I'm Liable For NPP GH¢2.2m – Says Ofori-Atta
Former Chief Executive Officer of Data Bank, Ken Ofori-Atta, has claimed liability for the over GH¢2.2 million loan procured by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) from Prudential Bank for its 2012 presidential election campaign.
Prudential Bank has written to the opposition party demanding the repayment of a GH¢2.2 million loan the party procured for its 2012 elections.
The bank said the amount had remained unpaid since 2012, despite a reminder to the party in January this year.
However, Mr Ofori-Atta said the loan procured was a purely private business transaction, explaining that the NPP played no part in contracting it, even though it was for the prosecution of the party's agenda.
He therefore said it was inappropriate for the bank to write a letter to the National Chairman of the NPP demanding the repayment of the loan.
'I am personally liable for any obligation that arises from this transaction and not in any way the New Patriotic Party,' he said in a statement.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that the letter from the Prudential Bank requesting the payment of the money by the NPP was leaked to create mischief.
'I would urge the supporters of the NPP and the entire public to disregard the mischief that the leakage of this letter and those behind it seek to create,' he entreated.
According to him, the letter, entitled 'Re: Repayment of Overdraft Facility of GH¢ 1,500,000 Demand Notice,' was requesting repayment of a facility that he as Chairman of the 2012 Presidential Campaign Finance Team contracted and Guaranteed for purposes of the elections in 2012.
He said the facility was taken to complement the resources the team had raised to support the operations of the party's Polling Station Agents during the 2012 elections.
'This was to supplement the entire polling station operation on Election Day (D-Day) including logistics, feeding and stipends. It must be noted that this amount was not the total amount spent on D-Day operations,' Mr Ofori-Atta said.
He said the disbursement of the funds was supervised and transfers executed by the Campaign Manager, stating that the party leadership at the time was fully aware of it and grateful.
'Our party has always been proud to fund itself by contributions and sacrifices of its members. This loan was guaranteed privately and the party therefore is not directly liable for it,' he said.
However, former General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, said the current leadership of the party must pay the loan.
Mr Owusu Afriyie, also known as Sir John, explained that it is not unusual for the presidential campaign team to go for a loan because of the party's weak finances.
'It behoves the party, therefore, to pay the debt once the electioneering season is over,' he told Joy Fm.
He said the loan was used to procure bicycles, motorbikes, T-shirts and cars to help the party and the presidential campaign during the elections.
'The cars are with the party, the motorbikes are with the party, the bicycles are with the party. T-shirts are with the party… the loan was not for personal enjoyment,' Sir John stressed, adding, 'So I think those who are at the helm of affairs today…ideally, will not even allow Ken Ofori-Atta to say he will pay. They should have taken that responsibility on themselves as leaders of the party.'
By Cephas Larbi