MPs get bail over double salary saga

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has granted police enquiry bail to some former ministers in the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and Members of Parliament (MPs), who have been caught in an alleged double-salary scandal.

The formal arrest and the grant of bail are said to have started last Thursday when some of the appointees honoured the CID invitation.

It is unclear the number of the former appointees who honoured the police invitation, but DAILY GUIDEunderstands that Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle and Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, MP for Kpone Katamanso, are said to have been interrogated by the police.

More of the appointees are expected at the Financial Forensic Unit at the CID headquarters this week, with Inusah Fuseini – who served as Minister of Roads and Highways under President Mahama – indicating during a number of radio interviews that he is reporting today.

As at press time yesterday, another NDC MP, whose name could not be disclosed, was said to have arrived at the CID office to be interrogated.

A certain Bashir Fuseini Alhassan, who is believed to be ABA Fuseini, NDC MP for Sagnerigu and former deputy minister for the Northern Region, was also there last week and was made to write a statement before being admitted to bail.

All those who have been to the CID headquarters and are said to be technically under arrest were made to write statements before they were granted bail. They all honoured the invitations with their lawyers.

According to sources, the police had already written to the accounts department of parliament for more information concerning the double salary saga.

The affected people have also been asked to submit their bank statements.

Frantic Efforts

Over the weekend, some of the former NDC appointees being investigated were said to be making frantic efforts to submit their bank statements to the CID.

It emerged that a number of them sent their bank statements for scrutiny by the CID, despite the claim by top-notch members of the party that the move to investigate them was a case of ‘political witch-hunt.’

Anomaly Detection

DAILY GUIDE learnt that some of the former ministers cum MPs, who allegedly drew salaries as MPs and ministers of state, detected the double salary anomaly and notified the authorities for the right thing to be done.

However, it is unclear whether the monies that had already been credited to the accounts of such people were returned to chest.

Bernard Allotey Jacobs, NDC Central Regional Chairman, who conceded that some of the ex-ministers who were MPs actually received double salaries, said they were ready to use their ex-gratia to offset them.

It’s not clear if they had ever been paid double from 2013 to 2016 as being alleged.

In all, about 48 names are on the list spanning five years from 2012.

Inside Job

Mr Bagbin, the second deputy speaker of parliament and NDC MP for Nadowli/Kaleo, has already confirmed that he had been contacted by the CID.

On his Twitter handle on Wednesday, April 11 – after the minority’s press conference – Mr Bagbin alleged that some selfish individuals who want to lead the opposition party might have leaked the names to the CID.

“If anybody thinks that leaking our names to the police CID thwarts our chances and advances their selfish claim to leadership in our party, then my brother, think again because when we go down, we go down together. A word to the wise…,” according to the tweet.

Haruna Iddrisu had also been contacted and is likely to meet the CID on Thursday, April 19, having told the police that he was out of the country.

Specific Charge

The police have said that the alleged double salary saga “is contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal and other Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) as amended in 2012 (Act 849).  Section 124 relates to the offence of stealing.”

The list appears to show that a good number of the ministers, who served under former President John Mahama, took double salaries for four years, whilst others received double salaries for two and three years, probably because they were reshuffled.

Salary Permutation

In 2012, four of the ministers, who reportedly took double salaries, are currently not serving in parliament, but by 2013 the double salaried appointees had increased to 22 while in 2014 about 18 were said to have been involved.

For 2015 and 2016, 15 and 12 appointees purportedly took double salaries respectively.

This list showed that the appointees received double salaries at least once a month, whilst others received them monthly throughout the years.

Clear Target

In the ensuing heat, one of the affected MPs, Inusah Fuseini, said on Peace FM yesterday that the NPP government was targeting them, saying, “There is some level of criminal targeting of former appointees.

“It appears that the value of fairness, equity and justice is not being followed. If a public servant has been given a double salary, they are not reported to CID. The person is called to refund the money and if that is not done, that is when you report the person to an investigative authority. But this was not done… why the discrimination?”

By William Yaw Owusu

 

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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