The vociferous Member of Parliament for Manhyia South, Mr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has advised President John Dramani Mahama to apologise to Ghanaians for accepting the $100,000 car gift from a Burkinabe contractor, Mr. Djibril Kanazoe.
He has warned that, should the president fail to apologise, he would not hesitate to give his signature consent to any move that would be made to impeach him.
According to him, the conduct of the president is a scandal of international dimension and that it would be in his own interest to apologise for his indiscretion
Speaking on News File Programme on Joy FM last Saturday, the Manhia South Legislature said the expiation being offered for the acceptance of the gift from the Burkinabe contractor does not make sense to him.
Napo, as he is popularly known, contended that it the President had the intent, right from the word go, to add the controversial car to the fleet of cars at the presidency, there was no need for him to have paid taxes and duties on the car at the Paga Border Post, as being alleged by his communicators. But in this case, the taxes were paid when, as a president, he is not even supposed to pay taxes.
The opposition MP demanded to know from government sources whether the taxes or duties on the car was paid after the car had allegedly been added to the pool or before it was brought into the country. He noted that up to date, the person who paid the duties on behalf of the president has not been disclosed.
“No records have also been put in the public domain to indicate that the car indeed belongs to the state, as Ghanaians are being told”, Dr. Napo argued.
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh made reference to the statement made by a former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Mr. Emile Short and argued that there is a thin line between a gift and bribe.
He disagreed with the argument that President Kufuor also received similar gift from the former Libyan leader, Gadhafi. He contended that the cars from Gadhafi were not given to Kufuor as a person, but the state of Ghana and that was why no duty was paid on the cars.
But in the case of President Mahama, duties have been paid, yet Ghanaians are being made to believe that the car belongs to the state of Ghana.
Mr. H. Kwesi Prempeh, a professor of law based in the USA also told listeners via pone that, whether the President gave the car to the state or not, he had already walked himself into a conflict of interest situation.
The legal luminary contended that, whatever explanation that had been given by the Burkinabe contractor for giving out the car to the president cannot be accepted by Ghanaians, because he does not owe any loyalty to the people of Ghana.
He, however, pointed out that any attempt to impeach the president over the issue might not be successful, both politically and legally.
Source: The Chronicle