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Sunday, October 18, 2009

‘Sack Ato Quarshie’

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has waded into the Mabey and Johnson bribery scandal with a call on the government to immediately fire Dr. Ato Quarshie, former Minister of Roads and Highways.

Dr. Quarshie, who allegedly took a whooping £55,000 of the Mabey and Johnson booty, is currently the chairman of a committee instituted by the Minister of Transport, Mike Hammah, to probe the operations of Metro Mass Transit (MMT).

The political analyst and journalist contended that Dr. Quarshie has no moral justification to chair a committee instituted to investigate cases of alleged corruption when such a huge bribery scandal is hanging around his neck.

The continuous stay of Dr. Quarshie in office, according to Kweku Baako, would be an injustice of the highest proportion on the part of Dr. George Adjah-Sipa Yankey, Alhaji Amadu Seidu and Baba Kamara, government officials who were also involved in the scandal.

Dr. Yankey and Alhaji Seidu, until last Friday, were Minister of Health and Minister of State at the Presidency respectively, whilst Baba Kamara was Ghana’s High Commissioner designate to Nigeria.

Whereas Dr. Yankey and Alhaji Seidu, who took £15,000 and £10,000 respectively of the Mabey and Johnson largesse, were pushed out of government by President Mills last Friday, Baba Kamara, who was the conveyor belt in the scandal, was robbed of his new position at the last minute.

Continuing, the leading member of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) noted that the Mills administration’s international image will suffer if Dr. Quarshie continues to chair the committee put in place by the Ministry of Transport to probe MMT.

“How can a man who is actively involved in such a damning bribery scandal that has given the country a bad image in the international community be made chairman of a committee put in place to investigate acts of corruption”, he asked rhetorically.

Emphasizing that not only ministers who are involved in the scandal should be made to resign but indeed everybody connected to the government, vociferous Kweku Baako charged President Mills to immediately direct the Minister of Transport to fire Dr. Quarshie.

The New Crusading Guide’s editor-in-chief made these remarks on a Peace FM morning programme hosted by Kwame Sefa Kayi. The show also transmitted live in Kumasi on Hello FM on Wednesday morning.

Commenting further, Kweku Baako claimed that more serious bribery scandals involving government officials with respect to the award of contracts to foreign companies in the country would unfold in few months.

He stated that serious investigations were ongoing into the cases in some foreign countries, and indications are that some of the cases will definitely be tried in courts in the respective countries.

According to him, nothing could be done by the government to keep the impending cases in the dark and that the whole world would be privy to the full facts of such cases when they do unfold.

Though he would not mention the names of government officials who would be implicated in the cases for now, the political historian asked the probable people involved to start bracing themselves for the upcoming storm, especially those who said their friends abroad paid their children’s school fees but never gave specific details.

On the Mabey and Johnson case which had been referred to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) for investigations, Kweku noted that he has absolute confidence in the commission, saying it will do a professional job.

Mabey and Johnson is a United Kingdom-based construction firm which won a number of contracts for the construction of bridges in the country in the early 90s when ex-President Rawlings and President Mills were in charge of the country.

The company, which was initially represented by the late Danny Ofori-Atta of NDC/EGLE party and lately by Baba Kamara, paid bribes to some government officials at the time for the contracts.

Dr. Yankey, who was the director of legal services at the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Amadu Seidu, Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways at the time and his boss Dr. Quarshie received £15,000, £10,000 and £55,000 respectively. Their shares of the booty were paid into their various foreign accounts in London.

Other government officials who benefited from the scandal were Kwame Peprah, Board chairman of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, ex-Minister of Works and Housing.
Source: D-Guide

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