Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday adopted a 16-page report of the committee set up to investigate corruption allegations levelled against the National Executives of the party by NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.
After weeks of investigations, the Disciplinary Committee could not establish any wrongdoing against especially the National Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey; neither was Mr Agyapong able to prove his allegations against the man.
A copy of the report dated March 13, 2014 and stumbled upon by DAILY GUIDE, noted that Mr Agyapong, who was the respondent in the case, apologized to the Committee for calling the National Chairman a thief.
The Assin Central MP was quoted as saying he did not intend to call the National Chairman a thief.
That notwithstanding, the Committee, chaired by Most Reverend Dr Asante Antwi, said ?the respondent must apologise in writing to the National Executive within 14 days from the date of the acceptance of this report.?
The tough-talking MP had among others alleged that the National Executives had misapplied funds and other resources entrusted to them for the use of the party in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary campaign.
He also claimed that an amount of GH?100,000 donated by one of the party?s benefactors was given to the National Chairman (accompanied by Bryan Acheampong) in the presence of the Central Regional Chairman of the NPP, Ekow Danquah Smith otherwise known as Butey.
The Committee therefore set out to ascertain whether the National Chairman received the said amount and 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.
They also wanted to establish whether some party executives used proceeds of the party resources to acquire hotels, and who they were, and whether Mr Agyapong was liable for misconduct in publishing the statements complained of.
In all, the Committee was said to have had 20 sittings and interviewed not less than 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 popularly known as Sir John and Assin-Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, who made the allegations.
The rest were National Treasurer Esther Ofori, 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, 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.
Having examined the evidence brought before it, 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? and that ?evidence shows that some of the motorbikes in particular are still un-assembled and stored by party officers in the constituencies.?
They therefore accepted the evidence of the party?s Director of Logistics during the 2012 campaign, Ato Williams that ?the campaign team had in their custody the motorbikes and T-shirts it could not distribute.?
The Committee nevertheless established that ?some of the motorbikes were on the open market. The Committee is, however, unable to ascertain how they got there.?
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.
Even though National Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey was said to have admitted receiving the said GH?100,000.00, ?the Committee finds that the original intention was to use the money for payment of MPs? filing fees but the purpose changed and it was used for other party activities.?
Apart from that, even though it was established that ?Bryan Acheampong is putting up a hotel in Kwahu, there was no evidence that he is using party resources for this.?
The Committee therefore came to the conclusion that ?by the statements complained of and their publication on radio, the respondent (Ken Agyapong) brought the name of the party into disrepute.?
Subsequently, the Assin-North MP was advised to address grievances he might have to the appropriate party office.
Furthermore, the Asante Antwi-led Committee expressed displeasure about the attitude of Bryan Acheampong because ?he was flippant in his responses to questions and generally haughty in his disposition towards the Committee.?
By Charles Takyi-Boadu