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Osafo Maafo challenges Omane on bungalow request

The Co-chair of the New Patriotic Party Transition team Yaw Osafo Maafo has challenged members of the outgoing government to mention who agreed or approved the request for ex-president John Mahama to retain his official bungalow after the handing over.

“An agreement can only be reached between two people. The agreement was reached with who?” Osafo Maafo asked.

Former Communications Minister Omane Boamah had stated unequivocally that Mahama’s request to maintain his official bungalow had received the blessing of the incoming administration.

Mr Boamah also claimed Parliament had also approved the request and quoted the reference number of a document, the content of which he would not disclose.

He said it is perfectly fine with him if the incoming administration has changed its mind on the agreement reached to have Mr Mahama retain his bungalow.

The controversy over whether the ex-president would be allowed to stay in his No 3, Prestige Link, Cantonment bungalow was triggered by a December 19, 2016 letter written by the former Chief of Staff.

The letter in part said the president would like the bungalow “and its adjoining facilities as his official retirement home.”

By law the state is mandated to house the ex-president but it does not allow that ex-president to retain the official bungalow he used when he was in power.

The Transition Act 2016 has directed the president to vacate his residence before the swearing in ceremony.

Two days after the swearing-in the president is still in the bungalow raising questions about a possible breach of the law. However the December 19 letter was released which sought to clarify why the president is still residing in his official bungalow.

The Spokesperson of the NPP transition team Kojo Oppong Nkrumah had early on denied that a decision had been taken on the request made and promised that the president, who assumed office on Saturday and began work on Monday was yet to consider the request.

He said the decision will be communicated as soon as it is taken.

But Omane Boamah suggested the NPP spokesperson had not been properly briefed and challenged him to speak to Osafo Maafo who was neck deep in the decision making process.

Speaking to Joy News Editor Araba Koomson the Co-chairman of the Transition team Osafo Maafo said no agreement had been reached.

He said the former Chief of Staff Julius Debrah discussed the matter with him and followed up with the December 19 letter.

He was emphatic that no decision had been taken on the matter.

According to him, he has referred the matter to the legal team of the government for consideration and will soon make public the outcome of the decision taken.

However credible sources close to the president confirmed to that the president had entered into a gentleman’s agreement with Mr Mahama for him to have the house.

With the outrage triggered by Mr Mahama’s request, it is not clear if President Nana Akufo-Addo will proceed publicly to sign off the bungalow to him.

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