….Arthur Kennedy Circles Akufo-Addo & His Rusty Campaign Manager….
Strong indication are emerging that, Nana Akufo Addo, the leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) was part of a secret meeting that diverted GH¢ 6.4 million of NPP funds into a Secret Ecobank account.
This has caused critics within and outside the party to question the financial credibility of Akufo Addo, who has often held himself as an incorruptible politician.
Last week, former campaign strategist of Akufo-Addo, Dr. Kwabena Arthur Kennedy, called for deeper questioning of Akufo Addo’s secret financial dealings similar to the clandestine Ecobank account scandal.
“This issue goes directly to Nana Addo’s anti-corruption and integrity credentials. While the Mahama/NDC regime is vulnerable on corruption, those who seek equity must have clean hands. Nana must be absolved of this charge to be credible on the corruption/integrity front,” Dr. Kennedy wrote in one of his recent periodic opinion pieces.
The account at the Trust Towers branch of Ecobank was opened by a former national chairman of the party, Peter Mac-Manu, under rather questionable circumstances.
It turns out that, Mac-Manu, who is the new campaign Manager for NPP flagbearer, opened this account during his tenure as national chairman on the blind side of both the then national treasurer and general secretary.
Mac-Manu, whom Akuffo Addo, has hand-picked as his current campaign manager run this secret account with the then chairman of the Finance Committee of the party, Collins Adu Gyamfi.
The account became dormant after controversies, only to be reactivated by Akufo-Addo and his ‘Kitchen Cabinet’.
This generated a major friction between Paul Afoko/ Kwabena Agyapong and the Akufo Addo kitchen cabinet, when the former found out.
According to party insiders, this friction was particularly responsible for the plot hatched by Akufo Addo loyalists to get Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyapong suspended.
The Amount diverted into the secret Ecobank account was drawn from GH¢8,855,000 of party revenues generated from parliamentary aspirants of the party.
The Herald, can confirm that this secret transaction was done between Akufo Addo, Freddie Blay, the then First National Vice Chairman of the party, now Acting Chairman, and Kwabena Abankwa-Yeboah, the National Treasurer of the NPP.
The account was done without the knowledge of the then National Chairman, Paul Afoko, and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyapong, who were both signatories to NPP accounts.
Paul Afoko, corroborated Akufo Addo’s involvement in the deal, when he recently granted a candid interview with the Pan-African news magazine, Africawatch: “Now we know from a letter written by lawyers for Freddie Blay to the NEC Sub-Committee that Akufo-Addo was present at the meeting that took the illegal and criminal decision to reactivate the dormant account at Ecobank and divert those bankers drafts into it. These are the things that created the problems. That was one of the flashpoints,” he said.
According to reliable information, as at 2013, the party’s official account was at the GCB bank, but that account, had been drained till it had only GHC 86 in it. “Later we discovered several bank accounts all over the place that had the NPP tag to them but operated by people who were neither elected officials nor appointees of the party, just that they were very close to Akufo-Addo. They didn’t have the mandate or authority to operate a bank account in the name of the party. All those accounts were in the negative by millions of Ghana cedis. Those same people operated a forex account in the party’s name and there was about US$48,000 in it, but not controlled by the party,” Mr. Afoko revealed.
An Ad hoc committee led by Nana Ohene Ntow was recently composed by the party’s leadership to investigate the financial malfeasance of the Akufo
Addo led faction in the party and they uncovered several damning revelations.
Several people were called to testify at the committee’s hearing, including Freddie Blay, Paul Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong and Mr. Abankwa.
At the hearing, the national treasurer testified to the Committee that after collecting the bank drafts from the parliamentary aspirants, some directly from the regions and others from the general secretary, he held on to them for some time without lodging them in the party’s bank accounts.
According to him, his reluctance to deposit the monies into the GCB accounts operated jointly by the treasurer, the general secretary and the national chairman was because the general secretary and national chairman had written to instruct the bank not to recognize him, the treasurer, as a signatory to the party’s GCB accounts. According to the treasurer, lodging the funds in the GCB accounts would have meant that he would have been excluded from the management of these funds since, according to him, only the signatures of the national chairman and general secretary were used to operate the GCB accounts.
However, information trickling in from party sources indicates that at the time he was holding on to the bank drafts, Akufo Addo and a few members of the kitchen cabinet were hatching plans on how not to lodge the money in the party accounts.
The GHC 6 million in the Ecobank account was disbursed without the knowledge key party leaders.
Some of the revelations that had had Akufo Addo’s names written all over it includes the snatching of the party’s text messaging funding system from Textgenesys operated by telecom giant MTN to be given to alleged cronies of Akufo Addo from another dubious IT company and ultimately diverting all the accrued funds and the almost GHC 1 million spent on the recent Talensi by-elections without the knowledge of key officials of the party.
“In my judgment, these issues that go to the credibility of Nana are the most important,” Dr. Kennedy charged.