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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kweku Baako lambasts Rawlings, Mills over Mabey and Johnson

...He charges Ghanaians not to turn hypocrisy into virtue

Turn not hypocrisy into virtue-Kweku Baako
Turn not hypocrisy into virtue-Kweku Baako
Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Malik Kweku Baako Jnr has taken a swipe at former President Rawlings for failing to investigate “hints” of bribery attributed to UK construction firm Mabel & Johnson when he (Rawlings) was in power.

According to him, Mr. Rawlings’ call on the Atta Mills government to expedite investigations into allegations of bribery against past and serving officials of the NDC government only smacks of double standards, charging Ghanaians “not to turn hypocrisy into virtue.”

Speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme News File, on Saturday, Mr Baako cited a 1994 British audit report into activities of Mabel &Johnson, in Ghana and other African countries in which revelations of bribery were made.

Quoting sections of the report, Mr. Baako said a contract sum worth £37million awarded to Mabel & Johnson by the Ghana Highway Authority was over priced for up to 34%.

He said copies of this damning audit report ‘pregnant’ with these bribery allegations were made to the then government of Ghana under the able leadership of president Rawlings in 1999.

He found it difficult to understand why the ex-president who rode on the back of probity and accountability, as a result of which some past military heads of state were executed and some jailed, did not investigate these allegations of bribery against his own ministers.

He expressed surprise that leading members of the NDC pretend that revelations of bribery by Mabel & Johnson could only be traced to the 24th September, 2009 ruling by the UK court in which some leading members of the party were mentioned.

But a panel member and a sympathizer of the NDC, Ametor Quame argued ex-president could and should not be held responsible for the failure to prosecute.

He argued most of these shortcomings are attributable to “systemic failures” adding, “these kinds of documents does not sometimes get to the president and vice president.”

Some officials he said could have gotten the information and kept quite.

In any case, the NPP government had eight years to investigate and prosecute these allegations but failed, he sniped.

Mr. James Agalga who is also a member of the NDC and a panel member, was happy with the swift action taken by President Mills to get to the bottom of the allegations.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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