OSP Probes Mahama Over GH¢14m Delegates ‘Bribe’

John Mahama

Former President John Dramani Mahama is under investigation by the Special Prosecutor’s office over allegations of bribery.

According to reports, Mr. Mahama paid over GH¢14,203,680 to 355,092 delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the party’s recently held primaries.

The money, which was given under the guise of transportation, has been deemed as an inducement and classified as a bribe by the Special Prosecutor due to Mr. Mahama’s contest for the flagbearership position.

The Special Prosecutor’s office considers that the money was given to influence voters in favour of Mr. Mahama, who was competing for the party’s flagbearership position with two others, but Dr. Kwabena Duffuor later withdrew from the race leaving the contest to Kojo Bonsu and Mahama.

A statement issued by Mr. Mahama’s campaign team confirmed that they provided some delegates with transportation and assured that the support was not a replacement but intended to augment what the party is providing to all constituencies. They also emphasised that the donation was consistent with Mr. Mahama’s continuous support for the party over the years.

The statement by Mr. Mahama’s campaign team acknowledged their support for delegates’ transportation in order to enable them to attend the primaries.

The statement added that the money was not intended to replace what the party was giving to all constituencies; rather, it was meant to augment it. The former president is being investigated by the authorities regarding these alleged bribes, since provision for transportation is the responsibility of the party and not an individual.

Professor Joshua Alabi, a member of Mr. Mahama’s campaign team, defended the donations, stating that the former president’s contributions were consistent with his continuous support for the party over the years.

The opposition National Democratic Congress 2023 Primaries were held on May 13, 2023, with a total of 355,092 delegates from 277 constituencies converging at 401 voting centres to elect both presidential and parliamentary candidates for 2024 general elections.

In the presidential race, three people, including Mr. Mahama and former Kumasi Mayor Kojo Bonsu, featured on the ballot after Dr. Kwabena Duffuor withdrew from the race citing irregularities. For the parliamentary elections, hundreds filed to contest.

Certified results by the Electoral Commission (EC) showed that Mr. Mahama polled an overwhelming 297,603 votes representing 98.9 per cent of the total valid votes cast at the end of the NDC primaries on Saturday.

His contender, the former Kumasi Mayor, Kojo Bonsu, polled a paltry 3,181 votes representing 1.1 per cent.

The other contender in the NDC flagbearer race, former Finance Minister in the Mills regime, Kwabena Duffuor, pulled out on Friday.

This is the fourth time John Dramani Mahama will be leading the NDC into an election.

Then Vice President, John Dramani Mahama who took over from President John Evans Atta-Mills when the latter died while in office in July 2012, went on to win the election later that year.

As an incumbent, he first lost to the then New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2016, becoming the first president to serve only one full term.

He won the flagbearership race in February 2019 with an overwhelming endorsement of 95 per cent votes to represent the NDC in the 2020 election, but he lost to incumbent President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who was declared the winner of the December 7, 2020 election with 51.59 per cent ahead of Mr. Mahama’s 47.37 per cent.

Mr. Mahama challenged the outcome at the Supreme Court, arguing that Akufo-Addo’s votes in some polling stations were padded, pushing him above the 50 per cent threshold needed to avoid a run-off.

The investigation into Mr. Mahama’s alleged bribery will bring additional scrutiny to the NDC primaries ahead of the 2024 general elections.

By Vincent Kubi