Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday January 10, 2018
Former President John Dramani Mahama yesterday failed to turn up at an Accra High Court to show solidarity with the immediate-past board members of the National Communication Authority (NCA), who are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.
The former president, in recent times, has been using several platforms to call for support for his appointees who might be dragged to court for their alleged involvement in corruption under his four-year tenure.
Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former NCA Board Chairman; William Mathew Tetteh Tevie, former Director General of the NCA; Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former deputy National Security Coordinator and another board member, as well as a private businessman called George Derek Oppong - Director of Infraloks Development Limited - have been accused of conspiring to and causing financial loss to the state to the tune of some $4 million.
Mr. Baffoe-Bonnie, Alhaji Osman and Mr Oppong have already appeared before the court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, for their alleged involvement in a deal and have been granted bail in the sum of $1 million each with three sureties.
Yesterday Mr. Tevie and the other member also made an appearance before the high court and were given the same bail terms and conditions.
They are standing trial because the Attorney General’s Department - led in evidence by the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo - is saying that the accused persons created, looted and shared $4 million among themselves under the guise of procuring a Cyber Surveillance System which they claimed was to be used for counter-terrorism activities in the country.
There were a lot of people at the court complex, but it was unclear if some of them were there to lend their support to the accused persons, following the clarion call by former President Mahama.
He was not in court to concretize his call on NDC foot soldiers to stand by ex-officials suspected of corruption.
Speaking at the 36th anniversary celebration of the 31st December, 1981 ‘revolution’ in Ho, the Volta Region, Mr. Mahama said, “Recently, President Akufo-Addo was threatening members of our administration with prosecution when he visited the Eastern Region; and I said yes, we are prepared to accept the probity of our tenure in office.
“Having been the disciples of probity and accountability, we must not run away from probity and accountability; we must be prepared to face any prosecution that this government throws to us, but we must do this with commitment and solidarity.”
Mr. Mahama remarked, “They will have their day in court and until they have that day in court, it is our duty to solidarize with them to make sure they have the best legal representation to be able to put their case in order; and it is my wish that things will turn out well for them.”
However, Deputy General Secretary of the opposition party, Koku Anyidoho, in reaction to Mr. Mahama’s call for solidarity, warned the supporters of the party not to storm the courtrooms to support any officials of the Mahama administration who might be facing prosecution for alleged corruption.
According to him, the relatives and friends of those officials could do that but not the entire party and its supporters.
According to him, such persons have families, friends and loved ones who are free to follow them to court, but the entire party executives should not be expected to do so.
In what appears to be a sharp u-turn, Mr Anyidoho has stated that the party is ready to solidarize with its members, if the NPP government starts witch-hunting them.