Some members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are seething with anger at the outcome of investigations conducted by a committee of enquiry into allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of party funds and resources by some national executives of the party run up to the 2012 general elections, the Republic Newspaper has gathered.
The clearly unhappy cross-section of the party contend that the party?s leadership is subtly brushing under the carpet the damning allegations as a face-saving measure.
Recently, the NPP Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong blew the lid on what he called ?selfish? party leadership who horded motorbikes meant for the party?s 2012 campaign for themselves. He also alleged that the National Chairman of the NPP, Jake Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey, his Special Assistant, Bryan Okae Akyeampong and some other party bigwigs kept party funds to themselves.
The Republic Newspaper can confirm that when Bryan Acheampong was quizzed by the committee, he could not absolve himself, forcing the committee to describe his answers as ? flippant in his responses to questions and generally haughty in his disposition towards the Committee.?
Meanwhile, on the issue of the controversial GHC 100,000, it was established that National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey did receive the money for the payment of NPP MPs? filing fees but was used for ?other party activities.? There however was no record of the activities the money was spent on according to a member of the committee.
However, when the committee of enquiry met, they found no blemish on the alleged culprits of embezzlement and corruption. After weeks of investigations kept outside the prying eyes of the party, the committee including distinguished members such as Dan Botwe, Dr. Kwame Addo Kuffour and Rev. Emmanuel Asante Antwi and Lawyer Ayikoe-Otu, issued a 16-page report that basically cleared Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey and his alleged co-conspirators to dupe the party.
A copy of the report dated March 13, 2014, noted that Mr. Ken Agyapong, who was the respondent in the case, apologized to the Committee for calling the National Chairman a thief, saying he was unable to prove his allegations against the man.
However, sources close to Mr. Agyapong told The Republic Newspaper that when Mr. Ken Agyapong?s witnesses met the committee, they were rather harshly quizzed why they wanted to bring the party?s name into disrepute, a situation that tied their hands from exposing the actual evidence available to prove their case against the National Chairman and his alleged co-conspirators.
Mr. Agyapong has also openly denied apologizing to anyone for his comment insisting he has the facts.
The committee concluded that, ?By the statements complained of and their publication on radio, the respondent (Ken Agyapong) brought the name of the party into disrepute.?
The Rev. Asante-Antwi-led committee advised the Assin-North MP ? to address grievances he might have to the appropriate party office.? These conclusions by the committee has drawn uncomfortable signals through the rank of the party, The Republic Newspaper can confirm.
In one of Mr. Agyapong?s claims, he said the National Chairman and his Special aide kept several motorbikes meant for party campaign to themselves. The motorbikes valued at about US$1 million were seen parked in a resident allegedly belonging to Mr. Bryan Acheampong.
Another allegation was the fact that some GH?100,000 donated by one of the party?s benefactors was given to the National Chairman in the presence of the Central Regional Chairman of the NPP, Ekow Danquah Smith but could not be traced.
The Committee?s terms of reference was to ascertain whether the National Chairman received the said amount and establish how it was utilized, and whether the party officers hid some of the motorbikes and other resources meant for the 2012 campaign for purposes other than the benefit of the party.
The Republic Newspaper gathered that the committee of inquiry had 20 sittings and interviewed not over 12 persons including the party?s Campaign Manager for the 2012 election, Boakye Agyarko, Bryan Acheampong, the National Chairman?s chief of staff, Ato Williams, Director of Logistics of the 2012 campaign, National Chairman Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie (Sir John), Esther Ofori National Treasurer, Oppong Bio, a member of the Finance Committee of the 2012 campaign team, Kwadwo Opare-Hammond, Head of Finance and Administration at the national headquarters.
The rest included Charles Owiredu, in charge of the party?s International Affairs, Lord Commey, who was Director of Operations of the 2012 campaign and Emmanuel Charles Taylor Quarshie, Personal Assistant of the National Chairman. The key witness was the Assin-Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, who made the allegations.
The Republic Newspaper learnt that the Committee uncovered that ?not all the motorbikes, T-shirts and other materials could be used for the 2012 campaign in view of their late arrival.?
According to the committee, there are evidence to show that some of the motorbikes are still un-assembled and stored by party officers in the constituencies.
The party?s Director of Logistics during the 2012 campaign, Ato Williams is said to have admitted that the campaign team had in their custody the motorbikes and T-shirts it could not distribute.
Interestingly, despite the excuses given by the party executives, the committee established that some of the motorbikes were on the open market. ?The Committee is, however, unable to ascertain how they got there,? the report stated.
The Republic Newspaper gathered that Mr Agyapong was said to have shown the Committee photographs of motorbikes in some premises, but was unable to indicate whether they were houses of party officers or Bryan Acheampong, whom he accused of hiding some of the bikes in his house.
Source: The Republic