Opinion: Construction Pioneers’ GHȻ 70 Million Payment by Mahama Is a Patent Act of Genocide – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama/Photo: The Impact Crew

In the leadup to the 2016 Presidential Election – General Election, to be exact – then-President John Dramani Mahama told the very people whose mandate had carried him to the erstwhile Flagstaff House, presently renamed Jubilee House, that these Ghanaian voters had better shut up and allow him to run the country any way that he felt comfortable with because these electors had never sat on the white-hot seat of the Presidency. That was during the height of the rampantly erratic power supply that became globally known as “Dumsor.” I suppose the democratically and deservedly ousted former President either take Ghanaian voters for some clinical idiots or he supposes his arrogant sense of entitlement renders him far and away above the law or principle of leadership responsibility.

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It goes without saying that most of the banks or local lending institutions that have been collapsing left and right all over the country, mushroomed into business on the watch of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills-led government of the National Democratic Congress and that of his then-Vice-President, to wit, Mr. John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress. And so, we all know where to squarely lay the blame for our current financial crisis. At any rate, I thought when Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong was appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Justice by the punch-drunk and evidently politically concussed then-President John Dramani Mahama, the latter charged the former with ensuring that all acts of official criminality, such as that which was cavalierly presided over by then-Attorney-General Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the Atta-Mills’ appointee, and on the latter count I am, of course, referring to the GHȻ 51.2 Million Alfred Agbesi Woyome Mega-Heist, were put paid to.

In other words, back then, not only did then-President Mahama look Ghanaians straight in the eye and promise the nation that he was going to retrieve every pesewa of the GHȻ 51.2 Million illegally and fraudulently paid to Mr. Woyome, it actually turns out, in retrospect, that Ghanaians had, indeed, voted into power a National Democratic Congress’ government whose real name was THE LOOTING BRIGADE, and whose head or Generalissimo was a Gonja-born native son by the name of Mr. John “Little” Dramani Mahama. Not surprisingly, what we presently learn from our Take-No-Prisoners Auditor-General, Mr. Daniel Domelevo, is that not only did former Attorney-General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong not retrieve a pesewa of the Woyome Loot, this relatively young woman who partly hails from my neck-of-the-woods, as it were, had actually caused the payment of some GHȻ 70 Million to be literally paid to a company called Construction Pioneers (CP) in the dubious name of Judgment Debt. The real amount is pegged at GHȻ 67,380,718.20. I thought we had long gotten over such slave-thinking madness!

We are also told that this preposterously humongous amount of money entailed the settlement of the very same Judgment Debt Corrupt and Deviant Political Subculture that many of us avid observers and students of Ghanaian politics had been made to believe was decidedly a relic of the past. We know that extant Attorney-General Appiah-Oppong acted ultra vires or against established protocol because going as relatively far back as 2012, shortly before his “mysterious” demise, then-President John Evans Atta-Mills had decreed that all Judgment Debt payments more than GHȻ 10 Million had to be approved by a full-seating of the Atta-Mills cabinet. But, of course, we also know that every new King or democratically elected President of the land, in our or specific context, invariably assumes the reins of governance with his/her own new set of rules.

We are informed that the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress’ Judgment-Debt payment to the Construction Pioneers firm was executed in two installments between February and April 2015. Now, that comes nearly three years after the decree allegedly issued by the late President Atta-Mills, whose arch-lieutenant or substantive Vice-President was Mr. John Dramani Mahama. I don’t know what the rules on Judgment-Debt payments are under the tenure of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, but I am inclined to believe that they verge much closer to that which was allegedly set up by the late former Tax-Law Professor of the University of Ghana. I am also inclined to believe that under the present Administration of the more patriotic and fiscally responsible President Akufo-Addo, that any Judgment-Debt payment that exceeds GHȻ 5 Million and not even GHȻ 10 Million, would have to be approved by a full-house of our National Assembly or Parliament, even as Nana Akufo-Addo has done with security cooperation and other military agreements that had been criminally and illegally signed by our previous Presidents with global superpower nations like the United States of America.

Even more disturbing, we are told by Auditor-General Domelevo that no apparent documents exist indicating precisely how the Judgment-Debt payment that was allegedly awarded to the owners or proprietors of Construction Pioneers by a court of relevant or legitimate jurisdiction and adjudication was arrived at. Put into plain and simple language, there is absolutely no evidence, whatsoever, according to Auditor-General Domelevo, that any court presided over any plaint or lawsuit brought before it by the principals or operatives of Construction Pioneers. Now, what this further means, yet again, in plain language, is that Construction Pioneers’ Judgment-Debt payout may be a veritable scam concocted by some key operatives of the erstwhile Mahama regime to rob the Ghanaian taxpayer raw. Indeed, it is insufferably outrageous that the very personality who rigged up such a patently criminal scam should also be so desperately and mischievously scheming to regain democratic access to Jubilee House or the Presidency. This scam-artist ought to be housed in a specially constructed Maximum-Security Prison in Nsawam.

I also find this mega-racket to be a patent act of Genocide against our collective well-being and prosperity as a nation. And here, also, I am deeply thinking about the percentage of the budget of the Akufo-Addo-implemented fee-free Senior High School policy initiative that is due to fully go into effect scarcely one week from now. That is, how much, percentage-wise, the GHȻ 70 Million so cavalierly, nonchalantly and criminally doled out to the Construction Pioneers firm could have defrayed. And by the way, who is the owner or are the owners of Construction Pioneers? And precisely what do they “construct”? We need prompt accountability here. Pronto! That was the name of an Italian-made quite expensive wrist watch while I was growing up in Ghana, by the way.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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