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17.12.2004 Regional News

Edumadze vows revenge on whistleblowers

By Ghanaian Chronicle
Edumadze vows revenge  on whistleblowers
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The controversial central regional minister, Mr. Isaac Edumadze has threatened to deal ruthlessly with Mr. Kojo Mbir, a member of the dissolved ministerial committee on premix fuel for mentioning his name in the premix fuel scandal that has rocked the industry. The minister who reportedly stated this at the Agona area of the central region during one of the NPP campaign rallies and carried by YES FM in Cape Coast, did not state how he was going to deal with the whistle blower. “I don't even know Kojo Mbir but he has been going round making all sorts of allegations against me. I will deal with him after the elections,” Mr. Edumadze was overheard on a tape broadcast by the radio station.
When contacted, a source at YES FM in Cape Coast confirmed that the station had broadcast a news item to that effect but said the minister had made the statement long before the elections.
According to the source, Mr. Kojo Mbir had also wanted to be given airtime to react but the station felt it would lead to confrontation so he was not allowed.
Mr. Kojo Mbir also confirmed the story.
According to him, when he overheard the news broadcast by the radio station, he felt he had been threatened since to deal with somebody could mean so many things.
He said based on this, he went to the Cape Coast police to lodge complaint against the minister for threatening him without any justifiable cause but the police refused to listen to him.
According to Kojo Mbir, the Cape coast police told him that since the minister reportedly made the statement in the Agona area, it would be better for him to go and lodge the complaint with the Agona police to carry investigations into it.
When contacted, the central regional commander of police, Mr.Twumasi said he was not aware that a case of that nature had been reported but they had refused to take it.
He said the issue fell directly under the purview of the crime officer who had also travelled and that it was the regional crime officer who could deny or confirm the allegation against the police.
Mr. Mbir whose responsibility as the committee member was to take charge of both central and western regions expressed surprise about the minister's threat since he had other avenues to seek redress if he felt the allegation about his involvement in the premix fuel deals was baseless and without any proof.
According to him, to tell someone that you would deal with him had different meanings and interpretations, therefore he did not expect a whole minister to have gone public with such a statement, knowing its legal implications.
Mr. Kojo Mbir further told this reporter that the minister's threat notwithstanding, he still stood by all the allegations he had made against him on the premix fuel deals in the central region.
He wondered how cabinet could dissolve the ministerial committee on premix fuel if they did not find any merit in his allegations against top government officials who were involved in the distribution of the product.
“The mere dissolution of the committee did not mean anything. The government must carry full-scale investigations into all the allegations I have made and the findings of such investigations published for the whole Ghanaian populace to know,” he said.
About a month ago, Mr. Mbir alleged in one of his numerous allegations that early December last year, a quantity of premix fuel was ordered under “special orders” and consigned to Mr. Edumadze who was not a fisherman.
Dubbed “farmers' day special orders” Mr. Mbir said Niibi Ayi-Bontey and Mr. Okulley Nortey who were heading the ministerial committee had decreed that profits from the sale of the fuel be paid to Mr. Edumadze. No reason was assigned for that decision, he said.
A former member of the premix fuel committee at Komenda in the central region, Mr. Appiah Korang also alleged that Mr. Edumadze, at a point in time, had attempted to collect ¢20 million which was profits made by the local premix committee from the price increase in petroleum products by the government.
The fishermen however stood on their grounds and refused to hand over the money to the minister.

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