The National Democratic Congress [NDC], says comments made by the Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, suggesting that the opposition party will free jailed former GYEEDA boss, Abuga Pele, if the party wins power in the 2020 polls, “do not reflect in any remotest sense the position of the party regarding the fight against corruption in the country."
The NDC, in a statement signed by Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, noted that “in matters like this, the interest of the state cannot be subjected to individual or partisan interest", irrespective of the "emotional trauma the family, friends and sympathizers" of the incarcerated former MP are going through.
The opposition party, however, called on the current administration, to "emulate this shining example of the Mahama administration and, muster enough courage to bring members of his government who have been accused of corrupt practices to justice instead of praising them"
It came shortly after the NDC’s Founder, Jerry John Rawlings, condemned the comments by the NDC MP the party.
According to Mr. Rawlings, such ideas and actions will only ensure the NDC remains in opposition for a “long, long time.”
Abuga Pele, a former NDC MP for Chiana Paga, was sentenced alongside the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, Philip Assibit, to a combined jail-term of 18 years on various counts, including willfully causing financial loss to the state.
Pele was handed a four and six-year sentence which will run concurrently whilst Assibit got concurrent sentences of 12 and four years on different counts.
The court also ordered the state to recover all assets and money belonging to the state from the convicts.
Philip Assibit has since served notice will be appealing his 16-year jail term alongside an application for bail.
NDC started prosecuting Pele
But the NDC has maintained that its government initiated the court action in 2014 that eventually led to the conviction of Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit.
“It will therefore be absurd that after a successful conviction has been achieved in this particular case, the initiator will turn around to free any person who has been convicted as a result,” the statement said.
Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, during the NDC’s Eastern Regional unity walk over the weekend, told Citi News that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was working hard to win the general elections in 2020, and will after that release the former NDC MP, Abuga Pele.
“It is unfortunate but I can only say that this will not dampen the spirit of the NDC. Between 2001 and 2004, they sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata, Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adam and Kwame Peprah. It did not stop us from winning elections in 2008. We are going to win the elections and bring Abuga Pele out,” he said.
Find below the full statement
MP’s SENTIMENT DOES NOT REFLECT NDC’s POSITION
A statement purported to have been made by National Democratic Congress, NDC Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo Constituency Honourable Nii Lantey Vanderpuye in an interview with a local radio station has widely been circulated in both print and electronic media.
In the said statement, an unfortunate impression has been created by the Honourable Member that the NDC will release Honourable Abuga Pele, the convicted former Member of Parliament for Chiana Paga from prison, if the party succeeded in capturing power in 2020.
It is recalled that Honourable Abuga Pele was sentenced to six years in prison for causing financial loss to the state.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NDC wishes to place on record that the sentiment expressed by the Honourable Member on the above-cited statement do not reflect in any remotest sense the position of the party regarding the fight against corruption in the country on the matter involving the conviction of Honourable Abuga Pele in particular.
We wish to remind Ghanaians that the investigation and prosecution of Honourable Abuga Pele was initiated by the NDC as part of our strategy to rid the country of corruption, and this strategy involves measures to prevent corruption and how to deal with corruption when it has already occurred. They include exposure, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption.
It will therefore be absurd that after a successful conviction has been achieved in this particular case, the initiator will turn around to free any person who has been convicted as a result.
We can understand the emotional trauma the family, friends and sympathizers of our former MP are going through at this critical moment. However, it is the belief of the leadership of NDC that in matters like this, the interest of the state cannot be subjected to individual or partisan interest.
We rather urge the current Nana Akufo-Addo led – government to emulate this shining example of the Mahama administration and, muster enough courage to bring members of his government who have been accused of corrupt practices to justice instead of praising them and misleading Ghanaians that all his ministers and appointees are clean.
Hon. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah
General Secretary, NDC