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General News | May 3, 2004

Obed explains why he kept NDC monies at home

Chronicle

Dr. OBED Asamoah, Chairman of the National Democratic Congress Party, has cautioned that the fact this is an election year does not give anybody the right to make glib statements because such acts have the potential to create confusion and negative impressions.

Dr. Asamoah gave the caution in reaction to a claim made by the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nii Ayitey Boafo, that it took the likes of him (Obed) to plunge the country into the messy state inherited by the NPP from the NDC through irresponsible acts.

Debunking the assertion by the NPP scribe in an interview with The Chronicle, Dr. Asamoah, former Attorney General, said he never interfered in the Oppong Kyekyeku case as he was cited by Mr. Boafo, but allowed the judge to deal with the case on its own merit and to its logical conclusion. He said the defense counsel was available for crosschecking if anybody was in doubt.

He explained that he got to know of the case after the judge had rejected the 'non prosequitur,' applied for by the State Attorney in Kumasi, saying the judge wanted a recommendation from Accra, but since this was unavailable, he tried the case on its own merit.

He said all legal actions were normally taken in the name of the attorney general, “but this does not mean that I am aware of every action that is taken at the spur of the moment, so factually he is wrong”.

In respect of the accusation of being corrupt, because he kept money in his house that was stolen by policemen, the NDC guru said, he was saddened by the way the issue was being hyped up because “ this case brings up a lot of issues which I think my friends in the NPP are unable to grasp and I believe is an exhibition of extreme hypocrisy”.

He said all political leaders kept money in their houses because in politics “you cannot function in emergencies on the basis of issuing cheques; it is hypocritical for any official of any political party to hold a holier than thou attitude”.

He cited an instance where recently Mr. Dan.Botwe, General Secretary of the NPP, was quoted in the media as saying that he had adopted the Sene constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, and promised each of the 105 polling stations a bicycle each. “After he has finished providing them with these items, I would like Nii Ayitey Boafo to tell me on what account payments were made for these items.

“At the moment we all see the numerous campaign vans in town; can he tell me from which party account payments were made, and their rallies and activities they hold, or carry out, are these monies that are spent, all paid by cheques?”

He stressed: “This case of money stealing has serious implications, which a lot of people especially the NPP, are overlooking. Because they do the same, I think they should be more interested in knowing about the security of their funds and even themselves”.

He continued: “Because we have trust in them (police) and know that our safety even as leaders is in their hands, we expect them to have our welfare at heart but this situation is disheartening, and I expect this government to be looking seriously at this aspect of the problem and not at who it happened to, because this is a clear vindication of the selective justice syndrome that is being talked about”.

Dr. Asamoah said if the NPP claimed it was committed to fighting crime, it should not make fun of the issue, because since it came into office the case had been pending.

“I think in this aspect Dr. K. A. Busia has done better than President Kufuor, because even him the inspirer of the Danquah/Busia tradition, kept money in his house at Little Legon, and that money was stolen, but he reported the case to the police and had his money retrieved. This can be verified from the front-page story publication of the Ghanaian Times of June 21 1972.

“So if such an illustrious son of Ghana kept money in his house for political reasons and I followed his example then what is Nii Ayitey Boafo talking about; it only proves that politicians keep money at home in order to operate, so if he wants to talk he must address issues any time they are raised and not just make glib statements”.

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