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25.02.2003 Feature Article

Indictment of Ex-President Wofa JAK PerDiem

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The year is 2005. President Wofa JAK PerDiem (aka Gentle Giant, Wofa Zelo) has lost the election. The new government formed by the GFP (Ghana First Party) puts the ex-president on trial at the Quick Justice Court. Below is the indictment against the ex-President. An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. Republic of Ghana -vs- Wofa JAK “PerDiem” of the No Plan Party(NPP) The January 2005 GRAND JURY charges: Beginning on or about January 27, 2001, and continuing through on or about December 31, 2004, in the Republic of Ghana, and elsewhere, Wofa “PerDiem” defendant herein, unlawfully, willfully and knowingly did combine, conspire, confederate and agree together and with Members of his Government, Members of his Family and Members of the No Plan Party (NPP) being co-conspirators not named as defendants herein, and with divers other persons, some known and others unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit offenses against the Republic of Ghana: Count 1: Misuse of Public Property The grand jury charges that beginning in January 2001, Wofa PerDiem made 127 unprofitable foreign trips, under the guise of creating business opportunities. The grand jury will prove that, the object of these trips was the use of state facilities with the sole intention of performing his personal hobby of traveling, and collecting $1000/day per diem to beef up his salary and pay off his debts. This is in violation of Section 2101 of Title 18, Ghana Code; Exhibit 1.1: In one of such trips, he did nothing more than light a pile of firearms to commemorate the end of the civil war in S. Leone. Remarkably, he once stated, with a straight face: "I have not made a single frivolous journey." Well, I suppose the word "frivolous" means different things to different people. Exhibit 1.2: When in Japan, the Prime Minister met him for only ONE hour. His mission or invitation was completed on the 24th October 2002, but choose to stay there until 27th. In France & China he stayed on for days, while his guests were not home. Exhibit 1.3: After the Franco-African summit in Feb 2003, he went to London to visit his family and ex girlfriend, but still collected his $1000 daily allowance Exhibit 1.4: Whereas foreign direct investment in 1997 was about $450 million, Wofa PreDiem’s 48 trips in the past two years, ostensibly to attract foreign direct investment, yielded about $25 million in 2002. The difference between the cost of the trips and direct investment inflows is negligible. Count 2: Causing Financial Loss to the state The grand jury further charges on or about April 19, 2001, Wofa PerDiem asked the good people of Ghana to tighten their belts, while using public funds to repair his private property and renovating the Odorkor residence of Mrs. Naa Morkor Busia at the cost of ¢735,000,000.00 to the taxpayer (see Exibit 2.1). He granted $20,000 loans to 200 MPs, spent $300,000 on bullet proof cars for himself, $40,00 to $60,000 on pajeros for 72 ministers and their deputies, $90,000 benz for the speaker of the house. He paid govt special advisors – who happen to be mainly friends & relatives - $2,000 to $5,000 a month. He travelled with an entourage of 36 officials and friends who mainly go on shopping sprees. Most of these expenditures were incurred without Parliamentary approval and at a time when social and economic infrastructure were crying for rehabilitation. Exhibit 2.1: 2001 Audit Report on the Special Project Account of the Ministry of Works and Housing Exhibit 2.2: AESL Interim Payment Certificate No. 1 Exhibit 2.3 Travel itenary of Elizabeth Ohene (for 2001 –2004) Count 3: Misappropriation of Govt Funds The grand jury will prove Wofa PerDiem connived and condoned in the following deals to defraud the nation: He benefited directly from the following deals Sahara Oil Deal Car Acquisition from Nigeria Telenor Deal Illegal appropriation of ¢150 billion from Castle renovation project headed by Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey. Count 3a: Deceiving the Ghanaian peopleThe grand jury charges on or about April 19, 2001, at the castle Osu, the ex-president, without undertaking any proper research, declared the republic of Ghana a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), using the excuse of empty coffers. However, his actions thereafter proved otherwise (Reference: see Count 2). The grand jury further charges Wofa PerDiem and his No Pan Party (NPP) made promises they never intended to fulfill, knowing, having reason to know, and intending that there was no way they could do away with VAT, Cash-and-Carry, Corruption and frivolous use of public funds. Wofa PerDiem also made the following promises he failed to fulfilled o Creation of 100,000 jobs in 4 years: The timber industry shed 30,000 jobs in 2002 alone. The civil service is to be 'trimmed' to about 40 per cent of current labor force this year. Contractors and other business people are shedding off workers by the day. Daily business failure are in double digits and layoffs are in the hundreds. o Return of Nkrumah’s body to Nkroful (we have evidence to believe he did) o Better Christmas, which never came to pass. o Stabilization of the Ghanaian currency o Revamping our meat and tomatoes factory in a year. o His sports minister, with his consent, promised a new stadium wherever he visited: new stadium at Nkawkaw, a modern complex at the Kaladan Stadium at Tamale. Gyandu Park was to be renovated into a modern stadium. o Building of two new airports The grand jury charges that the object of their deception was to get the good people of Ghana to vote him into power. His inability to fulfill these promises damaged the trust of the good people of Ghana, who did what was expected - trusted the word of their elected representatives. Count 4: Tribalism & Nepotism The grand jury further charges Wofa PerDiem appointed incompetent family members, friends and tribesmen to man the affairs of the country (see exibit 4.1). All others were alienated and kept unempowered and sometimes purged (Malam Issah) and vilified. Northern members of his gov’t were made to resign when indicted, while southerners (E.g. Grace Coleman, Wereko-Brobbey, Edumadzie, Broni) hanged on to power even after conviction and pure misuse of power. Exhibit 4.1: Members of the Wofa PerDiem Clan Dr. Ado Kufour Brother Minister of Defence George Kufour Brother Member of University Council Mr. Baah Wiredu Nephew Minister of Local Government Mr. Kan Dapaah Nephew Minister of Mines & Energy Peter Osei Duah Nephew Managing director of SIC Veronica Kufour Niece Ambassador to Netherlands. Janet Acheampong Niece CEO of Inland Revenue Services. Mr. Osei Kwaku Cousin Dep. Min. Presidential Affairs. Mr. D.K. Osei Brother-in-law Special Asst. to The President. Dr. Osei Akoto Brother-in-law Special Asst. to Minister of Finance Mr. J.H. Mensah Brother-In-Law Min. of Govt.Business/Chm.NDPC Exhibit 4.2: Management of Tema Oil Refinary (TOR) has been replaced by Ashantis Exhibit 4.3: Visiting dignities were forced to make a call on the Ashantehene. (Ex-US President Clinton will be called as a witness) Count 5: Destruction of Economy The grand jury further charges that Wofa PerDiem and his men did cause to be damaged and destroyed by means of incompetence & fraud the economy of Ghana, causing death and injury. Exhibit 5.1: The Ghanaian worker is the least paid in West Africa, taking home 7,000 cedis (82 cents) a day, just over 200,000 cedis a month. (The minimum wage in neighboring countries, even in Togo and Burkina Faso, is over 1 million cedis a month). (Source: NDC Research Dept). Exhibit 5.2: Statement from IMF, World Bank, Independent financial institutions shows the Ghana economy shruk during the reign of Wofa PerDiem Exhibit 5.3: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) fell by 26% in 2001 (based on 2000), and a further fall of 42% in 2002 (based on 2001). That means FDI has fallen by about 70% based on 2000 FDI. (Source: Business & Financial Times). Exhibit 5.4: In 2001 7,000 small businesses closed down. (Source: Minority Leader’s Office). Exhibit 5.5: Of the 42 mining companies operating in Ghana until 2000, 36 left the country. (Source: Business & Financial Times). Exhibit 5.6: The United Nations has demoted Ghana from the status of Progressive Developing Country to Least Developed Country (LDC). (Source: UN). Exhibit 5.7: Ghana slipped from the position of second largest producer of cocoa to third place after Cote d’ Ivoire and Indonesia. (Source: Daily Graphic). Exhibit 5.8: Less than 700 doctors are remaining in the public sector to cater for all government hospitals, clinics and health centers. In 2000 the figure was 1,620. (Source: Ministry of Health).
Count 6: Manslaughter The grand jury further charges on or about April 19, 2002, in Accra, Wofa PerDiem did, with premeditation and malice aforethought, cause the killing of the following persons engaged in the performance of official duties: · Yaa Naa (Murdered by Conspiracy by top NPP men) · 3 Dispatch Riders (Burger, and co) · 1 bodyguard at his private house · 3 NPP MPs (One after illness and two on the road to rig elections) · NPP constituency chairman (Gomoa) · NPP chairman (Upper East) · 126 unwarranted deaths at the Accra sports stadium · Sissala DCE · Mr.Dan Ansah, Editor and owner of Ghanaian Voice Count 7: Selective Application Of Zero Tolerance For CorruptionOn 7 January 2001, President Wofa Per-Diem on the occasion of his inauguration as president declared quite forcefully, that his administration will have “zero tolerance for corruption.” He also swore in the Presidential Oath “to do right to all manner of persons.” Zero Tolerance for Corruption now only “applies to political opponents while questionable deals and glaring malfeasance by the president’s own men are gleefully ignored or glossed over.” Exhibit 7.1: Minister of Information & presidential affairs misappropriated 150 billion cedis meant for the renovation of the Castle, but he was not even warned
Exhibit 7.2: “Sahara Deal”
Exhibit 7.3: “Peugeot Saga”
Exhibit 7.4: “ the Mango Gate Scandal” : the minister for Lands and Forestry authorized expenditure of ¢3.2 billion from the fund for the importation of Mango seedlings from Burkina Faso. Contract for supply was awarded to Messrs AGROVETS Ltd. without going through due financial administration regulation procedure. “Despite the exposure by the media, president PerDiem made no move to investigate the deal. Count 8: Obstruction of Justice On or about and between January 10, 2001, and November 9, 2004, within the republic of Ghana and elsewhere, including Lagos and London, England, President PerDiem, through his ministers and others, did knowingly, intentionally and corruptly persuade and attempt to persuade other persons, to wit: PerDiem’s NPP government, with intent to cause and induce such persons to (a) withhold records, documents and other objects from official proceedings, namely: regulatory and criminal proceedings and investigations, and (b) alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal objects with intent to impair the objects, integrity and availability for use in such official proceedings. (Title 18, Ghana code, Sections 1702 (b) (2) and 3851 et seq.) This included obstruction, impeding, and interfering with opposition groups, law enforcement officers lawfully engaged in the investigation into the Sahara Oil Deal, Importation of left-hand buses, Police cars deal, Sale of Ghana embassy premises in USA, Ya-Naa death, IFC Loan o Attendance records at Parliament disappeared miraculously when an attempt was made to question the legality of the National Reconciliation Act, as Parliament did not have a quorum on the day the Act was passed. o Attempts to probe the ownership of the double decker second hand right hand buses illegally brought into the country by government officials and their cronies hit a brick wall when the files of the company which h supposedly owns the buses could not be found at the Registrar of Companies. o Files of the Vice Presidents company went missing at the Registrar of Companies o The final Audit Report on the Special Project Account of the Ministry of Works and Housing for 2001 was never made public Count 9: Conspiracy to Sell the Sovereignty of Ghana President Wofa PerDiem almost delivered the nation’s sovereign guarantee to the shadowy goons from IFC even when he and his ministers did not know their backgrounds. Ghana was "forced" to accept a proposal from the German state of Hamburg, to allow the repatriation of illegal African immigrants to Ghana. Ghana served as a transit point for these rejected asylum seekers. Count 9: Hypocrisy a. When Wofa PerDiem assumed office back on January 7, 2001, his first trip outside the country was to the Republic of Togo to help President Gnassingbe Eyadema to celebrate his own coup d'etat. Despite the rationalization, the cold reality was that though the trip normalized relations between the two countries, it was a trip undertaken by a man who had hated June 4, 1979 and December 31, 1981, both coup days, courtesy J. J. Rawlings. b. He questioned the size of NDC govt and told Ghanaians that there was wastage, but he made up a govt far larger than the NDC's. c. He said the NDC must not increase the price of fuel, even when crude oil prices went up. During his time in office, he raised the price over 300%. d. He complained of hardship in the country and as soon as he took office, he raised their per diem for govt appointees for over 300% from $70 to $300. e. He & his cronies opposed the setting up of the Educational Fund, while they enjoyed the fund. f. They opposed VAT, but enjoyed it in per diems. g. They told Ghanaians that the NDC had sold Ghana to Malaysians by allowing the earlier Telecom agreement with Telekom Malaysia and the Ghana Film deal with TV3. This was received intoto by the Ghanaian public, but their deal with Telenor was the worst deal in the history of any govt. Eleven state-owned enterprises were listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) for divestiture. h. Accrued 18 trillion cedis debt in 2 years while criticizing NDC’s 21 trillion cedis in 20 years i. Encouraged the media to live on lies when in opposition, but tried hard to stifle the media while in powerCount 10: Misdemeanor ChargesThe GRAND JURY further charges that during the period in question, defendant herein, ex-President Wofa PerDiem committed the following crimes a. Putting his effigy on Ghana’s stamp b. Packing the Supreme Court with 17 Supreme Court judges with the sole, aim of making sure any, case he sent there would be won. c. Teaching and demonstrating to his ministers the use, application, and making of propaganda, knowing, having reason to know, and intending that said policy would be unlawfully employed for use in and in furtherance of deceit which may obstruct, delay and adversely affect Ghanaians and the conduct and performance of national duty. d. Destruction of Ghana’s soccer: Ghanaian football went through a very lean patch thanks to Wofa PerDiem appointing a relative to the man the GFA e. Blackmailing and extortion of money from peacekeepers in Kosovo f. Employing his tribesmen and supporters of his party to call-in in FM stations to praise his programs. g. Political Prostitution: The ex-president joined the PNDC after the June 4 uprising; He now condems it h. Sitting on Reports: Presidential Jet saga, probe into the Currency printing Scandal involving his cronies, review of educational system, FBI report on Rawlings´ foreign accounts and properties, reports on Ghana Water, report on Civil Aviation, report on the 90 something plus corrupt DCE's i. Adopting too many nicknames to hide his real identity. Examples are: KRONfuor, Marco Polo, Tourist President, Ibn Batuta, "Meya maba" (literally, “I'm going to come), Medofo Adaada me (My lover/friend has lied to me), JAKASS, Onua HIPC, Wofa IFC, lawyer banza, Traveller John, brick maker

Kojo Opoku
Kojo Opoku, © 2003

The author has 35 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KojoOpoku

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