Arthur Kennedy Fires
Former Flagbearer Aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Kobina Arthur Kennedy, has described as “not credible”, his party chairman’s response to allegations of theft and corruption against him and other National Executives.
The Assin Central Member of Parliament (MP), Kennedy Agyapong, who called Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey and his cohorts “thieves”, claimed that the Executives hoarded dozens of motorbikes and other materials he personally imported to boost the NPP’s 2012 campaign.
He alleged that the National Executives were now releasing and distributing the bikes toward boosting their individual chances, ahead of the party’s forthcoming national election in March.
According to Mr Kennedy, none of the current “corrupt” executives deserved re-election.
He has, therefore, threatened to devote US$20 million toward forming his own party to dilute the NPP’s chances of regaining power in the 2016 elections, if the current crop of leaders retained their positions.
In a statement released yesterday, Dr Kennedy said, though he presumed all those accused by Mr Agyapong innocent until proven guilty, he nonetheless considered Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey’s claim that he was unaware of Mr Agyapong’s contributions to the party’s election campaigns as lacking credibility.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I do not assume that any of those accused by Mr. Agyapong are guilty. Indeed, as a believer in the rule of law, I believe they are entitled to a presumption of innocence. However, on the face of it, the allegations are credible enough that they deserve a vigourous and credible investigation. While I respect and consider Jake a friend, his claim that he is unaware of Mr. Agyapong’s contributions to our last two campaigns is simply not credible”.
He said, though he disagreed with Mr Agyapong’s method of tackling the issue, he expected a much more credible response from Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey.
“The way that Mr. Agyapong made his allegations and the responses have left much to be desired”, Dr Kennedy said.
According to him, “there have been disgraceful attempts by people associated with Jake to impugn the accuser’s credibility and to question the source of his wealth”.
“In that exercise, things have been said that may come back to haunt us”, he warned, adding that: “Regardless of how Mr. Agyapong made his money, that is not the subject at hand. After all the NPP, which has accepted his help for years should be the last to question the legitimacy of his wealth”.
He also said it was important the party investigated the allegations through an objective panel set up by the Council of elders because those who are being accused cannot be judges in their own court.
“…Those who have been tarred by these allegations deserve an opportunity to clear their names. Unfortunately, the very leaders who are required, morally to investigate these charges, are the subjects of the allegations. There is a clear conflict-of-interest. Jake et al cannot investigate Jake et al”, he noted.
He added that: “All executives found culpable must make restitution to the party and be barred from office for some time”.
“If his allegations are found to be without merit, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong must be sanctioned”, Dr Kennedy also mentioned.
He said failure by the party to investigate the matter will rob its eventual flagbearer for 2016 of the moral justification to accuse the Mahama administration of similar crimes.
“I urge Nana Akufo-Addo, Alan Kyerematen, Dr. Apraku, Isaac Osei, Frimpong Boateng and all others who aspire to lead this party to join me in this call. Charity begins at home. Let us begin fighting corruption, right here at home”.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has lashed out at Mr. Agyapong, saying no one should take him serious.
The Assin Central MP, has threatened to establish his own political party with a voted amount of $20 million if the current National Executives of the NPP are re-elected.
But speaking to TV3 on Tuesday, Mr. Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, called the bluff of the Assin Central MP, analogizing that any person who publicly announces his or her plans to commit suicide should not be taken serious.
“I see it as a joke,” he categorically stated.
“It is not entirely true,” Sir John said of Agyapong’s accusations.
He said contrary to the expectations of Ken Agyapong and co, the national executives who have put themselves up for re-election will be successful.
Sir John dismissed analyses on the regional elections held last Saturday, observing that all the executives who stood again retained their seats.
He said it was only in a few regions that there was a total overhaul of executives. He cited the Greater Accra and Ashanti as regions which retained majority of its executives.
He said his campaign for re-election has been so far, so good.
“I have done two regions,” he disclosed.
Sir John’s position is being contested by party stalwarts, including Nkrabea Effah Darteh, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong and Yaw Buaben Asamoa.