The Minority in Parliament has said the directive by President John Evans Atta Mills to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate what it called the ‘Woyomegate’ is worrying.
The President’s directive to EOCO followed an earlier order he had made for a report on the saga on his return from his trip to the USA recently.
At a press conference in Parliament Thursday addressed by the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority wondered to whom the President had given the order for the report to be made to him.
“The question to ask is, a report by who? The Attorney-General, the Chief of Staff, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning or Woyome, one of the President’s key financiers?” it asked.
A statement read by Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said Ghanaians would want to know the content of the report the President had called for, who submitted it and when it was submitted.
It said the President’s stance was worrying, since he knew the remit of EOCO, which responds generally to the Attorney-General.
According to the statement, the EOCO Act, 2010 (Act 804), provided that primarily the functions of the office were to investigate and, on the authority of the Attorney-General’s Office, prosecute serious offences.
“Clearly, EOCO is an inferior office to the Attorney-General’s Office and it is not right administratively or legally to ask an inferior officer to investigate a superior officer. The President, a law lecturer, knows this basic principle,” it said.
The Minority said since it was not only the office of the Attorney-General that had been called into question in the Woyome saga but that of the Minister of Finance and the Office of the President as well, there was the need for the establishment of a truly independent public enquiry, such as was done for the [email protected] celebrations, with live broadcast on all public television and radio networks for all citizens to participate in the enquiry.
“We have all this while struggled to believe that the intention of the President in calling for a report or inviting EOCO to investigate this single most unfortunate event was to establish whether or not there was any contract and whether or not there is any liability,” it said.
It said that was why it was dumbfounded by the President’s utterances before he jetted out of the country to the effect that he was not interested in embarrassing anybody but that his prime concern was about those who caused the liability in the first place.
The statement added that the President’s statement was the most bizarre of all the statements made in relation to the Woyome case, since, it implied that to him there was liability on the part of the state when Woyome himself could not lay claim to any contract.
“The President knew about and, indeed, authorised the payment to Woyome. This means that the President has agreed that there is a liability. So when he called for a report, what report was he talking about?” it queried.
The Minority accused the government and the President in the matter, adding that since EOCO was subjected to the Attorney-General, justice would not allow anyone to judge his own case.
Touching on the payment of judgement debts, it said the Woyome saga related only to the 2010 fiscal year and demanded to know who else had been paid in 2010, while the nation awaited who had also been awarded judgement debts in 2011.
The statement explained that on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, the government, through a Deputy Minister of Information, issued a paper in which it stated that between 2001 and 2011, the government had incurred GH˘642 million in judgement debt and,
therefore, demanded from it detailed information on the beneficiaries.
“One may legitimately want to know if, indeed, the government has paid GH˘624 million out of the GH˘642 million, leaving a balance of GH˘18 million. Why did the Minister of Finance hint about at least GH˘120 million to pay judgement debts in 2012?,” it asked.
The statement also demanded to know if, indeed, the directive by the Bank of Ghana for the freezing of the accounts of Mr Woyome had been carried out.
“If it has been done, when was it done? Where are those accounts? How much money is in those accounts and how much of the loot remains in which accounts?” the Minority wanted to know.
Source: Daily Graphic
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