Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, 09 September 2015
Popular lawyer Phillip Addison says the Ghana Police Service has no ‘business’ interfering in matters concerning the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the basis of hearsay.
He said the recent invitation of some top NPP executives by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over a ‘secret’ bank account feeds into the perception that “either the police has an agenda against the NPP or is being manipulated by the party’s opponents.”
The NPP’s First National Vice Chairman, Freddie Blay and National Treasurer Kwabena Abankwah-Yeboah were invited by the CID for questioning over what the police claimed was the setting up and running of a ‘secret’ bank account in the name of the party by the two gentlemen.
Curiously, the police in their invitation to Messrs Blay and Abankwah-Yeboah could not disclose the complainant.
As a result, some of the party’s members are accusing a shadowy group within the NPP of using the police to cow the stalwarts while others have claimed it was one Baah Achamfuor who was ‘pushed’ to lodge the complaint.
How Funds Are Used
Mr Addison, who made a last-minute withdrawal from the race to become the NPP’s Klottey Korley parliamentary candidate citing a flawed process, said the money in the so-called ‘secret’ account belonged to the NPP as an association and that it was up to the party to set up an investigative committee to find out how the funds were used.
He also said that “if the funds are found to have been misappropriated, it is then that the party officials could decide to refer the matter to the police for investigation,” adding, “but as it is now, the police are interfering unnecessarily.”
“Who determines whether the money has been spent properly or not? It is certainly not the police but the party itself,” he stressed.
NPP As Private Entity
Mr Addison said the NPP is a private association governed by rules and regulations and not a public institution and that the police could not just move in to investigate issues, especially when it is without recourse to the executives.
He said that “it would have been a different scenario if an executive member of the NPP had lodged the complaint with the police,” asking, “how did an ordinary member get to know that a secret bank account exists in the name of the party in the first place?”
He said the attempt by the police to investigate the ‘secret’ account issue shows how some people are trying to use state institutions to ruffle the rank and file of the party.
“Somebody is clearly manipulating the system to try and embarrass the NPP and cause disaffection within the party,” he noted.
Klottey Korley Issues
Mr Addison, who represented the petitioners in the landmark presidential election petition in the disputed 2012 election, did not understand why the police had allegedly turned a blind eye to complaints of forgery lodged by a party member in the Klottey Korley Constituency against one of his contenders but could swiftly act on a matter of hearsay.
“If the police are minded to investigate this unmeritorious secret account matter then why have they neglected what was reported long time ago concerning a candidate in our constituency which are based on hard facts? Clearly, they have failed to act after establishing a crime.”
“The police themselves established that crime had been committed but till date no action has been taken. What is the motivation now to investigate a complaint by a party member who has no locus?” he queried.
According to him, the person who is being touted as the complainant in the ‘secret’ account matter “has no firsthand knowledge about the workings of the executives of the party.”
He noted that “this can open the floodgates for anybody at all to get up and lodge a complaint against any of the executives of the party and the police will follow it up.”
“The complaint has to be based on facts. So far, what the police is doing is clearly based on hearsay,” Addison added, stressing, “What is happening clearly tells us that this whole thing is being orchestrated by our opponents and they are unfortunately using our own members to prosecute the agenda.”
“The police left undone, the things they should do and are busy with the things they are not supposed to do,” the lawyer further observed.