Former Attorney General in the erstwhile Kufuor Administration, Nii Ayikoi Otoo has expressed disquiet over the way public officials are being secretly recorded without any regard to the likely consequences or the legal implications.
He describes as unfortunate, the dismissal of a Deputy Minister for Communications, Ms. Victoria Hammah, by President John Dramani Mahama due to the contents of a conversation surreptitiously taped.
According to him, his recent remarks about the Akyem-Ashanti rift in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which he claims contributed to the electoral loss of the party in both the 2008 and 2012 general elections, were also recorded secretly by an unknown journalist.
“This “Vickyleaks”, I find it difficult discussing it because this brouhaha over NPP’s Akyem/Ashanti rivalry was also a product of a secret tape. I was discussing it with TESCON members but never was I aware it was being recorded. Before I could say jack, the tape was in the media. I am a victim,” he said.
Speaking on Kumasi based Hello FM, Lawyer Ayikoi Otoo described the recent secret recording of public officials, especially politicians as “problematic” and called for caution.
“Such matters are problematic, because in America, it brought down a whole President. We have to be careful when the thing (conversation) is completely private or the material (information) in the conversation is explosive,” he advised.
To him, “President Mahama’s swift decision in sacking the deputy Communication Minister is just to show that he is working to fight corruption”.
Commenting on the directive from the Financial Intelligence Centre Ghana (FIC) to all banks in the country to provide details of the beleaguered former deputy minister’s bank accounts, the former Attorney General stated that, the law does not permit an investigation into someone’s bank account unless the accused person is a terrorist or deals in money laundering.
“If you look at that law, it does not apply to such matters. We are talking about anti-money laundering and terrorism. Is Victoria Hammah now a terrorist? She (Victoria Hammah) only said she will not quit politics unless she has one million dollars; she never said she has that amount of money (in her accounts) nor involved in any malfeasance,” he pointed out.
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