Nii Lante Vanderpuye (l) Former President Mahama (m), Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah (r)
Information reaching DAILY GUIDE indicates that some former ministers in the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and Members of Parliament (MPs), who have been caught in an alleged double-salary scandal, are submitting their bank statements to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.
It has emerged that a number of them have already sent their bank statements for scrutiny by the CID, despite the claim by top-notch members of the NDC that the move to investigate them is a case of ‘political witch-hunt.’
According to sources, there were frantic efforts by some of the former ministers last week to get through to their bankers to get details of their monthly salary structure for onward submission to the police.
DAILY GUIDE has learnt that some of the former ministers, who allegedly drew salaries as MPs and ministers of state, detected the double salary anomaly and notified the authorities for the right thing to be done.
However, it is unclear if the monies that had already been credited to the accounts of such people were returned to chest.
Bernard Allotey Jacobs, NDC Central Regional chairman, who conceded that some of the ex-ministers who were MPs actually received double salaries, said they were ready to use their ex-gratia to offset them.
A list stumbled upon by DAILY GUIDE has the names of sitting MPs like Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, former Majority Leader Alban Bagbin, former Greater Accra Regional Minister Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, former Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister Eric Opoku, former Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, among others, on it.
It’s not clear if they had ever been paid double from 2013 to 2016 as being alleged, while former MPs like Alhassan Azong, Mustapha Ahmed and Aquinas Tawiah Qunasah also made it to the list as likely to have had similar benefits for the same period. Alhassan Azong flatly denied it when DAILY GUIDE reached him last night.
Attempts to reach others were unsuccessful, but the CID indicates that it’s going ahead with the probe.
In all, about 48 names are on the list spanning five years from 2012.
Edward Nii Lante Vanderpuye, former sports minister and MP for Odododiodioo, whose name appeared on the list, had flatly denied the allegation, saying that he had not received any invitation from the CID, likewise Mr Azong.
Mr. Bagbin, the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and NDC MP for Nadowli/Kaleo, has already confirmed that he had been contacted by the CID and even said on social media that he suspected that people within his political fraternity might have leaked the information to the authorities after which he had to honour a police invitation.
On his Twitter handle on Wednesday, April 11 – after the minority’s press conference – Mr Bagbin alleged that some selfish individuals wanting to lead the opposition party might have leaked the names to the CID.
“If anybody thinks that leaking our names to the police CID thwarts our chances and advances their selfish claim to leadership in our party, then my brother, think again because when we go down, we go down together. A word to the wise,” according to the tweet.
Haruna Iddrisu had also been contacted and is likely to meet the CID on Thursday, April 19, having told the police that he was out of the country.
Interestingly, the names of NDC MPs like Mahama Ayariga (Bawku Central) and Casiel Ato-Forson (Ajumako Enyan Essaim), who have been vocal on the double salary saga, are not on the list.
The police have said that the alleged double salary saga “is contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal and other Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) as amended in 2012, (Act 849). Section 124 relates to the offence of stealing.”
The list appears to show that a good number of the ministers, who served under former President John Mahama, took double salaries for four years, whilst others received double salaries for two and three years, probably because they were reshuffled.
In 2012, four of the ministers, who reportedly took double salaries, are currently not serving in parliament, but by 2013 the double salaried appointees had increased to 22 while in 2014 about 18 were said to have been involved.
For 2015 and 2016, 15 and 12 appointtees purportedly took double salaries respectively.
This list showed that the appointees received double salaries at least once a month, whilst others received them monthly throughout the years.
On Thursday, the CID said that it had not suspended any investigations into the allegations.
That response followed a claim by the minority MPs that the CID boss had embarrassed them by inviting them over the alleged scandal.
A communication issued by the CID indicated that some NDC MPs, who were invited over the allegations, would again be summoned for questioning.
Initially, 25 NDC MPs were said to have been invited by the CID, but the minority in parliament held a press conference on Tuesday and attacked the CID boss and DAILY GUIDE over the invitation and the publication of the story respectively.