Latest twist to the New Patriotic Party (NPP)-led extortion scandal on state-owned ADB bank indicates that the party has pleaded with the point man in the damning exposé-Alexander Afenyo Markin, not to reveal names of other key party people allegedly involved in the mafia-like move that saw several of them lining their pockets with mega sums fleeced off the ADB bank.
Republic Newspaper sources within the NPP revealed that on October 2, 2015, a secret meeting was held at the Nima residence of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the flagbearer of the NPP, where the deal with Afenyo Markins was sealed.
Afenyo-Markins, an Ewe hailing from Tsiame a small town close to Anyako in the Volta Region, is said to have been persuaded during the meeting to take the fall for the other powerful members of the party involved in the scandal in return for a juicy appointment if the party comes to power in 2016.
The beleaguered Afenyo-Markins is expected to shield key reported culprits in the scandal, such as: Dr. Osei Assibey, an outspoken NPP parliamentarian, former deputy Finance Minister and Minority spokesperson on Finance, Anthony Osei Akoto, First Vice Chairman of the NPP, Freddy Blay, Freddie Blay’s special assistant ‘ Bonzoh’ and Dan Botwe, a former General Secretary of the opposition party.
Meanwhile, Afenyo-Markins, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Efutu in the Central Region, was over the weekend picked up by the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection the ADB scandal which was leaked through a secretly recorded tape implicating him, his client Dr. Assibey Yeboah and some top member of the NPP hierarchy over extortion of six figure bribe from the ADB to allow the bank to float its Initial Public Offer (IPO) on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
He was said to have gone to the police last Saturday in the company of his lawyer and two other unnamed individuals.
It is unclear if the CID succeeded in extracting key information from him when he was picked up. If they did, Afenyo-Markin would have breached the alleged understanding he had with the party top men from the October 2 meeting at the Nima residence of Akufo Addo.
His arrest followed petitions and pressures from individuals such as Alban Sumana Bagbin the Majority Leader in Parliament and seven other civil society groups such as anti-corruption crusader-Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII).
When the CID picked up the embattled Afenyo-Markins, he was reportedly detained for several hours before he was granted police enquiry bail to be reporting daily.
Police source at the CID headquarters hinted that the bail application was to the tune of GH¢500,000 with two sureties.
Afenyo-Markin, who sought an injunction against the l ADB IPO, is alleged to have been bribed with as much as $400,000 by some interested groups to back down from the writ he had filed at the Supreme Court to rescind the planned IPO.
Secret tape recordings revealed that the NPP’s alleged bribery Mafia had conspired to fleece the state-owned bank of millions of Ghana cedis as a pre-condition for dropping their plans to frustrate the bank’s decision to do an Initial Public Offer of its shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The scandal involves a complex web of the ‘cartel’ using legislative bureaucracies and judicial manipulations to scuttle the ADB’s IPO unless the bank agreed to part with huge sums to bribe the controversial litigation spearheaded by the NPP’s New Juaben South MP, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah whose attorney Alex Afenyo Markins-also an NPP parliamentarian, filed a writ of injunction at the Supreme Court against the IPO.
Minority NPP parliamentarians led by Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and former Finance Minister had raised issues with the mode of the ADB IPO, but were said to have been shut down in their opposition to the deal after sums ranging between GHC450,000 to GHC1 million exchanged hands as a condition for them to stop their opposition to the IPO.
Meanwhile, Afenyo Markins and his client, Dr. Assibey Yeboah are reported to have pocketed GHC 250,000 in return for him to merely conduct “legal Gymnastics” with the assurance that the Supreme Court hearing the injunction appeal would be frustrated to throw out the case for want of a solid argument against the IPO.
Freddie Blay, the First Vice Chairman of the NPP is reported to be deeply involved in the scam as he reportedly used his family ties with the ADB boss, Stephen Kpordzih instigate a string of processes leading to the six-figure extortion of ADB.
Freddie Blay is said to have used intermediary his special assistant Bonzoh (real name Francis Wilmot) in the whole scheme. Apart from being a “nephew” of Freddy Blay, he is also known to be a childhood friend of the loud-mouthed NPP lawyer, Alex Afenyo Markins, who was captured in on the damning secret tape boasting about the bribe he received to stop his fight against ADB’s proposed Initial Public Offer (IPO).
In the series the secret recordings said to have been made by Bonzoh of his interactions with Afenyo Markins, he kept referring to Freddie Blay as the “Old Man” who had a deep interest in the case. “…let’s see how you can just save this because Oldman is interested,” Bonzoh said, referring to an attempt to save the dark deal when Afenyo Markins reportedly realized the ADB boss had acted in a way as to implicate him in the extortion ring.
Information picked up by this paper indicates that an amount of Ȼ250,000.00 was delivered to Afenyo Markins at the premises of his Accra Trade Fair offices on 29th June, 2015. On receipt of the money, Afenyo Markins is said to have proceeded to act by cluttering the case before the Supreme Court in the hope of getting it thrown out as he had promised as his side of the bargain.
However, events went awry when Afenyo Markins reportedly got to know, through his media contacts at Citi FM, Richard Dela Sky and Elton John Brobbey of Joy FM, that the understanding that he had reached with the ADB MD, Steve Kpordzi that his withdrawal of the suit should never be made public has been breached.
Fuming at Bonzoh when he [Bonzoh] tried to calm him down over the alleged leakage, Afenyo Markins referred to the ADB boss as “stupid man”.
In the conversation, the names of, Dr. Osei Assibey, Anthony Osei Akoto and Dan Botwe all emerged as parties to the ring of the damning scandal.
The string of scandals involving the NPP began when on 4th June, the management of ADB signed an MoU with a foreign company known as Atlas Mara Limited for an initial equity investment of $50 million in the bank as it prepared its public floatation on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
ADB’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) commenced earlier this year with the intent to offer more than 80 million shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). This IPO raised questions, as the Minority thought, being a public bank, ADB needed to have first received a parliamentary approval before going ahead with the share offer.