The week gone by is one the eagle-headed Umbrella folks would want to forget in a hurry. It brought them nothing but sorrow. Zu-za’s predicament amplifies William Shakespeare’s assertion that “when sorrows come, they come not in single spies. But in battalions”.
Aside from the normal exchange of political punches between Zu-za members and their main opponents from the Elephant camp, Monday was largely uneventful. Many thought the rest of the week would be same, but I thought otherwise. Tuesday was Judgment Day for the main actors in what has come to be known as the ‘NCA scandal’ and my hunch had given me an indication of how the judgment would go.
Did I hear you ask why? You may call it coincidence, but my superstitious mind had made me realize that anytime I visit a prison facility, a Zu-za appointee is made to march morosely to jail soon after. It happened when the late Victor Selormey was convicted, repeated in the Dan Abodakpi case and happened again in the Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit conviction. So coming a few days after I visited a cousin at the Nsawam Prison, my superstitious mind told me the NCA scandal judgment wouldn’t be favourable to the appointees of President Ogwanfunu.
True to my hunch, three former government officials were sentenced to various terms in prison by an Accra High Court after convicting them of willfully causing financial loss of $4 million to the state. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, a former Board Chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA), will serve six years imprisonment for his part in the $4m NCA scandal. William Matthew Tetteh Tevie, a former Director General of the NCA, and Alhaji Salifu Mimina Osman, a former Deputy National Security Coordinator, were each sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for also causing financial loss to the state in the scandal.
Interestingly, Baffoe-Bonnie, a close ally of President Ogwanfunu, received more years because the court held that he personally benefited from the deal to a tune of $200,000. The court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, also ordered the state to seize assets of the convicts to the tune of $3 million since the state has only recovered $1 million of the amount.
Since the conviction of the three, many Zu-za activists have engaged in emotional diatribe on how they would jail Elephant appointees should President Ogwanfunu have a second chance to sit on the presidential throne. They laid the blame at the grave-site of former President Mills claiming he failed to prosecute President Kufuor’s appointees because of his ‘father-for-all’ disposition.
Laughable claim, isn’t it? President Mills did prosecute Kufuor’s appointees. But he woefully failed to secure a single conviction because all the cases were without merit.
We all saw how Asamoah Boateng and his wife Zuleika were arrested in a Rambo style at the Kotoka International Airport. After the media trial of Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby and Kwadwo Mpiani, we all saw how the prosecution’s case crumbled like a pack of cards in court. Dr. Akoto-Osei, Dr. Richard Anane, Prof. George Gyan Baffour and Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei were all not spared in Zu-za’s desperate trial spree. So it is a big fat lie to say President Mills did not prosecute appointees of President Kufuor.
Abusuapanin, we woke up on Wednesday only to be greeted by the news that the Supreme Court has in a 5-2 majority decision dismissed a suit claiming that Mr. Martin Amidu, the Citizen Vigilante, was ineligible to be the Special Prosecutor because he was 66 at the time of his appointment and, therefore, his appointment was unconstitutional. The suit was filed by Dr. Dominic Ayine, a former Deputy Attorney General and a Zu-za Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga East. Per the Supreme Court’s decision, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) is not caught by the retiring age of 60, as applicable in the public service.
The likes of Mahama Ayariga have since had sleepless nights. Ayariga was on radio lamenting how the Citizen Vigilante was on a witch-hunting expedition. Obviously, a different decision by the Supreme Court would have been preferred by Ayariga and his ilk.
The next day was also not a good one for Zu-za. The party attracted international embarrassment for this country when its flagbearer was reported by The Sun to be neck-deep in corruption waters. Listen to them: “Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama is accused of having links to a corrupt network which received kickbacks during the contract process regarding the purchase of an airbus aircraft.”
To divert attention, the party quickly organized a press conference and made baseless accusations against the Electoral Commission and the National Identification Authority. But some of us wouldn’t be swayed by the distraction. The Airbus saga is an albatross on President Ogwanfunu’s neck. The earlier he comments on it, the better for him.
Friday was largely uneventful. When the Ghana Health Service revealed on Saturday that 790 more people had recovered from COVID-19, Joyce Bawah Mogtari could not hide her pain upon hearing the news. I can bet my last cedi that her party folks shared in her pain. They are sad because the high recovery rate vindicates the government’s handling of the pandemic so far.
It is interesting to note that they never question high numbers of COVID-19 infections. Indeed, they tend to use those high numbers to question government’s competence in handling the pandemic. Is it, therefore, not obvious that their apprehension at the high recovery rate on Saturday is because their propaganda tool has failed?
Frankly, it is not a good time to be a member or sympathizer of the eagle-headed Umbrella. With a smelly corruption tag on their flagbearer and many more members waiting to be compelled to march morosely jail, I cannot help but wonder the mood in their camp. Sad spectacle, indeed!
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!