Dear Joy FM/News,
I have taken my time to watch and listen to your documentary “Caught in Conflict?” which you have broadcasted in your media. My understanding is that you have embarked on an investigation to expose some wrong doing of sort hinging primarily on conflict of interest and to some extent corruption and abuse of public office by Hon Amidu Chinnia when he was the deputy Upper West Regional Minister.
I was kinda thrilled when i saw the trailer making the rounds especially so it concerned a minister of state, an MP and a responsible public office holder in Ghana that i have known for a while. Issues of corruption in all its shape and form should be a matter of concern to every right thinking citizen especially so when a people like the Sissala have been bucked down by deprivation and lack of improved social and economic infrastructure.
Ordinarily, my default approach to issues about roads and development of our place is notoriously known. The jury is out there and there is no point exercising a tired and over flocked line.
Much as this is established, we should also be minded not to engage in character tarnishing driven by malice, vindictiveness and pure mischief. Joy News to be honest with you, your so called documentary was watery, wobbly, waste of precious time and driven by motives you best can tell but certainly not professional.
I am going to take my time to expose you in your so called documentary one by one.
1. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution states what conflict of interest is, thus “A public officer shall not put himself/herself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of the office,”
A potential conflict of interest exists if the private interests of the person, as indicated by the person’s disclosure statement, might interfere with the public interests the person is required to serve in the exercise of the person’s authority and duties in the person’s office or position of employment.
So the basic and consequential questions therefore are three fold:
1. Is Hon Amidu Chinnia the owner, director or management member of Batuowiisi Company Ltd?
2. Was Hon Amidu Chinnia a member of the Upper West’s RCC Entity Tender Committee when Batuowiisi company tendered for the road contract?
3. If he was a member of the ETB, did he disclose his interest and recused himself during decision making processes?
Conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest must place the beneficiary in a position where his office conflicts with his personal interest and even so the person fails to disclose and recuse himself during the process and final decision making.
In this case, the three parameters are all negative. How do you then return to the conclusion he is conflicted just because he knows the directors of the said company.
The documentary failed to establish these three parameters and how then can the conclusion me arrived at that the Hon MP was involved in Conflict of interest?.
If you can establish he influenced the process, fair enough, until enough evidence is adduced to the contrary, it is much i do about nothing.
The Public Procurement (Amendment) Act 2016, Act 914 provides the legal remits and administration of procurement in Ghana. The documentary itself confirmed that the contract was obtained through open competitive tender. Out of three companies that bided, the contract was won by the Batuowiisi Company Ltd.
Joy News and Multi media should be telling us that, the company won the contract through shady means. Anything to the contrary is completely bogus and without substance. In any case, that i am a minister or public officer does not invalidate any associate of mine from doing legitimate business. This is quite trite and a media house of the caliber and standing of Multi media should know unless driven by malice and ill-intent.
Now we focus our attention on company and Directorship. Act 992 Companies Act, 2019. The litmus tests here are five fold:
1. Is the Hon MP a promoter of the company as per section 10 of Act 992?
2. Is he a director?
3. Is he Management member?
4. Is he a share holder or debenture holder?
5. Is he an agent?
If any of these is not ticked, how could anyone then link him to the said Batuowiisi company even in the most remote of circumstances.
In any case about debts to GRA and the Ministry of Agriculture. Who does not owe or potentially can owe. Even Ghana our beloved country has debts hanging around its neck. How do you say because a company owes, the Minister should take responsibility when he is neither an agent or director to the company.
At the law school, we are thought that one should always listen to the other side. You do not have to have a passing sense of the law to know this trite natural principle. We call it audi alteram partem.
How so that you claim to have done an “investigation” and never spoke to the directors or agents of the same company under your so called investigation? This certainly begs a critical answer form Joy news. I mean How??
That you travel all the way to Tumu from Accra and after an investigation, we have not heard or read in your report any side from the contractor at least for the benefit of the doubt. This can certainly not be professional is it?
This whole thing is a political drama and any serious person who understands upper west politics and power play and dynamics will understand where this is coming from and going.
It is all an attempt to dim the shining light of a young, dynamic and resourceful man. Some people in their folly think the only way they can rise is to pull down their neighbor.
That so called documentary should be discarded and trashed forthwith. It lacks substance, professionalism and basically a handicraft of people who are out to tarnish the reputation of Hon Amidu Chinnia but trust me they have failed and woefully too.
Written by Mr. Alhassan AMIN DUANI
A social activist and constituent of the Sissala East