... He is a corrupt bully ... The Republic vs The Regional Engineer THE Controversial Minister for Central Region Honourable Isaac Edumadze may be preparing to meet his maker within the hallowed chambers of Parliament. A powerfully-worded petition to the Appointments Committee, signed by the NPP Member of Parliament for Asikuma-Odoben-Abrakwa constituency Honourable P.C. Appiah-Ofori, charged the committee to stay the appointment of Edumadze.
The committee, he suggested should refer a catalogue of accusations of corruption, abuse of power against him to a special committee to be appointed by Parliament to investigate them, and confirm him or remove him depending on the outcome.
In one of the more serious charges, the appointments committee has been given a copy of a writ that has already being initiated at a Cape Coast high court against the Regional Engineer of the Department of Feeder Roads, Cape Coast in which the Minister has been mentioned. Paragraph 7 of the supplementary affidavit in support cites the Minister's role in the cancellation of a ¢4.7 billion contract to a private construction company to resurface the Eshiem- Besease-Anyinasi Feeder road.
The claimant in the case alleged that his company completed 10 kilometres of the earth works within 5 months and submitted a certificate for payment. He was informed that the regional tender board had no power for that year to award contracts whose value exceed c1.5 billion. He eventually referred the matter to arbitration yet there was no response to calls made to settle the matter amicably, until he read in The Graphic that the contract had been terminated unilaterally on the orders of the Regional Minister.
The claimant who is the Managing Director of the construction company stated that he deposited 8000 blocks at his yard at Tema to use to construct a building for him at Tema free of charge, and 'when I refused his request, four days after collection of his blocks from my yard, he caused the publication in The Graphic to be made'.
Under the heading of Corrupt practices by Edumadze, there were references to publications made by The Chronicle including the aspect concerning his 'billion cedi home' he started to build within two years of assuming office.
One of the contractors he is alleged to have demanded money from, is the respected contractor, KE and Sons Contractors, from whom he is quoted to have demanded c250 million before signing his certificate to collect payments due him for work done.
Edumadze is cited for abuse of power, and accompanying attachments to the committee included the scandalous charges made by the District Chief Executive of Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam, who clashed with Edumadze and petitioned the President and the NPP executives in November 2002. (The Chronicle published this petition last month.)
The MP, who has a track record of crusading against corruption even in the PNDC days, observed that corrupt practices and the abuse of power have been the bane of the economy. Hon Appiah Ofori argued that through corrupt practices, the resources of Ghana were diverted into private pockets and accounts resulting in denying Ghanaians their resources, which ultimately leads to poverty and exodus of Ghanaian youth to other countries to seek greener pastures.
“If we in Parliament will not make conscious efforts to give effect to the constitutional provision to eradicate corruption, we shall be failing the people we represent, as we shall not be able to bring them improved quality of life they expect from us.”
“A way out for us to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power is to ensure that public office officers, who perpetuate corrupt practices and the abuse of power, are severely sanctioned to serve as a deterrent. Hon Edumadze cannot be an exception.”
“I am very sure that if His Excellency the President were aware of the corrupt practices and the abuse of power in which Edumadze is alleged to be involved, and if the allegations have been proved, he would not nominate him for the post for which he is to be vetted by the Appointments Committee”.
The MP based his petition on article 35(8) of the constitution which states that the State shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power”.
Incidentally, a day after the Honourable filed his petition, the Ghana News Agency reported that 31 members of the NPP in the constituency were protesting over the MP's attitude in the constituency and describing the nine-member executive as stooges.