The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is advising the Akufo-Addo led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to emulate the shining example of former President John Mahama by bringing to book corrupt officials within the government.
According to NDC, the erstwhile Mahama-led NDC government instituted actions against officials within the government alleged to have been involved in corrupt deals.
A statement issued and signed by the General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah says the party initiated investigation and prosecution of Mr Abuga Pele as part of strategy to weed out corruption in the country.
That, he said, the strategy involves measures to prevent corruption and how to deal with corruption when it has already occurred. They include exposure, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption.
Mr Abuga Pele, a former National Coordinator of the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), and a businessman, Philip Akpeena Assibit, were on Thursday, February 22, this year, sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison for their involvement in the GH¢4.1 million GYEEDA scandal.
Pele, who is also a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana-Paga in the Upper East Region, will serve six years, while Assibit will serve 12 years in prison.
Following Mr Abuga Pele’s sentence, the MP for the Odododiodoo constituency, Mr Nii Lante Vanderpuye is reported of having said that the party would win the 2020 general elections and free Mr Abuga Pele.
NDC distances itself
However, unhappy with the Odododiodoo’s law maker’s comment, the General Secretary in the statement distanced the party from the comments, saying the MP’s comment which creates the unfortunate impression that the party would free the jailed former MP, does not represent the party’s position.
“We wish to remind Ghanaians that the investigation and prosecution of Honourable Abuga Pele was initiated by the NDC as part of our strategy to rid the country of corruption, and this strategy involves measures to prevent corruption and how to deal with corruption when it has already occurred. They include exposure, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption.
According to Mr Asiedu-Nketsia, while the NDC leadership “can understand the emotional trauma the family, friends and sympathizers” of Abuga Pele are going through “at this critical moment,” “it is the belief of the leadership of NDC that in matters like this, the interest of the state cannot be subjected to individual or partisan interest.”
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC wishes to place on record that the sentiment expressed by the Honourable Member on the above cited statement do not reflect in any remotest sense the position of the party regarding the fight against corruption in the country on the matter involving the conviction of Honourable Abuga Pele in particular.
In addition, he reiterated, “It will therefore be absurd that after a successful conviction has been achieved in this particular case, the initiator will turn around to free any person who has been convicted as a result,” the statement said.