Wahala rocks NPP call cards -Lawsuits expected to stall the system
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is set to be slapped with lawsuits over its recently launched mobile recharge cards “Kitewa bia nsua cards” to raise funds for the Nana Akufo Addo Presidential campaign, the Mail has exclusively learnt.
The legal suit expected this week would be coming from PAYMANEX, an IT company which recently went into exclusive agreements with the NPP to design electronic membership cards for party members and use the cards to raise funds for the party’s 2016 campaign.
Sources told this paper that that agreement was signed between PAYMANEX, the suspended National Chairman of the party, Paul Afoko, the suspended Second National Vice Chairman of the party, Sammy Crabbe and party bankroller and Kwadwo Mpianim, former Chief of Staff of the erstwhile NPP administration.
That agreement is said to have contained certain exclusivity clauses that tied the hands of the NPP from contracting a similar project to different companies. But the recently launched “Kitewa bia nsua cards” is said to have been contracted to an entirely different company whose name is yet to be revealed.
The signatories to the PAYMANEX contract may likely be joined to the suit, this paper gathered.
Earlier attempts by the NPP to launch such an initiative had been plagued with similar misunderstandings when the party’s suspended General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong and National Treasurer, Abankwa Yeboah in September 2015, both launched parallel fund raising electronic cards for the party, leading to serious credibility crisis as both camps dismissed the others’ initiative as fraudulent.
Apparently, a contentious agreement named, “SMS agreement between IT company, TextGenesys Limited and the office of the treasurer, New Patriotic Party, was signed by Mr. Abankwa on the 30th Day of September 2014.
According to the controversial agreement, TextGenesys was to make available to the NPP shortcodes through which party members, sympathizers and supporters of the party were to subscribe to daily, weekly and monthly contributions/donations towards their party’s revenue generation campaign.
Similar to the latest scratch card initiative launched last week, subscription to the service was designed to be made through SMS messages and contributions made through the same SMS channel.
The system required members to donate as much as GHC 1.04 daily into the party coffers. The system was allowed to run for a while, before the contract was terminated for PAYMANEX. Funds from this the TextGenesys system are yet to be accounted for by the National Treasurer who has been involved in several other controversial secret financial transactions using party funds.
TextGenesys is said to have been a special purpose vehicle specifically set up by Akufo-Addo’s friends to capture donated funds of NPP members. The company is reportedly backed by a son of Yaw Osafo Marfo, former Finance Minister and an Akufo-Addo loyalists and one Aminu, a close pal of Akufo-Addo who was speculated to have been penned down by Akufo-Addo to become his deputy campaign manager.
Akufo-Addo’s campaign has always been plagued by controversies over how campaign funds are handled. The situation has been linked to his penchant for trusting family and friends over party procedures during his campaign.
The top executives-General Secretary and National Chairman, proving to be non-conformists to Akufo-Addo’s family and friends tactics have had several face-off with his loyalists wanting to circumvent party guidelines.
After realizing the potential confusion arising out of an Akufo-Addo inspired membership registration platform, PAYMANEX, a company closely associated with the daughter of Mr. Kwamena Bartels, former Trade Minister, was given the authority by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to operate the new membership platform.
This paper gathered that based on the arrangement with PAYMANEX, the General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyapong and National Chairman Paul Afoko prio to their suspension, launched the NPP membership platform and contribution platform; a situation that generated controversy in the party as loyalists of Akufo-Addo such as Bugri Naabu (the Northern Regional Chairman of the NPP) and Abankwa-Yeboah described the launch as illegal.
“I want to say that that website is illegal and I would urge all party members and any sympathizer of the party not to participate in that website,” Mr. Abankwa-Yeboah was quoted immediately after the PAYMANEX membership card was launched.
Already, the arrangement with TEXTGENESYS which was endorsed by the National Treasurer and an unknown individual (a certain Charles Lamptey ) is said to have generated substantial revenue for the party but these funds cannot be traced.
The situation prompted the NEC and the Chairman of the NPP Finance Committee, Kwadwo Mpianim to meet early August 2015 to address the anomalies caused by the parallel membership registration. After the meeting, the members who met gave the authority to General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong to institute legal action against whoever was behind the parallel membership registration.
“If the registration and issuance of cards are not being done by the National Treasurer or continue after this resolution, the General Secretary should take immediate action, including legal action, to stop the unauthorized registration,” the Chairman of the Finance Committee announced.
Since he became party flagbearer, Akufo-Addo has been accused of superintending parallel authorities within the party for his own interest and also because of his reported suspicion of some members of the top hierarchy of the party.
This penchant for supporting his loyalists to circumvent laid-down procedures in the party has resulted in several scandals, including the infamous secret account at Ecobank which held over GHC 5 million party funds without the knowledge of the suspended General Secretary and National Chairman.