|Kojo Oppong Nkrumah - NPP candidate for Ofoase Ayirebi constituency.|
President John Dramani Mahama should be impeached if it is established that he indeed took a Ford expedition vehicle as a gift from a Burkinabe contractor, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate for Ofoase Ayirebi constituency, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said.
“The intention should be to discover the truth and if truth is that the President has committed an offence in breach of the constitution, of course there are rules that apply to that including impeachment. The objective should be to find out the truth and apply whatever sanctions must be applied,” Oppong Nkrumah explained.
Speaking on the Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News on Tuesday, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, a former talk show host, emphasized the need for a parliamentary probe into the saga to establish the truth.
“At this stage, the allegation is that the President has taken what is considered by many as a bribe ..I share the view that we need a proper investigation into this matter. I think Parliament is the appropriate body to do this and I am of the view that Parliament needs to assert its authority much more than it is doing now.”
“You need a proper investigation into this matter. In developed democracies, the Senate in America will open an investigation, will call all the key actors before them so it is not my word against his word.
There are so many questions on the issue, you cannot take one person’s answer for it and that is why you need a proper investigation.” He further wondered why various religious bodies had so far not commented on the development, saying “it is amazing that you have all of these religious bodies and CSOs that are afraid to speak up.”
Minority MPs calls for impeachment
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah is not the first person to suggest an impeachment after a thorough investigation suggests any wrongdoing over the gift saga. Some Minority MPs made similar calls when the story broke, arguing that the gift was a bribe to influence the President to give out juicy deals to the said contractor, citing a conflict of interest.
Why Mahama might be wrong for allegedly accepting gift
Article 284 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana states, “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office.”
This constitutional provision has informed a new bill, Conduct of Public Officers Bill, 2013, presented by cabinet to Parliament.
According to Section 21 (b) a public officer many not “ accept a gift, favour or an advantage that has the potential to influence the proper discharge of the public officer’s functions or judgment, from a person with whom the public officer comes into contact in relation to the public officer’s functions.”