‘’What is $5 million compared to $178 million…….? This Ministry of Communications matter is the biggest heist ever.’’— Franklin Cudjoe of IMANI on Class FM.
Ghanaians, like most people in every nation in the world, are very witty political observers. Super OD of Osofo Dadzie fame was buried last weekend and the signature tune to his popular television drama series was what first came to the mind of a jocular friend as the Kwesi Nyantakyi corruption allegations broke last Tuesday. The millions alleged in this massive corruption scandal in which Nyantakyi is alleged to have taken the names of our President and Vice-President in vain just confounds and confuses us. If true, how do such things happen in the midst of an anti-corruption fight by the government?
But a more witty reaction came from another vociferous friend of mine and a staunch supporter of the ruling New Patriotic Party(NPP). He observed that the government formed by his party is of late so embroiled in one scandal after another!’
This was in reference to the other news which broke this week, the difficult-to-understand KelniGVG mobile telecommunications monitoring contract executed by the Communications and Finance ministries involving the National Communications Authority (NCA).
One thing, however, is clear to me in this convoluted NCA matter. This seems to me an undisclosed aspect of the interoperability of the networks involving Sibton Company Ltd, and Nyantakyi is the current president of the Ghana Football Association(GFA), an elective position he has held since the days of President Kufuor, and concurrently the vice chair of the continental association, Confederation of African Football (CAF). Nyantakyi, a lawyer, is as slippery and elusive as far as football scandals are concerned in Ghana. I only note that even Sepp Blatter, also a lawyer, the long-standing FIFA supremo, was forced out by the threat of prosecution by the United States.
From my vantage, only two or three matters require definite resolution in our minds to remove the stench of massive corruption these two issues, the KelniGVG $178 million contract, and the Nyantakyi video recorded by the hard working Anas Aremeyaw Anas, have spread in the land concerning government. But we must also note that whatever and whichever way these two are resolved, the corruption perception index for our country for this year will be the very worst ever, surpassing the worst so far, last year’s.
President Akufo-Addo, therefore, has a Herculean task ahead to do things to affirm his anti-corruption campaign credentials.
This is because these two gargantuan matters are perfect fodder for the attention of the Special Prosecutor and his deputy, if the government is serious about fighting corruption.
There has been some disquiet about the Anas video being seen by the President since he himself is a named party weeks before its scheduled premiering in June. This led to the order or complaint to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to begin the processes of investigations etcetera. I have no problem with that except to note the historical parallel which he will find ironical. Geoffrey Bing claimed in his book written after the 1966 coup that overthrew Nkrumah that the reason President Nkrumah sacked Chief Justice Arku Korsah and two other judges after the unexpected acquittal of Adamafio and his colleagues in the 1963 treason trial was that Arku Korsah failed to alert President Nkrumah to the acquittal verdict as was done in colonial days by the judges. The other judges were Van Lare and Akufo-Addo, father of our current President, and later, President in the Second Republic.
But this prior advantage has legal pitfalls, eabling legal and political observers to see it as a ruse to have Nyantakyi freed from investigation and prosecution on sound legal technicalities.
There is, however, a limit to what legal roadblocks in Ghana can do no matter who orchestrates them. We know earlier works of Anas were produced in co-operation with selected international media and investigative companies. It is the same with this one, and it is difficult to see how companies such as the British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC), and the coalition that brought down Blatter, Hayatou and others, will feel bound by the fears of political managers in Ghana. Governance is as exciting as it is mysterious and full of unexpected twists and turns.
We must also remember that our football scene is in complete shambles since the shameful episodes we went through in the 2014 World Cup competition which resulted in the Dzamefe Commission. Nyantakyi sent us first to the World Cup in 2006, and should have quit to preserve this personal achievement, that is, leave when the applause was loudest. But he stayed, and stayed, and stayed. This raises questions of good judgement on the part of those who kept electing him when he had lost the Midas touch of bringing us honours, and also of the integrity of those who defended the shambolic GFA even as it plummeted in public esteem. It is yet to be established that all this was done for the sake of personal enrichment, and not for public honours and rewards. What a disgrace?
On the $178 million KelniGVG contract, it will unravel in the coming days .
The earlier government begins to take responsibility for its actions, the better governance we will have. Ghanaians deserve no less.
I end today with a profound observation I have paraphrased by my friend Baba Musah on Facebook: ‘’In this country, we might think our only biggest troubles are corruption and unemployment but seriously, they are at par with hypocrisy and dishonesty. This is an opportunity for reflection.’’
Writer: Colin Essamuah, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Daily Graphic