Some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday demonstrated in Accra in support of the embattled self-styled party financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who has been paid GH¢58million without a contract with government.
The group paraded with similar typed placard messages through the streets of Accra, singing, “I will follow you, Woyome, you are the one I will forever follow.”
They demanded that some leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) be compelled to cooperate with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) which has been tasked by President Atta Mills to probe the Woyome scandal.
Prominent in the demonstration was Hajia Sherifatu, the lady who led a similar protest against National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, last year, accusing him of doctoring security reports meant for the President.
The group which calls itself Concerned Members of the NDC failed to attract the large numbers it had expected for the demonstration.
They demanded that former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP flagberarer and Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP National Chairman, be hauled before EOCO to answer questions regarding their roles in the controversial Woyome judgment debt scandal.
Former Sports Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo and the then Chairman of the Local Organizing committee of CAN 2008, Dr. Kofi Amoah, have both declined EOCO’s invitation to assist in the President’s ordered probe into the case.
Mr. Osafo Maafo’s court action seeking an order to stop EOCO from compelling him to appear before it has been granted.
The demonstration started at about 10.30am at the Obra Spot, Kwame Nkrumah Circle and wound its way through Farisco, TUC and ending at the Hearts Park within one hour.
Some of the placards they bore read ‘EOCO, Arrest Them’, ‘NPP, You Can’t Dictate To Ghanaians,’ ‘NPP, You Can Run But You Can’t Hide,’ ‘Osafo Maafo, Runaway Man’ and ‘No Way For You Akufo-Addo.’
They presented a petition to a Presidential Staffer, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije.
“It is natural for the criminals in the NPP to quarrel over court judgments which implicate them. But it is not for criminals to determine how they should be investigated. The president must stamp his authority by bringing them to justice,” a portion of the petition read.
Paul Semey, a spokesperson for the group, did not spare organizations such as the National Media Commission, Ghana Bar Association, Ghana Trades’ Union Congress and the Ghana Pentecostal Council which he said had turned a blind eye to the NPP which was hiding behind the media in the face of huge crimes committed against the state.
The group called on Nana Akufo-Addo to resign as a presidential candidate until he purged himself of all the allegations of fraud which led to the huge judgment debt imposed on the state.
They also called on Justice I.O. Amadu, the judge who ruled in favour of Woyome on the infamous judgment debt issue, to stand firm despite vilifications following his ruling on the case.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuije received the petition on behalf of the president and promised the group that the government would act on their request.
In an interview with Africawatch magazine, Mr. Woyome justified the money paid to him by the state, claiming that he only received a little over GH¢51million.
He gave the breakdown of the payments he had so far received from the Controller and Accountant General as GH¢17, 094, 493. 50 on October 5, 2010, GH¢10million on February 11, 2011, another GH¢10million on April 20, 2011 and GH¢14, 188, 897.06 on October 4, 2011, a few days after the shocking reports of the judgement debt payments became an issue.
By Cephas Larbi