By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

 

Alfred Agbesi Woyome
Alfred Agbesi Woyome

As of this  writing (February 21, 2012), the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Aburi Constituency was reported to have just been released from police custody, after having been detained for questioning over his alleged receiving-end involvement in the ongoing Woyome “Gorgormi” national judicial outrage. President J. A. Kufuor’s former Minister of Finance and later Education and Sports, Mr. Osafo Maafo, was also reportedly briefly invited by the police for questioning over the Woyome scandal and released.

At the worst, the NPP side of the equation in the Woyome scandal, as it were, may be likened to the complicit crime of the receiving of stolen goods and/or property. This does not, of course, in any way make the latter any less of a crime, especially when the alleged “stolen goods” and/or “property” involved comes in the form of the heisting of a humongous sum of hard currency belonging to the Ghanaian taxpayer, falsely extorted under the guise of “judgment-debt payments” for no known forensically sustainable contractual breach on the part of the state.

Still, what makes the Woyome scandal even more bizarre is the apparently dogged pursuit by the Mills-Mahama government of players who evidently had no key role in the alleged crime itself, other than the fact that they either appear or are known to have benefited from the purported financial generosity of the criminal suspect, Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, at one time or another. But that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) seems to have elected to pursue, almost exclusively, alleged players belonging to the main opposition New Patriotic Party, in a clearly pathetic attempt at scoring cheap political points, is all the more to be pitied.

At any rate, it is highly unlikely that the Mills-Mahama diarchy will gain any remarkable electoral traction, or capital, from this bizarre brand or tack in the pursuit of justice. At best, it makes the government look exceptionally bad and morbidly disinterested in precisely what the Atta-Mills posse loudly claims to be in dogged pursuit of – justice!

The sunny side of the entire episode, on the part of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, of course, is the fact that while the Mills-Mahama government rather unwisely adopts the diversionary strategy of pursuing virtual bystanders to the Woyome scandal, the case is likely to drag on and linger in the minds of eligible voters for far longer than it otherwise would deserve to be, especially in this critical election year. And the closer the Woyome scandal inches towards Election 2012, the more electoral capital it garners for the Akufo-Addo campaign and the collective forces of the Ghanaian opposition at large.

Likewise, the blindly cynical decision taken by Alhaji Iddrisu Bature and the staff of his so-called Al-Hajj newspaper, to publish a running series of exposés on members of the NPP who may have benefited from the alleged financial largesse of an apparently politically unstable and prostituting Mr. Woyome, would do a piddling little to mitigate the epic criminality of the prime suspect who, by the way, vehemently insists on being identified as a card-carrying “Rawlings Revolutionary” member of the National Democratic Congress.

Indeed, even in the O. B. Amoah contretemps, we reliably learn that it was rather the Nsawam-Aburi MP who generously facilitated a landed property purchase and/or acquisition between Mr. Woyome and the traditionally invested chief of Ketase, near Aburi (See “O. B. Amoah’s Charges Laughable and Senseless” Ghanaweb.com 2/21/12). And also that whatever monetary currency might have changed hands was strictly between Mr. Woyome and the chief of Ketase, with Mr. Amoah primarily and merely playing the role of a facilitator.

            If the preceding account has any iota of validity, as the NPP parliamentary minority leader, Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, maintains, then both the arresting police officers and the Mills-Mahama government have some explaining to do, as it were. But even more significantly, this episode clearly demonstrates the desperation of the Mills-Mahama government in its rather futile attempt to distance the Mills-Mahama campaign from its single-largest donor.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected].

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