Probe Asantehene

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Foul-mouth Kofi Jumah Demands, Says Manhyia Is Looking Bad

Ex-New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP), for Asokwa in the Ashanti Region, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, has called for an investigation into wild claims that Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, bribed the nine-member Supreme Court justices with millions of American dollars to declare John Mahama, the validly elected President at 2012 Presidential Elections.

He cited the 2006 dirty claims against the Asantehene that he had a hand in the MV Benjamin 77 parcels of Cocaine disappearance from the Tema Habour, as another serious allegation denting the image of the revered Manhyia Palace and its leader, adding it is about time these matters, especially the bribery claims were investigated by respected individuals in society.

The elements in NPP and media houses linked to the party, have waged a relentless campaign to downplay both the 2012 Presidential election and the Supreme Court endorsement of President Mahama.

In recent times, minority decision from the Supreme Justices is being serialized and media-hyped, giving a false impression, as though it was what the apex court arrived at. The Supreme Court Justices in other instances, were even falsely accused of fleeing Ghana to a safe haven abroad.

According to Mr. Jumah, the mere denial by the Manhyia Palace that the New Free Press newspaper allegation is untrue, does not completely exonerate the palace. And although he -Jumah -could not also conclude that Otumfor indeed, bribed the justices, their verdict on the Election Petition is very surprising and hard to understand, hence Asantehene, must be probed on the dirty claims.

Speaking impeccable Twi, Mr. Jumah, a former Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) Mayor, said this is the second most serious criminal allegations that has been made against the Asantehene, adding this must not be wished away, but thoroughly investigated because to him “Manhyia is looking bad”.

The ex-Deputy Minister of Local Government in the Kufuor administration, made this suggestion when he participated in a newspaper discussion on an Accra-based radio station, Hot FM last Wednesday. It was hosted by ace broadcaster, Ekuorba Gyasi.

The Asantehene, last Monday issued a statement and vehemently denied wicked plot to tarnish his image with claims, especially from the NPP element that he was given money to bribe the nine Supreme Court justices to give judgment in favour of President John Mahama, but Mr Jumah is not enthused about the denial and so he is asking for more.

In the presence of the Managing Editor of Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt, Mr. Jumah, said he was shocked at the bribery allegation, when he heard, but noted that the time has come for Otumfuo to take the bull by the horn and have some of these claims made against him and the Palace, investigated.

He tasked the Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood, to also take “judicial notice” by developing the interest to investigate what truly may have happened for the judges to have arrived at the conclusion that President John Mahama was validly elected.

“So if someone raises the issue of bribery, you don’t dismiss it. It’s for you to investigate further. So I expect that the judiciary, the Chief Justice, takes judicial notice and Otumfuo too, I will expect that he does not dismiss the issue with just a letter to deny. Because, it has happened once, twice, but until it is proven that he has done that, I will say he has not done it”, he said after he was pinned to the wall by the very probing host, Ekuorba Gyasi.

In his usual hotheaded element, Mr. Jumah claimed he had difficulties appreciating the verdict given by the nine member panel led by Justice William Atuguba, therefore not surprised that people are throwing up such a wild allegation against the judges and the Otumfuo.

The ex-Deputy Minister, admitted having limited knowledge of the law, but after reading the reasons the judges gave for dismissing the petition, he still finds it difficult to understand why and how a conclusion like that was arrived at, that the first respondent was “validly elected”.

“Am struggling to find out and especially after reading what they wrote, their underlining reasons and conclusion they reached, I find it hard to link their reasons to the conclusions they reached. And so it allows for that wild speculation. For me, I will not be surprised that we can prove that somebody went to collect bribe, I will not be surprised at all because of the justification they gave to reach that conclusion”, he said.

He said, the allegation by the online paper must not be swept under the carpet, especially so when the publication mentioned some banks and gave further information as to what happened.

Mr. Jumah in asking for the probe warned it should not be left in the hands of state institutions such as the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), National Security and the Police, since they are all compromised in many ways.

“We have to do proper investigation because the guy [editor of the paper] mentioned banks etc. So they have to do proper investigation and I will not depend on state institutions, because all of them are not credible, the Police, National Security and the BNI and now the judiciary are also joining them”, he noted.

The foul-mouthed ex-MP also noted that the Manhyia Palace, missed a fine opportunity to distance itself from claims that the Palace organized some ‘macho men’ to beat up radio discussants at Kessben FM in Kuamsi, where the issue about the bribery popped up, adding the Palace should have condemned the fracas.

Mr. Jumah, did not spare the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) who he accused of “incompetence” and “arrogance” insisting Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan ought to be sacked from the EC.

He described the EC boss as “an irresponsible public official”.

He averred that the EC boss has not learnt anything even after 21 years at the EC adding, that every election that he has conducted, has been flout with challenges.

“Afari-Gyan must be fired, I will describe him as an irresponsible public official, he must be neutral, but every election he has conducted including the ones won by the NPP, he has been accused. If after 21 years he has not learnt, when is he going to learn? I don’t call Ghana a democratic state. It is a make-believe….if you have a case with me, don’t take me to court go and look for some elders”, he lamented.

Meanwhile, Chiefs in Manhyia met yesterday afternoon over media allegations that the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, influenced the outcome of the election dispute by bribing the Supreme Court Judges.

The allegation, which was in a form of an article published in the New Free Press newspaper which has no known office and editors, was the subject of a newspaper review discussion on Kessben FM, a Kumasi-based radio station on Monday September 9, 2013.

In a strongly-worded statement, the Asantehene described the claim as “insulting” and “reprehensible”.

It added that the Palace would ensure that an appropriate response is given in due course.

Meanwhile, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, was mentioned to have chaired the meeting of chiefs at the Manhyia Palace to further deliberate on the allegation.

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