& Others Trapped
In GH¢500, 000 Security Cash Shame
The Herald’s continuous nosing in and around Parliament, have reveal naked dishonest behavour of the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and a list of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are currently serving as Ministers in the government of Nana Akufo-Addo.
This paper’s unimpeachable sources in the accounts department of Parliament, revealed that the now Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, while leading the Minority caucus between 2013 to 2016, although had a 24-hour police protection in his house, as well as bodyguards wherever he went, secretly collected a sum of money made available to MPs, to hire preferred security personnel of their choice.
Also in this web are the then Deputy Minority Leader and now Minister of Defense, Dominic Nitiwul; the then Minority Chief Whip, Daniel Botwe, now Minister for Regional Reorganization and Development; the then 1st Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Irene Naa Torshie, now Administrator of District Assembly Common Fund; the then 2ND Deputy Minority Chief Whip and now Minister for Employment and Labour, Ignatius Baffour Awuah.
They pocketed a total of GH¢500, 000, behind closed doors, although as top opposition leaders in the legislative arm of government, the House, had provided police protection, thus excluded from the GH¢100,000 each MP took home at the time to arrange for his or her personal security.
The revelations show that, both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NPP), have not been truthful and prudent with the resources of this country.
The Herald’s information is that, despite huge protest from the Account’s department of Parliament, Mr. Kyei Mensah Bonsu, insisted he be paid. He and the others, were given the security money to chop, while keeping the police as their bodyguards in their homes and cars.
The GH¢100, 000 security cash, came at a time the Minority and the Majority sides of the House, agitated for individual police protection. Although the public vehemently objected to this demand, the MPs secretly put in place a financial package, with those untitled to it also profiting, while enjoying police protection from their homes and away from home.
It is not clear, whether the then Majority Leader, Dr. Benjamin Kumbour, and his colleagues in leadership, also collected the money, having been allocated the same police protection as happened to Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Dominic Nitiwul, Dan Botwe, Irene Naa Torshie and Ignatius Baffour Awuah.
The security money comes on the heels of The Herald’s revelation that, inside the current Parliament, some MPs on the NPP side of the House, have dishonestly pocketed GH¢90,000 rent allowance, while they live in government bungalows as Ministers in the Akufo-Addo government.
The Herald, on Wednesday reported that it was reliably informed that, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s 110 ministers, illegally collecting rent allowances from Parliament, although they have been allocated state bungalows as ministers of state.
Details are that, a good number of the 70 MPs, who double as Ministers, are secretly enjoying packages that come with being Legislators, and at the same time dishonestly enjoying the ones from the Executive, when in actual fact, they are entitled to only one.
These MPs this paper is informed, have each pocketed 20 per cent of their salaries as allowance for their accommodation, and shortly thereafter, moved into state bungalows as Ministers in the Akufo-Addo government. They each collected a whopping GH¢90, 000 in March 2017, from the coffers of Parliament.
They were expected to honorably return the GH¢90, 000 rent allowance to Parliament, after becoming ministers, but this was not done.
The list of MPs intercepted by this paper, reveals names of bigwigs of the government. They are OseiKyei Mensah Bonsu, Minister of Communications, Ursula Gifty Owusu-Ekuful; Dominic Nitiwul and a Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, KojoOppong-Nkrumah, Deputy Information Minister.
The rest are; Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako Attah; Dan Kwaku Botwe and Special Development Initiative Minister, Mavis Hawa Koomson.
This brings to mind, the spirited arguments that were raised last year, when the president lined-up 110 ministers, the biggest in the history of Ghana with respect to expenditure. At the time, the government and it communicators, defended President Akufo-Addo’s decision, saying not much would be spent, because MPs who were appointed as Ministers, were going to take only one salary and allowance from either Parliament or from the executive.
This also brings to question, the integrity of these appointees, as well as dishonesty on the part of this government, which is accusing some former ministers of the erstwhile Mahama government of receiving double salaries.
The Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID), has been mandated to charge and probe the ex-Ministers. Some of them have been granted bail in the case they believe is a political witch-hunt by the under pressure Akufo-Addo government.