Ghana's main opposition New Patriotic
Party (NPP) is accusing President John Atta-Mills' government of witch-hunting
after the arrest of a former foreign minister.
Akwesi Osei-Agyei has recently
been under investigation, for his role in rice importation from India. He was
briefly arrested and released after posting a 333 thousand dollar bail.
is accused of willfully causing financial loss to the state, a charge he
The NPP claims political persecution since several ministers in
the former administration are currently under investigation for graft.
government insists the former ministers must account for their stewardship.
Ex-foreign minister Osei-Agyei told VOA that he didn't commit any crime.
am a bit disappointed because of the way and manner it took," Osei-Agyei said.
said the seizure of his passport was illegal.
took my passport when I was being investigated, which I thought was out of the
ordinary. So after waiting for a while and no response, I took the matter to
court, and the case was postponed to Friday, July 24th at 10
o'clock," he said.
denied ever causing financial loss to the state.
is very strange because this is a situation whereby I facilitated the
importation of rice. Apparently the
goods arrived whilst I was out of the office, and the National Investment Bank
took delivery and put them in the warehouse. So where come the loses that they
are talking about?" Osei-Agyei asked.
maintains the corruption charges against him are politically motivated.
way they called me yesterday (Wednesday) and then put me through interrogation
and say you have to bail yourself, self cognizance bail… then of course you can
see the political undertones," he said.
the chairman of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDC) denied persecuting
former ministers. Kwabena Agyei said there is evidence of financial malfeasance
during the former administration that needs to be addressed.
is witch-hunting anybody. Witch-hunting anybody at this age for what? A group
of people have been in government, given the public money to provide infrastructure
of various kinds in a Highly Poor Indebted Country, and they squandered that
money carelessly," Agyei said.
said the current government believes and abides by the rule of law.
are allowing the wheels of justice to roll to determine whether in fact there
were those who pillaged us or just things magically disappeared from state
coffers," he said.
challenged the opposition to come up with a better judicial system that will
address graft allegations against former ministers.
need to be in this country to find out the procedure we are adopting in trying
to find out where this money went. Who built this property, with what money?"
said there is evidence of wrongdoing in the former administration.
know all that they have done. If we start to serialize what they have done,
ministry by ministry, department by department, you will weep for mother
Ghana," he said.
dismissed as bogus claims that the previous administration worked hard to
alleviate the suffering of ordinary Ghanaians.