The Herald, has picked up reports about confusion in the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the whereabouts of a huge cash, which was refunded to it by the Electoral Commission (EC) after the 2020 general election.
Sometime last year, the EC paid nearly GH¢2.7 million to the NDC, as a refund of the filing fees paid by its 2020 presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, and its parliamentary candidates ahead of the December 7, polls, but there is controversy over the use of the money.
Ahead of the 2020 general election, the EC, fixed the filing fee for presidential aspirants at GH¢100,000 and that for parliamentary aspirants at GH¢10,000.
In February last year, the NDC in a letter addressed to the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, the General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, demanded the immediate refund of the filing fees paid by its 2020 presidential candidate and some 269 parliamentary candidates ahead of the polls.
The party, had in its letter dated February 9, 2021 cited regulations 46 (1) and 46 (3) of C.I. 127, and demanded that the money be deposited into the NDC’s account with GCB Bank.
The NDC General Secretary’s letter, had indicated that the decision to demand for the refund was taken by the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the NDC.
“Regulation 46 (1) and 46 (3) of C.I. 127 spells out the conditions for a refund or forfeiture of deposits made by presidential or parliamentary candidates. A presidential or parliamentary candidate must obtain a minimum of 25% and 12.5% respectively in a general election to qualify for a refund,” Mr. Asiedu Nketia said.
Per regulations 8 (1b) of C.I 127, “a candidate for presidential and parliamentary elections shall, at the time of nomination of the candidate, deposit or cause to be deposited an amount of money determined by the EC”.
Regulation 46 (1) of C.I 127 states that: “Subject to regulation 13, a deposit made by a candidate under this Regulations, shall as soon as practicable after the results of an election is declared, be: a) returned to the candidate or the personal representative of the candidates, or b) forfeited to the state.
The Herald learnt that the money was refunded to the party by the EC, but while some said its whereabouts is unknown, others say it has been used on party activities, however, the second group cannot produce invoices, payment vouchers and receipts to show the said activities the colossal money was used for.
This has sent shockwaves and tension in the opposition party with insiders complaining about the wanton dissipation of funds at the Headquarters, where huge sums are mostly unaccounted for by national executives.
It is said that, most executives of the party brazenly refuse to sign appropriate documents to indicate monies given them. The sums are also not retired by them when the activities are over.
Currently, the party is going through financial challenges leading to several postponement of its national delegates congress.
Sometime in 2021, the opposition party, had scheduled a congress, but postponed it. It was re-schedule for the first quarter of this year, but with the month of March over, there are no signs as to when that congress will happen.
More to come!