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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Appiah-Ofori issues ultimatum to Prez Mills: "Name Bribe-Givers Or Else I Sue"

Appiah-Ofori writes to president
Appiah-Ofori writes to president
Anti-corruption crusader, Mr. P.C. Appiah-Ofori, who is also the NPP MP for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa says President Mills owes it a duty to the nation to not only cause to be published the names of those who allegedly offered him bribes in brown envelopes, but also to get them prosecuted or deny publicly if what Mr. Kwame Pianim said was not true.

In a strongly worded letter copied to both sides of the leadership in Parliament, the Attorney-General, and some media outlets, Mr. Appiah-Ofori said failure on the part of President Mills to heed the directive will result in him (Appiah-Ofori) reluctantly seeking a court order to compel President Mills to do so.

Read Mr Appiah-Ofori's letter.


In the ‘Daily Guide’ newspaper of 8th December, 2009 Mr. Kwame Pianim, a former presidential aspirant of the New Patriotic Party, was reported to have stated publicly that he was present when on two occasions you allegedly rejected ‘brown envelopes’ which has been offered you as bribes. Many radio stations, including Peace FM, called me for my reaction to Mr. Pianim’s allegation.

In my responses, I stated on the air that if what Mr. Pianim was reported to have said was true, then you deserve tons of praises. I added that, I find it difficult to doubt that you will lead incorruptible life in office. My conviction is based on the following evidence.

1. When I protested to you in writing to terminate the sale of 70% of Ghana’s interest in Ghana Telecommunication Limited, you acted on my letter by setting up a committee to go into that matter.

2. About three or four months ago, I was invited to the castle on your behalf by your National Security Advisor for discussions leading to how the government can give effect to article 35 (8) of the constitution quoted below.

3. You were reported to have returned to chest your unspent per diem when you made an official trip out of Ghana. I have not heard that any past President did that.

I however, find it difficult to believe Mr. Pianim’s story because the acts of giving and receiving bribes do not take place in the presence of a third party as claimed by Mr. Pianim.

Article 35(8) of the constitution of Ghana states, “The state shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power.”

Being the Head of the State which has to take steps to eradicate corrupt practices as quoted above, it is you who have to lead the fight against corruption. Therefore, while you deserve commendations for rejecting the bribes you were offered, which were meant to corrupt you, you ought, not only to have mentioned the names of those who offered you the bribes but also to have handed them over to the police for prosecution. If you keep mute over this, then you are condoning and conniving at criminal acts. This shall not speak well of you.

Subsections (1) and (2) of section 252 of the Criminal Code, 1960 (Act 29) are unanimous that accepting or giving bribes to influence public officers constitutes a criminal offence.

In the Presidential Oath you took in Parliament on 7th January, 2009, you stated, inter alia, that you will at all times dedicate yourself to the service and well-being of the people of Ghana. Corruption has been the bane of the national economy resulting in the inability of the past Presidents to fully dedicate themselves to the well-being of the people of Ghana.

Therefore any President who shudders at the thought of punishing people who engage in corrupt practices to serve as a deterrent to the perpetrators of corrupt practices is not only guilty of breach of his Oath of Office but he is also guilty of conducting himself in a manner which is inimical to the economy of Ghana and brings his high office into dispute, ridicule and contempt – a ground for impeachment of a President.

It is against the background of the foregoing that, if what Mr. Kwame Pianim said is true then, you owe a duty to the nation for you either not only to publish the names of those who allegedly offered you the bribes but also to get them prosecuted or deny publicly if what Mr. Pianim said is not true. If this plea goes unheeded to I shall be reluctantly compelled to seek a court order to compel you to do so.

According, please regard this letter as the statutory notice to you of my intention to proceed to court over the issues raised in this letter.

I hope to count on your cooperation in this matter for which I shall be most grateful.

Yours faithfully,

Hon. P.C. Appiah-Ofori

Cc: The Attorney General and Minister of Justice
The Majority Leader
The Minority Leader
The “Daily Guide” and Peace FM

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