Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By Yaw Owusu
Monday, December 21, 2015
A five-member committee set up by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has said no executive member of the party operated a secret bank account as earlier claimed.
The committee also discovered that there was no truth in the allegation of disbursement of £100,000 from any NPP account to the party’s 2016 flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by NPP Communications Director, Nana Akomea, last Friday said the committee that investigated the issues included Nana Ohene Ntow, a former General Secretary; Joe Osei Wusu; Anthony Akoto Osei; Kwaku Agyeman Manu and Prof. Gyan Baffour - who are all Members of Parliament (MPs).
The statement said the committee had been tasked by the party on August 25, 2015 to ascertain the bank accounts into which party funds had allegedly been lodged; determine disbursements made out of the accounts and the purpose for those disbursements; establish the approvals for those disbursements and investigate other related matters.
“The committee, over a period of fifteen (15) sitting days, interviewed thirteen (13) witnesses. They included Nana Akufo-Addo, 2016 flagbearer; Paul Afoko, suspended National Chairman; Freddie Blay, then 1st National First Vice Chairman; Sammy Crabbe, then National 2nd Vice Chairman; Kwabena Agyepong, then General Secretary; Kwabena Abankwah Yeboah, National Treasurer and John Boadu, National Organiser.”
The rest included “Hon Daniel Botwe, Minority Chief Whip; Fred Oware, immediate past 1st National Vice Chairman; Esther Ofori, immediate past National Treasurer; Gifty Ama Ayeh, past Treasurer; Dr K.K. Sarpong, a representative of the NPP Finance Committee and Baah Achamfuor, a member of the party.”
According to the statement, the committee found out that “there was no setting up and operation of a secret account. The account in question at the Ecobank Trust Towers branch was not a secret account but a party account, albeit dormant.”
It said further that “The reactivation of the account was, however, done without all the necessary consultations and information at the National Executive level,” adding, “The committee found that disbursements made from the Ecobank account were done pursuant to the budget drawn up and approved for the by-election in Talensi.”
It indicated, “The minority report arose out of the decision by Nana Ohene Ntow to make supplementary recommendations to which the other four members of the committee strongly objected on the grounds that they were either not within the committee’s terms of reference or warranted by the evidence before the committee.”
According to the statement, “The National Executive Committee authorised this release to inform the general public about the outcome of the committee’s work.”
Meanwhile, a member of the committee has described as baseless a separate report submitted by Nana Ohene Ntow after he had prepared what he described as a minority report.
His report recommended, among other things, that the 1st Vice Chairman (now acting chairman), Freddie Blay and the National Treasurer, Kwabena Abankwa Yeboah, be referred to the Disciplinary Committee of the party for gross misconduct.
A former National Chairman, Peter Mac Manu, whom Ohene Ntow worked under, he stated, must also be ordered by the NEC of the party to explain in writing the circumstances under which he opened or caused to be opened a party account at the Trust Towers branch of Ecobank.
The flagbearer, Ohene Ntow stated, is also not cleared of ‘some £100,000 illegal payment.’
The claims by Ohene Ntow have, however, been dismissed by Kwaku Agyeman Manu, who explained on Adom Fm’s ‘Morning Show’ yesterday that they lack basis and is just an attempt at causing disaffection for certain persons in the party.
According to him, the former spokesperson for the Alan Kyeremanten campaign team was made chairman of the committee under ‘fraudulent’ means by the suspended chairman, Paul Afoko, insisting that he (Agyeman Manu) was supposed to chair it (committee).
“However, for the sake of peace, we did not complain and set off to work,” he said, adding that the suspended chairman “wrote the terms of the committee unilaterally.”
On the report of the committee, the Dormaa Central MP said all the members, including Nana Ohene Ntow, agreed to it, which was submitted by the Secretary of the Committee, Joe Osei Wusu.
“Ohene Ntow further recommended that we accept certain recommendations which we told him were not part of our terms of reference…so he decided to write a minority report and we agreed to allow him but he was told to bring the report so that we attach it to the main report as a dissenting view…,” Agyeman Manu said.
After agreeing to the proposal, Agyeman Manu said Ohene Ntow gave one flimsy excuse after the other for more than a month to justify why he had been unable to submit his minority report.
“When our duration passed for us to conclude our work and with pressure mounting on us to present our report to NEC, we decided to submit it without that of Ohene Ntow’s minority report,” Mr Agyeman Manu pointed out.
After submitting the committee’s report, Ohene Ntow later told them he had presented his, which Mr Agyeman Manu said was referring to “things which were not part of our terms of reference.”
And these things, he said, included calling for the punishment of former chairman, Peter Mac Manu, who never appeared before the five-member committee.
He thus called on Ghanaians to reject the “so-called minority report,” arguing that like the Supreme Court, it is the majority report that matters and not the dissenting view.