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Mahama being proven right on his ‘Akyem Mafia’ tag?

In the run-up to the 2020 elections, former President Mahama used some unprintable words to describe the President and some close family members in the current administration. Aside the President, his cousins Ken Ofori Atta, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and another family member Asante Bediatuo were all tagged as being part of the mafia bracket by the former President.

Ken Ofori Atta is the Finance Minister; Otchere-Darko, a presidential staffer who often, people refer to as the de-facto prime minister, while Asante Bediatuo, is the President’s Executive Secretary. All four of them are from the Royal Ofori Panyin Fie in Akyem Abuakwa in the Eastern Region.

In the case of Gabby Otchere-Darko, his initials G.O.D. has often been corrupted as GOD of the NPP; and when it comes to the crunch, anyone in need of help from the administration would sarcastically be teased: “Have you seen or spoken to GOD. If you haven’t called for his intervention or resolution, then your issue will either be delayed or not addressed at all.”

Former President Mahama did not minced words at all referring to the four, including the President as Akyem Mafia. Many have adduced that Mr. Mahama’s derogatory reference to the four leading gentlemen of the land was a direct response to NPP, especially, the Vice President’s constant reference of him (President Mahama) being incompetent.

Much as Vice President Bawumia’s incompetent tag got to the skin of the former President, the sitting President was equally miffed at Mr. Mahama’s reference to him and some of his family members as Akyem Mafia. He expressed his dislike for the tag in a meeting with some prominent men of the clergy at the Jubilee House, the seat of President.

Mr. Mahama’s comments were in relation to how these officials may have benefitted rather filthily at the expense of the Ghanaian tax payer. In fact, it was in the course of his assessment of the botched Agyapa Royalties deal that former Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu, made reference to the inherent gargantuan corruption in the said deal.

There were record magnitudes of conflict of interests, aside the fact that if the deal had been successful, the country’s mineral royalties would have been mortgaged to families, some of who are closest allies of the President, in perpetuity.

In the Agyapa deal, Gabby Otchere-Darko’s law firm— Africa Legal Associates, was allegedly used as legal advisors to the sovereign guarantee offered by the Ghana government. In the same vein, Ken Ofori Atta’s Databank, although an Investment Bank, was also allegedly, used as the financial advisors in the Agyapa Royalties’ deal.

There is even the allegation that most of Ghana Government’s foreign loans and other financial transactions involving the State are all channeled through Databank, although there is the Central Bank or the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Commercial Bank to carry out such financial businesses on behalf of the sovereign Ghanaian people.

This is not the first time such an allegation is being levelled against a private financial entity. Former Finance Minister in Prof Mills’ administration, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor was once accused of using his private Unibank to facilitate financial transactions on behalf of Ghana.

All two Ministers of Finance-Duffuor and Ofori Atta refused to take their monthly salaries while serving as Finance Ministers. In the case of Mr. Ofori Atta, he is still the sitting Finance Minister. Is it just co-incidence or that there are enough trappings that go with the Finance portfolio, such that their salaries are peanuts as compared to the unofficial gains that come with their office? Many Ghanaians have been wondering on these lines.

Another suspected corruption allegation is being raised once again against Finance Minister Ofori Atta in the controversial E-Levy tax system in the 2020 budget statement.  According to Hon. Okudjeto Ablakwa, the NDC ranking member on Foreign Affairs, the allocation of some GHC240 million in the 2022 budget for the collection of the 1.7 percent smacks of corruption.

According to the minority, the entity charged with the collection of the E-levy taxes has close links with the Finance Minister. Is that the case? Although the minority group is yet to provide enough evidence to back their claim, the stone-silence of the majority and the Finance Minister on the allegation, give room for all manner of interpretations and speculations.

The two groups owe it a duty for further clarity on the issue. It can’t be left to also assume the usual slang “of being a matter that will die a natural dead” to fill the void created by the lack of further clarity and particulars on the issue, by both the majority and the minority.

       

 

Content created and supplied by: RKeelson (via Opera News )

Asante Bediatuo Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko Ken Ofori Atta Mahama Ofori Panyin

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