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Monday, 13 July 2009

Corruption in Ghana: Ayariga: Calls for Muntaka prosecution misplaced

Presidential spokesperson Mahama Ayariga
Presidential spokesperson Mahama Ayariga

Presidential spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga says calls for former Sports Minister, Muntaka Mubarak, to be prosecuted are misplaced.

Mr. Ayariga said those urging prosecution have no legal basis to back their arguments.

Government has been criticised by a section of the public for absolving the former minister of any wrongdoing in corruption allegations made against him.

Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Atta Akyea is the latest to join in criticising government for using the Bureau for National Investigations (BNI) instead of the police to investigate Alhaji Muntaka.

The BNI investigations that cleared the former minister also found him guilty of misrepresentation.

According to the BNI report, Alhaji Muntaka acquired a visa for his alleged girlfriend Edith Zinayela by falsely presenting her to embassy officials as an executive administrative officer of the Sports Ministry.

She travelled with the minister to Germany at the expense of the state.

This, according to critics is a clear case of fraud for which the Asawasi MP should be prosecuted.

Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show, Lawyer Atta Akyea insisted the investigations were not meant to do justice to the allegations.

In a quick response, however, the former minister who has offered to refund monies spent on Zinayela during his trip to Germany, told Joy News he personally did not deal with documentations on his trips including the acquisition of visas.

Meanwhile anti-corruption campaigner Daniel Batidam wants government to demonstrate serious commitment to fighting corruption by allowing the appropriate state agencies to investigate ministers and public officials accused of wrongdoing.

There is also concern about the interdiction of the Principal Accountant at the Ministry, Adim Odoom who many consider the whistle blower in the Muntaka case.

Mr Odoom and the Chief Director of the ministry were recommended for sanctions by the Head of Civil Service for their roles in the scandal.


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