President’s Boy, Speaker’s Son, MPs Blow GHC 7 million on Election Bribery

The latest Corruption Watch (CW) investigation reveals that shortly before and during the parliamentary primaries of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in several constituencies across the country, the Deputy Chief of Staff, the Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement, the Ghanaian Ambassador to India among several others, blew some stunning GHC 7 million to bribe delegates to vote for them.

For instance, in the Bantama Constituency of the ASHANTI Region, Francis Asenso-Boakye, a deputy chief of staff at the Presidency sprayed over GHC 2,000 on more than 400 delegates to win the parliamentary primaries in that constituency.

According to the group, its investigations reveal that Sarah Adjoa-Sarfo, the Procurement Minister blew GHC 3,000 on each of the 500 delegates, while Mike Ocquaye Junior, the Ghanaians Ambassador to India and the son of the Speaker of Parliament blew an equal amount on each delegate at the Dome-Kwabenya constituency.

In other constituencies, such as the Awutu Senya West Constituency of the Central Region the Deputy Minister of Communications, George Andah reportedly splashed undisclosed amount of money on delegates to bribe them to vote for him in a contest he eventually won.

Corruption Watch is a not-for-profit corruption watchdog that tracks official corruption. The group’s latest project is to expose the level of influence peddling of government appointees during the just-concluded parliamentary primaries of the NPP.

Modest estimations quantify the amount spend in the latest exposé at around GHC 7 million.

Apart from the cash bribes, several items in kind were given to delegates to influence their votes, including insurance packages, television sets, textiles, electronic equipment, etc.

According to CW, attempts to reach some of these accused officials only yielded brick walls. For instance, an attempt to get Ms Adwoa Sarfo, Asenso Boakye and several others to speak to the corruption allegation, proved futile as they all refused to entertain the investigators with any response.  

Others like Mr Ocquaye who lost the elections despite the huge expenditure would prefer to lick their wounds, CW noted.

A number of news portals have reported on the latest exposé by CW. Curiously, search by Whatsup News reveals that some portals such as Citinewsroom have taken down the story. Further visit to CW website shows that the website is down.

Fortunately, the report captured by Ghanaweb.com is still online. 

This is the second time, CW has exposed appointees of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) blowing suspected public funds on their parliamentary bid during the primaries.

The first batch captured Deputy MASLOC CEO, Hajia Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria who “used state resources for her personal gain just as other candidates were also captured by Corruption Watch inducing delegates with money, machinery and appliances in seven regions monitored by Corruption Watch,” Corruption Watch stated on its website.

She was contesting the Yendi constituency primaries against Alhaji Umar Farouk Aliu Mahama, deputy procurement officer at COCOBOD and the son of former Vice President Aliu Mahama. The two blew undisclosed amounts on delegates as well as providing then items in kind, such as bags of rice, anti-snake sprays, 

Others accused of bribing delegates with public funds include Dr. Prince Hamid Armah, who is the Executive Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), who contested against Joseph Mensah, the incumbent NPP Member of Parliament for the Kwesimintsim Constituency in the Western Region. The Deputy Minister of Energy Joseph Cudjoe was also named in the kleptocratic parliamentary primaries in the Effia Constituency in the Western Region.

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