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˘220m Bribery Scandal Hits NDC
 
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18-Mar-2010  
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Some members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Agona-West Constituency of the Central Region have accused the Regional Minister, Ama Benyiwa Doe, of collecting ˘220 million (GH˘22,000) to influence the appointment of Jacob Obeng Forson as Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of the Agona-West Municipal Assembly.

They also allege that she was given a piece of Kente cloth as a gift, in addition to the said amount.

Speaking on Accra-based private radio station Oman FM’s National Agenda and later on Joy Fm, leader of the group and Agona-West Constituency Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, Kwesi Dawood, noted that they do not have any confidence in the regional minister.

They have also petitioned President John Evans Atta Mills to sack the MCE.According to the group, Madam Benyiwa Doe has a hand in the MCEs conduct since the minister has failed to act on the several complaints made to her about his corrupt practices.

For this reason, the constituency propaganda secretary stated, “we here have reason to believe same because this is about the fourth time we are raising this issue.

The last time we met the regional minister at her office was on 2nd November 2009”.Instead of paying heed to their concerns, he noted that Madam Benyiwa Doe, the MCE and their cohorts have rather resorted to acts of vindictiveness against him and his other colleagues.

What infuriates him the most, he observed, is the fact that the regional minister had referred to him and his other colleagues as hungry people.

Madam Benyiwa Doe has however rubbished Mr. Dawood’s allegation, stating that she has not received any such money from Mr. Obeng Forson as suggested.Speaking on the same radio station, she noted that Mr. Dawood and his colleagues are only out to cause mischief and drag her good name through the mud, further describing them as hungry people.

The MCE on his part described the allegations as wild and without substance, “it’s all lies”, he shot back to Joy Fm yesterday when asked for his reaction.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dawood and two-thirds of NDC Agona-West Constituency executives have petitioned President Mills and the leadership of the ruling party, citing the MCE for multiple complicity in abuse of office, conflict of interest, corruption and violating the Public Procurement Law among a host of other severe allegations contrary to the Mills administration’s ‘Better Ghana’ agenda.

The group has therefore called for the immediate removal and subsequent prosecution of the MCE since his hands, they allege, are stained in corruption.Among other things, the MCE is also accused of appointing his wife as the assembly’s unofficial protocol officer, allowing her to makes arrangements for the outfit’s meals at an inflated cost.

Aside from that, Mr. Obeng Forson is said to have made a strange arrangement with his oldest son who is the operations manager of waste management company Zoomlion.

Thus, the Propaganda Secretary has created a situation where contracts between the assembly and Zoomlion are executed according to a special agreement.In addition, the MCE is said to have made his second oldest son, Neequaye the contractor of the assembly, whilst the third son has been made a city guard who has allegedly been extorting monies from drivers.

“We are saying the MCE has violated our procurement laws,… by appointing his wife to be the one in charge of all catering and refreshment services at the assembly without recourse to tender processes”, Mr. Dawood charged.

He alleged Mr. Obeng Forson “has an arrangement with the assembly by which he is paid GH˘2, 500 from the proceeds of toilet [facilities]”.Mr. Dawood quoted portions of the 2008 ‘Better Ghana’ manifesto of NDC which states “corruption thrives in a system that is not transparent or unaccountable and unresponsive to the needs and concern of citizens” to buttress his call.

The manifesto further states that “an NDC government will not make any excuses for corrupt ministers, officials and office holders generally”.

He has therefore asked President Mills to remain committed to the aspect of the manifesto which states that “we shall promptly investigate allegations of corruption and allow the law to take its course” since this is what he promised the people.Eight months after assuming office as MCE, Mr. Dawood claims Mr. Obeng Forson has not been able to help any member of the party.

Instead he always tells them to exercise patience so he can recoup the supposed ˘220million investment money he coughed up to pay for the position.

Furthermore, he alleged that just two months after he assumed office, the MCE managed to put up a building which is currently at the lintel level and has bought a saloon car for his wife.

According to him, whenever the MCE is queried about the property he has managed to acquire overnight, he tells them they are the proceeds of his pension.Mr. Dawood therefore could not help but ask rhetorically “which NCCE official goes on pension and gets over 800million?

“That is corruption and we told him. Instead of doing what the manifesto says in page 24, they are just sitting there and trying to cover the issue”. Again he asked, “Is this not hypocrisy; is this what we promised Ghanaians?”

The propaganda secretary admitted to being part of a group that assaulted the MCE when he allegedly tried to influence some of their colleagues to change their decision to expose him with money.
“Take it that I am not an NDC member. As a Ghanaian, do I not have the right to fight against corruption, do I not have the right to fight against conflict of interest, abuse of office and misappropriation of state money?”, he wondered.
 
 
 
Source: D Guide/ghana
 
 

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