbling of his matra “probity and accountability” and demand for “high moral grounds” turned his frustrations on President Mills accusing him of not prosecuting the former NPP Ministers. “Since coming to power in 2009, we have failed to pursue and prosecute the criminal activities of the past NPP government who in connivance with foreign partners have stolen millions of dollars and accepted huge bribes!” he fumed, the former President said in a press statement. “Let us not destroy the reputation of the ND by being indecisive on this scandal.” Mr. Rawlings stated adding that “probity, accountability and service to the people are the basis upon which the National Democratic Congress was founded”.

Probity, accountability and service to the people are the basis upon which the National Democratic Congress was founded. “I have espoused these tenets since 1982 and have consistently reminded the current NDC government of the need to urgently pursue and prosecute persons who have been and continue to remain unaccountable to the people. The former President noted that the whole world’s attention is focused on Ghana, “watching closely how the Mills administration handles these allegations.”
Source: New Crusading Guide

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