Years after Chasing He & Konadu’s Stolen Cash With FBI, Scotland Yard, Kweku Baako and Gabby Otchere-Darko
To many, ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, has only chosen to remain silent over his links to the brewing international scandal – “Panama Papers” which has revealed his family, has stashed some money in Panama, but behind that loud silence, is a troubled man, whose past deeds against Jerry John Rawlings and wife, Nana Konadu, is coming back to haunt him like an ancestral ghost.http://ghanapoliticsonline.com
The giant leak of more than 11.5 million financial and legal records, exposes a system that enabled crime, corruption and wrongdoing, hidden by secretive offshore companies.
Mr. Kufuor’s son; John Addo Kufuor and wife, Teresa Kufuor, have been mentioned in one of the leaked documents, which have captured the attention of the international media, including CNN, BBC, Aljazeera and others.
The “Panama Papers Scandal” has led to the resignation of the Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, Swiss Police, have raided European football governing body, UEFA, to seize evidence shortly after FIFA boss, Gianni Infantino was mentioned, the President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, is before a judge, answering questions on the matter, while thousands of people have descended upon Downing Street in London, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister, David Cameron, over his part in the Panama Papers scandal.
The UK Prime Minister’s father, Ian Cameron, was revealed to have owned an offshore account after the details of clients were uncovered in history’s biggest leak.
Interestingly, among the first things Mr. Kufuor did upon assumption of office in January 2001, was to initiate an international probe into the finances of his predecessor, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, seeking to know how much money they had stolen and stashed away in foreign banks and offshore accounts nearly 20 years of running this country, first as military leader and then constitutionally elected president.
Among the many internationally recognized institutions and individuals that were engaged to investigate Mr. Rawlings and his family, were America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), United Kingdom’s (UK) Scotland Yard, Kweku Baako of the then Crusading Guide newspaper, as well as, Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko of the Statesman, but for the 8-year period, nothing was found.
At one instance, Mr. Rawlings had to travel to Oslo- Norway to challenge authorities there to investigate every aspect of his and confirm whether he had stashed stolen wealth in offshore accounts, adding “When people have been punished for corrupt acts under my watch how can I turn around and practice the same vices.”
He went to say, “I have received great hospitality since I have been here and I am saddened that this latest propagation of an untruth originated here in Norway. The incident allowed members and people associated with President Kufour to malign my family and me; to print and utter publicly, words that impugned on my credibility and integrity and all but challenged my perpetual chant of accountability, probity and freedom and justice for all!
Ex-Rawlings said unfortunately, he did not have sufficient funds to hire an expensive international lawyer to pursue a libel case against Dagens Naeringsliv, which has wide circulation in Norway.
While, Mr. Rawlings himself has very often mentioned the probes, politician cum businessman, Charles Kofi Wayo alias Chuck Wayo, who was once with the NPP, has also mentioned how his contacts in both the NPP and America, where he grew up, have revealed to him how their investigations into the Kufuor government’s claim of stolen cash by ex-President Rawlings, had yielded nothing.
Chuck Wayo, who was a close friend of President Kufuor, recounted his encounter with ex-President Rawlings at the popular Hinlone Chinese Restaurant Near Labone Secondary School Labone in Accra, he went straight to the ex-president, shook hands with him and congratulated him for passing out clean from the many probes initiated by his successor.
It is instructive to note that, while these investigations were ongoing, Kweku Baako and Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, also were heavily sponsored by the Kufuor administration to Norway in search of facts to substantiate a claim that Mr. Rawlings while in office, had collected a $4 million bribe from SCANCEM, the Norwagian mother company of Ghana’s premier cement producer GHACEM.
After days of their sensational trip to Norway, the two journalists, found nothing on Mr. Rawlings, as far as the bribery claim was concerned. They sneaked into Ghana empty handed.
Mr. Austin Gamey, a former deputy Minister of employment in Mr. Rawlings’ government, later admitted taking money from SCANCEM on behalf of the NDC. He insisted the money from the cement producing Norwegian company, was just another donation to his political party.
Mr. Gamey, admitted to receiving an amount of $240,000 on behalf of his party from SCANCEM, but he said it was not bribery.
The Statesman newspaper, had carried a report in its Wednesday November 7, 2007 edition, quoting Mr. Gamey, as having admitted receiving the $240,000 from SCANCEM on behalf of the NDC, ahead of the 2000 general elections which the NDC lost.
Prior to the SCANCEM bribery scandal, Kweku Baako, who had many times mentioned some dealings of Mrs. Rawlings in Switzerland, as well as alleged Swiss bank account of the once powerful Nana Konadu, equally did not yield any fruit.
Meanwhile, Communications minister Dr. Edward Omane Boamah has challenged former President Kufuor to react to the Panama papers that cites his son as one of the huge number of worthy individuals who use tax havens to conceal their wealth.
Speaking on the ‘Alhaji and Alhaji’ current affairs show on Radio Gold Saturday, Dr. Omane Boamah, called on the former President to react to the claims in the leaks, instead of responding to President John Mahama’s challenge over who, among the NDC and NPP, has developed the Volta region, the most.
“We know what has happened with the Panama papers, David Cameron is under pressure, we know what is happening with Transparency International and if President Kufuor was not going to speak to this, he had no business wading into this particular issue.
“Beyond his mistake about he having established the Ho Polytechnic, he also spoke about the fact the NDC officials chopped the Keta Sea defence project money. The viciousness with which they prosecuted the NDC officials including Abodakpui and Tsatsu, I believe if they had any evidence that the NDC had spent any money, they would have been in jail by now,” he stated.
On the same programme were, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, Deputy Communications Minister ,and Bernard Anbataayela Mornah, the National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC). They all asked ex-President Kufuor to respond to the scandal.