Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodio, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, has indicated the resolve of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to win the general elections in 2020 and ensure the release of former fellow NDC MP, Abuga Pele.
Mr. Vanderpuye stressed the NDC’s morale remains high ahead of the 2020 elections despite the incarceration of Pele, adding that the party was on course to regain power.
“It is unfortunate but I can only say that this will not dampen the spirit of the NDC. Between 2001 and 2004, they sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata, Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adam and Kwame Perprah. It did not stop us from winning elections in 2008. We are going to win the elections and bring Abuga Pele out,” the MP told Citi News after the part’s Unity Walk in Eastern Region at Somanya.
Abuga Pele, the former National Coordinator of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), was sentenced alongside the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, Philip Assibit, to a combined jail-term of 18 years on various counts, including willfully causing financial loss to the state.
Pele was handed a four and six-year sentence which will run concurrently whilst Assibit got concurrent sentences of 12 and four years on different counts.
The court also ordered the state to recover all assets and money belonging to the state from the convicts.
Philip Assibit has since served notice will be appealing his 16-year jail term alongside an application for bail.
Victims of broken system
Another NDC MP, Mahama Ayariga, put up somewhat of a defence for Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit saying they were only victims of agencies that were allowed to operate without any checks.
Responding to their conviction on The Big Issue, Mr. Ayariga said he was not going to abandon his “comrades” just because they had broken the law.
“These comrades fell because we operated a legal regime that left cracks that became the holes that devoured them. The cracks include the tolerance of unfettered discretionary power in the management of our public affairs and the permissiveness of sole sourcing and other negative practices of allowing institutions to exist without an appropriate legal framework,” Mr. Ayariga said.
Threat of legal action
Mr. Ayariga also said he was going to give some state agencies an ultimatum to present to Parliament, reforms of their regulations or face action at the Supreme Court.
He said he will move against every state agency exercising “unfettered discretionary power without clear non-discriminatory non-arbitrary regulations approved by Parliament governing the exercises of their discretionary power.”
“I shall in the coming week write to each and every agency of government concerned and demand that the regulations be brought to Parliament within 30 days otherwise I will proceed to the Supreme Court to seek an injunction against all that they are doing in violation of the law.”