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01.12.2005 General News

Motion to probe Haruna Esseku's secret tapes affair

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Accra, Dec. 1, GNA - The Minority in Parliament intends to ask the Speaker to institute an official enquiry into allegations of graft and corruption said to have been made by Mr Haruna Esseku, National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

"The Enquirer", an Accra newspaper is serialising alleged recorded utterances of Mr Esseku containing disclosures of graft and corruption involving President John Agyekum Kufuor.

Mr Alban Bagbin, the Minority Leader, told journalists in Parliament on Thursday that the allegation "makes nonsense of the declaration of the President to implement a policy of zero-tolerance for corruption". He, however, expressed pessimism at getting the Speaker of act on the matter.

Mr Bagbin said: "Nevertheless, the Minority would do its national duty and table the issue before the House when the full details of the tape have been known."

He said the NPP had sought to portray the matter as internal to the Party as they sought to engage in semantics over words claiming Mr Esseku never used the word "kickbacks".

"They are obsessed with defending the indefensible and are prepared to sell their souls to cover up acts of dishonesty."

Mr Bagbin said: "They even seek to disown Mr Esseku claiming he made those statements out of malice and asking Ghanaians to ignore him. We are told it is loose talk and his mouth is running diarrhoea."

He said the issue was a test case for President Kufuor's commitment to zero-tolerance for corruption and the principles of probity and accountability.

"It is an opportunity for President Kufuor to come clean and convince the world that he has nothing to hide by presenting himself to formal enquiry.

The Minority Leader said: "This is a scandal of serious proportions involving President Kufuor directly and this time not his son."