Opinion: Don’t Be Ignorant and Ridiculous, Mr. Mahama! by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

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

I will come back to this issue very shortly, but maybe somebody more sober, astute and thoughtful needs to educate former President John Dramani Mahama about the fact that one cannot legally prosecute any bona fide Ghanaian citizen on mere allegations in the manner that he would have his successor, namely, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo resort to vis-à-vis the latter’s own appointees. This, obviously, is an opportune moment for Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to school his much younger and woefully ignorant and scandalously misguided and legally untutored predecessor on the prosecutorial process. Those who once voted for this reckless political opportunist to become President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana ought to be deeply ashamed of their inexcusable misdeed.

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The fact of the matter is that our agencies and authorities can only prosecute clear-cut or established cases of wrongdoing. In other words, there must be the presence of strong evidence that patently points to the commission of an offence on the part of the subject/target of intended prosecution, such as has been clearly established by officials of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) against many of former President Mahama’s former cabinet appointees, in the matter of the double-salary drawing scam that has been publicly  admitted by many of these criminal suspects themselves. Which is also why instead of vacuously pontificating about rank corruption in the Akufo-Addo Administration, the democratically ousted former President would be better off sobering up and strategizing with his kleptocratic former appointees on how to come clean and recoup a modicum of his long-lost credibility and reputation, or whatever may be left of the latter, as a leader.

Anyway, the main focus of this column regards the recently alleged detention of Dr. Samuel Sarpong, the former Mahama-appointed Managing-Director of the State Housing Corporation (SHC), at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), on strong suspicion of drug possession and money laundering. At the time of his arrest and detention and quizzing by US Immigration’s law-enforcement authorities, Dr. Sarpong was reported to have been carrying the humongous amount of $12,000 (USD) on his person. Asked what he intended to do with such a substantial amount of liquid cash, or hard currency, the former Mahama appointee is reported to have claimed that he was in the United States to seek medical treatment.

Well, as far as some of us can see, it more likely appears that Dr. Sarpong was in the United States to either seek a comprehensive psychiatric examination or have his psychotropic prescription medication refilled, something the alleged criminal suspect could readily have done online. There was also something rather fishy about him that allegedly raised the high signal of suspicion about the man. And it was the fact that Dr. Sarpong allegedly had in his possession an amount of $ 12,000 (USD), an amount that far exceeded the legally stipulated threshold of $ 10,000 (USD) upwards of which the former SHC-MD ought to have declared to law-enforcement agents at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and been certified for the same.

But, perhaps, what is most intriguing about this story is the widespread report that all of Dr. Sarpong’s moola was confiscated by US’s ICE officials at JFK, and that so embarrassed was the suspected thief that he was forced to promptly board the next return flight back to Ghana. Well, we think we smell some smoke here; and it is the fact that Dr. Sarpong may very well have had his money confiscated because he could not offer an honest account of how he had come by the same. Very likely, the man was strongly suspected of drug dealing and money laundering. Indeed, it is very annoying to see the same Mahama operatives who brag about having significantly upgraded the nation’s infrastructural resources seek medical treatment abroad. Our law-enforcement agencies back home have an obligation to further investigate the Sarpong Money Laundering and Drug-Possession allegation and suspicion in order to establish the necessary fact of whether any of his former bosses and political benefactors are in the details, as it were.

The following is not directly related to the preceding, but it goes without saying that EOCO (that is, the Economic and Organized Crimes Office) and the Criminal Investigations Division of the Ghana Police Service, as well as the Office of the Independent Special Prosecutor, need to expedite the process of having Dr. Mark Ankrah, who also once served in the same SHC-MD capacity as Dr. Sarpong, and presently stands accused of causing financial loss to the State, for significantly and criminally undervaluing state-owned landed and real-estate properties, which Dr. Ankrah then sold to his friends and associates, appear before a legitimately constituted court of law of the land. There will be hell to pay in the offing, and Nana Akufo-Addo and his senior executive appointees had better start hammering the nail into the political coffin of his most ardent and virulent critic and political opponent, to wit, Mr. John Dramani Mahama.

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

The views expressed by this author remain solely their own and are not to be taken as the view of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com,  www.zongonews.com and ZongoNews Media Group