Accra, March 3, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Thursday said the Presidential remission the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government granted to two former Ministers in the previous regime fell short of a Presidential pardon. Mr. Kwame Peprah, former Minister of Finance, Mr. Victor Selormey, former Deputy Minister of Finance were jailed for causing financial loss to the state in the famous Quality Grain trial with two others who have completed serving their various terms of imprisonment. The NDC in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr. Bede Ziedeng reacting to the release of Mr. Peprah and Mr. Selormey said, "as much as the NDC welcomes the gesture, it must state that it has fallen short of Presidential pardon. "Indeed the NDC's expectation is that the President should have exercised his prerogative of mercy under Article 72(1) a of the constitution, by granting pardon to, not only the two persons, but also to cover Mr. Ibrahim Adam and Dr. George Sipa Yankey, who had already served their sentences." The statement said, "This is against the background that the four persons should not have been tried in the first place and if they were tried, at all, they did not deserve the convictions and the sentences, which were imposed upon them. "If government were sincere with its intentions, this exercise should have been done much earlier to cover all the convicts. This is because, in the case of Mr. Kwame Peprah he has virtually served the whole of his sentence as he is due to be released this December, whilst in the case of Mr. Victor Selormey, it is more of the fear of his deteriorating health conditions, than any other factors which motivated the remission." The statement added that as for Mr. Ibrahim Adam and Mr. George Sipa-Yankey have not received any reprieve. The NDC said the gesture was extended in other to play down the mounting pressure currently on government, which was generated by the "Wahala demonstration" and therefore, an attempt to calm down any further agitation. "Indeed the government is feeling the heat of the 'Wahala Demonstration' and will want to do everything to avert any further demonstrations as planned by the Committee for Joint Action." The statement said the government, in its desperation therefore, resorted to placating the general public with such measures of remission. It is the expectation of the NDC that in the same spirit demonstrated by the President, all cases be discontinued against NDC members, the statement said. President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday remitted the remainder of the sentences imposed on Mr Kwame Peprah, Former Minister of Finance and Mr Victor Selormey, Former Deputy Minister of Finance.
A statement Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of the Interior signed said the remittance "is to commemorate the 48th anniversary of Independence, which falls on Sunday."
It said: "To commemorate the 48th Anniversary of Ghana's Independence, His Excellency the President in exercise of his prerogative of mercy under Article 72(1) 9d) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, has remitted the remainder of the sentences imposed on Mr Kwame Peprah, Former Minister of Finance and Mr Victor Selormey, Former Deputy Minister of Finance."
Mr Peprah was jailed for wilfully causing financial loss to the State in a case involving the Quality Grain Project at Aveyime, while Mr Selormey was jailed for corruption.