By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, June 3, 2016
Folks, I have all along maintained that whatever happened to make Alfred Agbesi Woyome the beneficiary of the huge judgement debt paid to him reflects the colossal weaknesses of our state institutions.
In several opinion pieces on the matter, I made it clear that some kind of “piracy” occurred to exploit the state. Although insulted by sympathizers of Woyome and all those public officials connected with the fraud (Betty Mould Iddrissu, Barton Oduro, and the officials at the Ministry of Finance, among others), I haven’t changed my stance. I still maintain that something basically wrong happened to dupe the state.
Punishing all those involved has remained a huge burden despite the clear judgement given by all the courts that dealt with the matter. Why it is so is not in question or doubt. It is all because no one is being honest to the truth behind the deal. And the state institutions aren’t faithfully pursuing the matter because they are not designed to do so.
In fact, this particular theft of public funds disguised as judgement debt payment is a huge blot on these institutions and the officials in charge of them at the time and now. We have heard Woyome condemn the current Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as a beneficiary of his kind of largesse. She hasn’t reacted.
How can we trust her to do the right thing when so soiled? Yet, her office has made a half-hearted attempt to retrieve the state’s pound of flesh from Woyome only for him to do what has now shot him into a whole new level in the debacle. he is reported to have physically prevented officials of the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General’s department and the Lands Commission from valuing his house at Kpehe, preparatory to having it confiscated and sold to defray the 51 million Cedis paid to him as judgement debt. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Drama-as-Woyome-stops-officials-from-valuing-his-Kpehe-residence-444301).
By going this way, Woyome has taken the matter to a new level of audacity. What next for the state to do? Is anybody being truthful and committed here? How come that no proper measures were taken to ensure that the valuation exercise was done successfully? Is it just a face-saving manouevre that is designed to deceive us?
There must be a lot seriously wrong here that the government must set right. No matter what happens, this Woyome scandal has a huge negative impact on it and the earlier it does the right thing to settle it, the better chances are that it can claw back lost goodwill as far as public rhetoric on corruption is concerned.
The undeniable fact is that all the noise being made by the political opponents about corruption—and the gossipping fingers being pointed at the government—can be traced to instances of this sort, not to mention the seemingly failed SADA and GYEEDA/SUBAH projects, which the political opponents are quick to point to as instances of the Mahama-led administration’s agenda of “create, loot, and share”. What more does the government need to wake it up?
I still maintain that the circumstances surrounding this Woyome matter are despicable and only a conscientious effort to serve the interests of the state will reflect positively on the NDC administration. In critical times, serious and conscionable action should be taken to reassure the citizens that no one can tamper with the national coffers and get away with the windfall, unscathed.
Even if the principal characters whose acts of omission or commission facilitated Woyome’s fleecing of the state are not in focus, nothing prevents the state from doing everything possible to retrieve the stolen money from Woyome.
What he has done so far only complicates his own problems. He is not stronger than the state and its institutions and must be dealt the blow that he deserves. Anything short of that casts a huge slur on the NDC administration and demoralizes Ghanaians. It ends up hurting our national coffers all the more.
Woyome’s desperate action to prevent his house’s being valued is laughable. The lesson he needs to learn must be taught him now!!
I shall return…
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