A law suit against the 2016 flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by two concerned Ghanaians who are praying the court to compel the former Attorney General to pay for his out-of-office use of two state vehicles for 19 months after he left office in 2007, is “frivolous,” his Spokesperson has told Starr News.
Mr Mustapha Hamid said Wednesday in an interview with Ibrahim Alhassan that to the extent that the suit is borne out of political equalisation, rather than a genuine aim to protect the public purse, the former Attorney General’s Office finds it disingenuous.
The plaintiffs, Alex Doe and George Spencer Quaye, who are members of pressure group Inside Ghana filed the case at an Accra High Court on Wednesday April 8, 2015 in an effort to have Mr Akufo-Addo pay Ghc798,000 for the 19 months that he used the two state vehicles after leaving office in 2007 to pursue his presidential ambition.
In the middle of March this year, the group issued a statement threatening to resort to Court to retrieve the money if Akufo-Addo failed to pay the money after an ultimatum.
In the March 16 statement signed by the group’s convener, Spencer Quaye, Inside Ghana said: “Nana Addo must pay the sum of Ghc798,000 in the coming days for keeping state vehicles for 19 months after standing down as Foreign Affairs Minister in 2007 to contest the NPP flagbearership which he subsequently won, or face a court action.”
“Our investigations have revealed that Hon. Nana Addo used the said vehicles during his campaign tour in the NPP contest and again during the 2008 general elections.
“We find his conduct quite unfortunate, unprofessional, putrid and unpardonable,” the group said.
According to the statement, “This singular act of his is synonymous to corruption and stealing from the public purse, and as a pressure group, failure to take up this challenge will be tantamount to dereliction of our duty as good citizens of the nation.”
The group said after stepping down from office in July 2007, the former Attorney general “failed to hand over his 2 official 4×4 vehicles he was using at the time as a Minister and took them home.”
“Our investigation points to the fact that Hon Nana Akufo Addo did not only keep the two 4×4 vehicles in his custody but used them during his campaign tour for close to 2 years, returning them in February, 2009, 2 months after losing the 2008 general elections.
“The said vehicles are: a Nissan Patrol with registration number GT 5621 T and a Toyota Land Cruiser GT 1983 X. Documents available to Inside Ghana indicate the vehicles were returned in a bad state with the Nissan Patrol having a battery discharge problem while the Toyota Land Cruiser had faulty starter brushes, which were both repaired at the expense of the taxpayer.
“We are therefore by this press release urging him to settle the above mentioned amount to the State as cost for keeping (hiring) the 2 vehicles at a cost of $200/day for each vehicle for 19 months at an exchange rate of GHS 3.5.
“Inside Ghana urges Hon Nana Akufo Addo to treat this as urgent and take immediate steps to settle the State or face a civil court action,” the group added.
It stated that: “We would also like to assure well-meaning Ghanaians that all ex-Ministers who engaged in this malodorous conduct in the erstwhile administration will be exposed in the coming weeks and face similar consequence. Our ongoing investigations are startling and show an appalling abuse of State resources by government appointees long after they have left office. We commend OccupyGhana for beginning this fight and call on other civil society organisations and pressure groups to join us in the fight against corruption and abuse of State resources by government appointees long after they have left office.”
Inside Ghana’s legal suit against Mr Akufo-Addo comes on the heels of a similar court action initiated by pressure group OccupyGhana against former Energy Minister Dr Joseph Oteng-Adjei who also recently returned his official 4×4 state vehicle after keeping it for several months after leaving office.
OccupyGhana is praying the Court to compel the former Environment, Science and Technology Minister to cough up about Gh¢383,000 to the state for the 222 days that he kept the luxury vehicle meant for rural electrification projects.
According to the suit filed on March 12 at an Accra Fast Track High Court, the group is demanding $500 for each day that Dr. Oteng-Adjei kept the vehicle.
Dr. Oteng-Adjei returned the vehicle on February 24, 2015 after former Deputy Energy Minister K T Hammond blew the whistle on him.
Mr Hamid believes the suit against his boss is part of efforts to frustrate his presidential ambitions as well as equalise with the OccupyGhana lawsuit.
Why Nana at this time? Alex Doe and Spencer Quaye should go after those responsible for issuing and retrieving government vehicles in Ghana
It is a shame and political blackmail for Alex Doe and Spencer Quaye filed a suit against the flag bearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for failing to pay for the 19 months that he used two state vehicles after leaving office. This is funny and stupid because the man left office in 2007 returned the vehicle 19months later and you are bringing a lawsuit against him in 2015 leaving the real culprits who failed to execute their responsibility for which they draw their fat salaries every month.
This is an irresponsible act and cheap, out of wedlock political propaganda worth throwing out of court unless the court has unholy interest in shedding orchestrated scheme of negative nuances on Nana Akuffo Addo. The question I always ask some scholars of Ghanaian civil society is, why leave the real and actual perpetrators from the fight against corruption? Take a look at Woyome case in point where those who investigated his claim and paid him the Ghc 52 million were all left off the hook.
The present issue has no honest and fair legal basis for Nana to be drag to court to pay such an amount, because our democratic dispensation has systems and processes of issuing and retrieving vehicles allotted to Ministers and transit technocrats and government officials when their contract comes to an end or terminated. And those persons or officials who operate and manage the systems and processes are well paid employees of the state, therefore they should be held responsible for not retrieving the vehicles at the appropriate time hence causing financial loss to the state.
My candid advice to those who labeled themselves as spokespersons for Ghanaian civil society must devoid themselves from personal biases and focus on the ugly departmental directors and board officials who are the real canker when dealing with corruption in our society. Attacking Nana at this crucial election period stinks to high heavens, drop this lawsuit and go after those well paid permanent fat cat who are milking our country, if you truly mean well in this fight on corruption.
Longlive Ghana and our democratic dispensation