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A Member of Ghana’s Parliament Allegedly Indicted in the U.S.

The minority leader in Ghana’s parliament is calling on the law-making body to take a stance on alleged indictment charges brought against another member of parliament of the ruling party. This follows reports that a New York State county district attorney's office has charged Nana Amoako and a colleague for stealing one million dollars from a Brooklyn-based limousine company. Amoako worked for the U-S-based company before becoming a member of the Ghanaian Parliament. Amoako dismissed the charges as unjustifiable.

Osei Mensah-Bonsu is the majority chief whip of Ghana’s parliament. From the capital Accra, he told VOA that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is ascertaining the facts of the allegations.

“An allegation has been made, and I don’t know what position the minority leader wants the House to take in respect of an allegation that has been made against an individual because on almost daily basis, allegations are flying about against members of parliament. And if positions should be taken in respect of such matters then on daily basis, we are gong to take positions against one Member of Parliament against the other. I don’t think that is the way to go,” Mensah-Bonsu noted.

He said Nana Amoako has denied the allegations made against him.

“I called the Honorable member concerned to my office. I asked of his reaction and he told me that there is no truth in the allegations. He was absolute in his assertion that he wasn’t guilty and that he was engaging the services of lawyers to take the case up for him,” he pointed out.

Mensah-Bonsu said the majority leadership has decided to ascertain the facts of the allegations.

“I consulted and conferred with the majority leader and the deputy majority leader. In fact the deputy majority leader has been charged to follow the case to let us see the way forward for all of us. Having said that I think that the various political parties and indeed and in truth if such an allegation is made against an individual, I mean as I said the case has not been heard, he’s not been proven guilty so one cannot condemn him, and ask for a position to be taken,” he said.

He said the ruling party doesn’t want the country’s image to be tarnished by the allegations against parliament member Nana Amoako.

“In truth we do not want smear on the image of the ruling NPP in parliament or even parliament as an institution in Ghana, and by extension the name of the country Ghana to be dragged into disrepute, I mean it’s improper,” he noted.

Mensah-Bonsu said parliament would not be involved in any cover up to save any erring parliamentarian.

“We will not definitely condone or connive with any impropriety on anybody’s part. So that’s the position. And we will not also engage in any cover up if indeed the commission of the offense has taken place. We want to protect the sanctity and integrity of parliament and the sanctity and integrity of our party, that is what we are resolved to do,” Mensah-Bonsu said.

He urged all political parties to thoroughly check the backgrounds of any partisan willing to represent the party in any capacity.

“Beyond these allegations, that perhaps the time has come for the New Patriotic Party to be more proactive in scrutinizing the background of people who would want to contest on their tickets. And it doesn’t go for the NPP alone, it goes for the NDC (National Democratic Congress), it goes for the PNC (People’s National Convention), it goes for the CPP (Convention People’s Party) just so that the various political parties would be protected. And the integrity of our parliament would be protected if eventually people get elected into parliament. I think that should be our prime concern,” he said.