Ibrahim Mahama, the businessman brother of former President John Dramani Mahama, yesterday took his turn at the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in Accra, as the anti-graft investigation agency probes him over an alleged economic crime.
His appearance at EOCO, a now dreaded state agency, has long been expected and so when he eventually turned up as a guest of the Office, what started as pieces of speculation soon gained momentum with proof that he was indeed answering questions pertaining to some of his business activities.
Ibrahim Mahama, a source close to the agency told DAILY GUIDE, was questioned about his suspected issuance of dud cheques as Customs duties for some heavy-duty equipment he had imported into the country through the Tema Port.
It is thought that it was a whistleblower, who opened the lid over the can of worms now being investigated.
The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has by the development lost a whopping amount of money, should the charge against the businessman be proven beyond doubt.
Ibrahim Mahama, the man behind a large business empire in the country, has been the subject of discussions and gossips by both political observers and others – some of who think he benefitted unduly from contracts because of his brother’s exalted position as the President of Ghana – an allegation he has often deflected as untrue.
He has often said that being a Ghanaian, he too is entitled to local businesses.
He is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engineers and Planners, a company many think has a hand in many engineering and construction projects across the country.
The Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP), Kennedy Agyapong, has been on Ibrahim’s neck for a period spanning the time the NDC was in power to now when it has been confined to the status of the largest opposition party in the country.
He had asked Ghanaians to consider how Ibrahim Mahama had been ripping the country of whopping amounts of money through fraudulent transactions, particularly under-declaration.
The MP has accused him of engaging in contracts which are largely not inuring to the economic interests of the country – charges he has often put forth with outstanding gusto in the media.
Ibrahim Mahama reacted to one of the allegations against his business activities a few years ago when he dragged the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Ashanti Regional Chairman, Benard Antwi-Boasiako aka Wontumi, to court.
Until recently, many Ghanaians, especially those who think that little is being done to recover lost state monies by both state and private actors even with the change in government, have questioned what agencies like EOCO were doing in that direction.
With the appearance of important businessmen who managed very big cocoa roads projects and others following the appointment of KK Amoah as Executive Director of the agency, the perception has changed and EOCO has assumed the status of a dreaded state investigation appendage.
A certain Kofi Job is one of the high profile contractors in the cocoa roads segment who has made a number of appearances before EOCO.
The said Kofi Job is alleged to be fronting for Ibrahim Mahama in many road projects allegedly won by him (Job).
The equipment of the former president’s brother are thought to be used in the execution of the projects ostensibly in the name of Kofi Job.
Former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni, Ernest Thompson, former SSNIT boss, are some of the persons who are still being probed by EOCO.
Ibrahim’s company – Engineers and Planners – is said to be in arrears of paying social security contribution of its workers, with SSNIT not taking any action as the law demands.
Information gathered suggests that the list of expected guests is long and the painstaking investigation EOCO is expected to undertake would unearth a can of worms about the management of the finances of the country, spanning the days of the NDC in power with John Mahama at the throttles.
Meanwhile, Ibrahim Mahama has been ordered by EOCO to deposit his passport with the state investigative body today, Wednesday, April 19.
This was revealed by Ningo Prampram MP Sam George Nartey in an interview with Class 91.3FM yesterday.
By A.R. Gomda