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26.07.2020 NPP News

NPP Primaries: How Candidates Allegedly Bought Votes [part 2]

NPP Primaries: How Candidates Allegedly Bought Votes [part 2]
LISTEN JUL 26, 2020

A Corruption Watch investigation has found that Procurement Minister, Sarah Adwoa Safo , allegedly gave GHc3,000 and a GLICO Life Insurance package worth GHc10,000 to delegates in the just ended NPP primaries.

Her challenger, Michael Aaron Oquaye Jr., Ghana’s High Commissioner to India, on the other hand, allegedly gave GHc3,000, a 32-inch Nasco flat screen television set and an Indian-made cloth to the 500 delegates. The candidates targeted 500 delegates which they needed to win.

Meanwhile a Corruption Watch follow up check on the GLICO insurance cover found that the cover took effect three days to the election, June 17, 2020 and will expire on June 16, 2021. The “Insurance Interest” was for the benefit of “Delegates of the Dome Kwabenya Constituency

Response to allegation

When CW contacted Mr. Oquaye for his response to the allegations of providing the gravy train goodies and money to delegates, he said the election was over and he has put everything about the election behind him.

Madam Safo on the other hand, did not respond to a request for comments despite, phone calls and a follow up letter Corruption Watch submitted to her through the director of public affairs at the Procurement Ministry, Solomon Sasu Mensah. After follow up phone calls to Sasu Mensah he said Madam Safo wasn’t entertaining visitors over COVID-19 fears. Corruption Watch then requested for a telephone interview but at the time of filing this report more than one week after requesting for the phone interview, she has not responded.

ADENTA CONSTITUENCY

Elsewhere in Greater Accra, in the Adentan Constituency where incumbent MP Yaw Buaben Asamoa won the election, garnering 422 out of the 739 valid votes to beat four other contenders there were alleged payments in the forms of cash and machinery to delegates.

MP Buaben Asamoa, who is also the NPP’s National Communication’s Director, through his campaign team allegedly made some payments to some delegates on the night of 19th June and in the morning of the election day.

Emmanuel Mantey, who got 217 votes and the runner-up to MP Buaben Asamoa, allegedly distributed GHC200 to delegates through his agents.

On his part, Rahman Zak, who placed third with 83 votes, purportedly dished out GHC500 to an unspecified number of delegates through his ‘agents’ on the day of voting.

Alfred Ababio Kumi, who came forth with 10 votes, went into the race with a pledge to donate a total of 516 tricycles (aboboyas). He intended to give 16 fully-funded tricycles to the party to use for income-generation activities in the 16 electoral areas in the constituency. His reward for delegates was that he would distribute 500 tricycles to 500 delegates at 50% subsidy.

Corruption Watch undercover reporters could not establish that Freda Agyemang Sarpong, who polled seven (7) votes, made any offers or actually made any payments to delegates.

Response to allegations

When Corruption Watch contacted MP Buaben Asamoa, hedeclined to discuss the allegations of offering money to delegates. He indicated that the primaries were over and he had moved on.

On the other hand, Mantey admitted to giving money to delegates but said it was not intended to influence the way they voted. According to him, he gave to each delegate an amount between GHC200-300 to cover delegates’ transportation costs. What is more, he gave each delegate “a very decent” lunch pack that included water and beverage. He disclosed that from the first day when he decided to contest the primaries, he began to invest in all delegates. He estimated that each of the over 770 delegates may have benefitted from him to the tune of GHC3,000 during the past one year. Cumulatively, that works up to a minimum of GHc2.3 million.

Zak denied giving delegates GHc500 per person. Instead, he said he only paid GHc50 and GHc100 to his agents for transportation.

On the other hand, Alfred Ababio Kumi admitted making pledges to donate a total of 516 tricycles to the party and delegates. However, he said this was not an inducement. He disclosed that he has already delivered the first two of the 16 tricycles he is donating to electoral areas in the constituency. Ababio Kumi defends tricycle pledge

EASTERN REGION

Northwards of the Greater Accra Region, the story about alleged payment of money and presentation of items to delegates was not different in the Eastern Region.

ABUAKWA NORTH CONSTITUENCY

Incumbent MP Gifty Twum Ampofo who won the primary with 150 of the valid votes cast allegedly gave GHc1,500 and a flat screen TV set to each delegate. Her challengers: Mr. Kay Amoah who polled 116 votes allegedly gave each delegate GHc500 in addition to a table-top refrigerator or flat screen TV; Kofi Obeng who garnered 112 votes also paid GHc500 to each delegate.

CW undercover reporters could not establish that Nana Serwaa Acheampong, who polled 35 votes, offered any cash or material gifts to delegates.

Response to allegation

When Corruption Watch contacted MP Gifty Twum Ampofo for her response, she admitted giving the GHc1,500 and TV each to delegates but said she doesn’t consider that an inducement as this is not the first time she has given gifts to delegates in her constituency, citing fridges she gave each delegate during Easter this year.

When Corruption Watch contacted Kofi Obeng, he admitted giving Ghc500 each to some delegates but said the money was paid on his behalf by his financier. According to him, the money was meant to cover the cost of transportation and accommodation for delegates, some of whom came from far.

All efforts to reach Mr. Kay Amoah for his response failed.

NKAWKAW CONSTITUENCY

Still in the Eastern Region the contest for the Nkawkaw NPP parliamentary slot was one involving heavyweights and allegations of equally hefty payments to delegates came up. Incumbent MP and Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darffuor slugged it out with five others for the nod of 709 delegates. He ran against Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Middle Belt Development Authority Joyce Opoku Boateng, ex-MPs Seth Agyei Baah and Kwabena Adusah Okerchiri, Ghana Publishing Company Limited MD, David Boateng Asante, and Nkawkaw Senior High School tutor, Joseph Frimpong.

Joseph Frimpong won the day with 206 votes in the Nkawkaw Constituency but not without the accusation that he allegedly offered each of the 450 selected delegates GHc2,000 and a flat screen television or Bruhm refrigerator. Corruption Watch learnt that two days to the polls, he initially gave GHc1,000 to each of the 450 delegates and topped it up with a flat screen television set or refrigerator depending on the choice of each delegate. Then, on the day of voting, when news went viral that one of the aspirants was giving GHc2,000 to delegates, Frimpong’s team allegedly moved in to give additional GHc1,000 to the delegates.

Incumbent MP Eric Kwakye Darffuor, who polled 159 votes and placed second, allegedly gave some money and an item of value to delegates.

Ex-MP and board chairman of MASLOC, Seth Agyei Baah, who garnered 156 and secured third place, also allegedly gave GHc2000 to each of the 250 selected delegates.

The sole female aspirant and lawyer, Joyce Opoku Boateng, who finished fourth, obtained 82 amidst allegations that she gave Ghc400 each to an unspecified number of delegates. Eye witnesses claim that even though the money was shared to delegates by her campaign coordinator, candidate Opoku Boateng, she was part of the team that personally moved from house to house to give out the money to the delegates.

The claim against David Boateng Asante, who received 73 votes and placed fifth, is that he supposedly gave to each of an unspecified number of targeted delegates GHc500 plus a gas cylinder and a burner.

Another ex-MP, Kwabena Adusah Okerchiri, polled 28 votes and finished at the bottom of the pack. It is alleged that he gave money to each delegate but varied the amount as he gave some GHc200 and others GHc100 depending on each person’s loyalty towards him.

Response to allegations

Corruption Watch reached out to them for their response to the allegation of payment of money and items of value to delegates.

Joseph Frimpong denied ever distributing money, TV set or refrigerator to delegates and insisted that he was a teacher and the “poorest” among the candidates. He, however, admitted giving “a token” to delegates, which amount he declined to say.

Eastern Regional Minister Kwakye Darffuor refused to discuss the allegations of making payments to delegates. However, he said all politicians commonly know that in every election a candidate has to provide for the transportation and feeding of delegates.

Responding to the allegations Seth Agyei Baah told Corruption Watch that he was not in a position to confirm or deny the allegations of sharing GHc2,000 to 250 delegates. He said he went to an election and lost and wants to get over the shock of losing the election.

In the case of Joyce Opoku Boateng, she admitted giving “everybody” an amount of GHc400. She explained that it is a practice that during periods such as primaries candidates give an incentive for delegates to know that “you are person of substance who is coming to be there for them.”Joyce Opoku Boateng gives incentive

Ex-MP Kwabena Adusah Okerchiri admitted giving money to delegates but said it was for their “transport and what they would eat.” He justified his action, saying that everybody gives something to delegates during elections regardless of which political party is organizing the polls.

Boateng Asante did not respond to our calls and text messages.

CENTRAL REGION

AWUTU SENYA WEST

Multiple CW sources in the Awutu Senya West Constituency of the Central Region alleged that the campaign team of both candidates gave money to the delegates in the election which incumbent MP and Deputy Minister of Communications, George Andah won with 438 votes of the valid votes cast. Mr. Joseph Aidoo, his challenger, garnered 191 votes.

Mr. Andah parried claims of giving money and other items of value to delegates when contacted by Corruption Watch even though he had told JOYFM’s Kwesi Parker Wilson after winning the primary that he gave a “token’’ to delegates.

Similarly, when Corruption Watch contacted Mr. Aidoo, he denied giving delegates any money, arguing that he lacks the financial capacity to do that.

According to him, apart from food and drinks which every delegate benefited from, he only gave some delegates transportation each time they had to transport themselves to meet him. He said the amount per delegate was dependent on cost of transportation from the individual locations, adding that he gave some as low as Ghc20 as transportation.

ASHANTI REGION

In Ashanti Region, Corruption Watch monitored events in the Bantama, Nhyaeiso and Ejisu constituencies. There were lots of allegations of payments to delegates by aspirants in this region.

BANTAMA CONSTITUENCY

This was the case for the Bantama Constituency, which received a lot of attraction because Francis Asenso-Boakye, a deputy chief of staff at the presidency squared off with incumbent MP Daniel Okyem Aboagye.

It was alleged that many delegates received two thousand cedis (GHC2,000) each. However, Corruption Watch has not been able to independently verify the payments and the giver(s).

In the end, Asenso-Boakye beat Okyem Aboagye with 456 votes against 122 votes.

Response to the allegations

Nonetheless, Corruption Watch made contact with both men to respond to the allegations. However, neither of them responded.

EJISU CONSTITUENCY

The primary in Ejisu Constituency, also in the Ashanti Region, was equally engulfed in allegations of payments of money to delegates as incumbent MP, Kwabena Owusu Aduomi locked horns with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurial and Innovation Programme (NEIP), John Kumah.

Kumah polled 397 votes to beat Owusu Aduomi who managed 307 votes.

Corruption Watch reporters could not independently establish the veracity of alleged payments and the supposed giver(s).

NHYAEISO CONSTITUENCY

Still in the Ashanti Region, the contest in the Nhyaeiso Constituency was a straight fight between incumbent Kennedy Kwasi Kankam and the CEO of MASLOC, Stephen Amoah.

Kankam polled 315 votes to fall behind the MASLOC boss who obtained 332 votes.

Corruption Watch reporters could not independently establish any incident of payments to delegates.

BONO

In the Bono Region, where the election took place in six constituencies, Corruption Watch monitored the election in the Wenchi Constituency. In that contest, Professor George Gyan Baffour, who is incumbent MP and Minister for Planning, was up against four other persons, namely Albert Ameyaw, Kojo Frempong, Yaw Opoku Atuahene and Tina Abrefa-Gyan.

At the close of polls, Prof Gyan Bafffuor garnered 172 votes to beat stiff competition from Ameyaw (167 votes). Frempong (148 votes), Abrefa Gyan (61 votes) and Opoku Atuahene (19 votes) placed third to fifth in that order.

Corruption Watch reporters could not independently establish any incident of payments to delegates.

Source: Corruption Watch Ghana

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