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06.02.2012 Feature Article


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There's nothing new in the EOCO report which was sanctioned by President Mills regarding Woyomegate. What's clear in the report is that President Mills had hidden knowledge of it before sanctioning the investigation as Ghanaians had always believed. Moreover, the report makes it official that Woyome “riding on the negligence (and/or complexity) of public officials managed to receive money which he was clearly not entitled to.”

Given the prior knowledge of the President before ordering the investigation, one is at a loss why the President would commit limited State resources into a matter he was already aware of. It seems it was a move to rope in but unsuccessfully, ex government officials and to show that the President was concerned. Rather, it has exposed the president as weak, incompetent and not in charge of the government if he couldn't prevent such obvious act of negligence on the part of his appointees.

It seems Martin Amidu's press release knocked the President the hardest, given his fore knowledge of the issues. The reason given by the Communications Director at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho that he was sacked because he failed to substantiate his allegations of attempts to cover up gargantuan crimes, buttresses the point the president was part of the scheme. Presumably, the President knowing what he knew at the time sacked him because he had uncovered his scheme to shield the prosecution of gargantuan crimes.

Did the President need EOCO to confirm what Ghanaians knew he knew of from the very beginning? What was his motivation for sanctioning the investigation given his prior knowledge? Clearly, the President had an agenda for the investigation, just to rope in the NPP as the report tried but with no substance.

There's nothing swift about the arrest of Woyome as the deputy minister of information Ablakwa wants Ghanaians to believe as “a series of actions by the president to swiftly deal with the matter...” he continued “President Mills ordered the arrest and this is one of the series of actions to be taken. Today's incident is one of the series of actions the President has outlined and this is just the beginning to ensure that the interest of the public is served.” There's nothing swift except a desperate face saving exercise by an inept and corrupt President whose avowed aim to shield gargantuan criminals is made public.

Indeed, given the President's actual knowledge before sanctioning the investigation with the pretext of not being aware of the issues makes it immoral to understand the President when he said “I know it is criminal, irresponsible, the height of naivety for a President to call his Minister of Finance and say pay this man this amount. I don't see how that can happen." Why couldn't that have happened, when you had knowledge but failed to act while your Finance Minister was under pressure or siege to make the payment, Mr President?

By association to the findings and where ultimate responsible rests, the President acted negligently and with the greatest height of sophistication if I may be blunt, caring less whether the money was paid or not, making it possible to receives a court's sanction to legitimate it. What this law professor President failed to understand or anticipate was the fact that he had ultimate responsibility for the actions and inactions of his appointees. When you have a legal duty to act, you cannot decide not to act; failing to act is reneging on your legal duty which is criminal.

The President could have saved his integrity and reputation if he had been insightful or astute in dealing with his Ministers who disregarded his orders in the first instance as the report wants us to believe, if he was not in support or connivance. Indeed, if the President wasn't in tacit support of the processes and machinations leading to Woyome winning his default judgement he would've sacked all his appointees who were complicit in the saga not to have waited for Hon. Kennedy Agyapong to have taken the issue on radio. Anyway, why did they decide to have a settlement with Woyome in the first place? And on what basis did they agree Woyome was entitled to his claim? I believe first year law students would've found a defence in such hypothetical case at examination. This saga shames the knowledge, commitment and integrity of all the major actors.

It's important we distinguish the imminent prosecution of Woyome for fraud by false representation and what the president and his appointees ostensibly did or failed to do that made Woyome succeed in his claim against the State in the first instance. Let Professor Mills yield in to his own demand requiring those whose action or inaction resulted in the judgement debt face the law. At least, its clear officials of the previous government did nothing wrong since it has been established and confirmed that Woyome had no contract with the State. What might they've done wrong then if indeed there's no contract?

The President and his appointees should not rush to take or give credit to themselves for the arrest of Woyome. But for, the commitment and courage of Hon. Ken Agyapong, the relatively free speech, dissent, and free press being gradually entrenched in our society, Woyome would have been a free man. Also President Mills and his appointees would have being basking quietly and peacefully under their grand scheme or behind their golden curtain in shielding the prosecution of gargantuan crimes against the poor people of Ghana.

Credit for the on-going saga is for democracy solely. Its benefit will only trickle down to the poor, suffering masses of Ghanaians, on whose difficulty, plight, concern, cry and toil Professor Mills exploited to be president got their pound of fresh by his resignation as president of the Republic. The buck stops with him.

Indeed, what's new in Woyomegate is the fact that President Mills had tacit knowledge of the machinations and flaws that paved the way for Woyome to secure his uncontested court sanctioned booty. What will surely emerge will be the other beneficiaries of the booty. Truth Stands!

Yaw Awuah Boadu Ayeboafo, [email protected] Tepa-Ashanti

Yaw Awuah Boadu Ayeboafo
Yaw Awuah Boadu Ayeboafo, © 2012

The author has 21 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: YawAwuahBoaduAyeboafo

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