Feature Article of Thursday, 30 July 2015
Columnist: Sarpong, Justice
Since becoming President in 2012 after the death of President Mills, President Mahama has to always explain his half brother Ibrahim Mahama’s business dealings with the government due to the cloud of secrecy shrouded in most of Ibrahim Mahama’s contracts with the government.
The recent brouhaha surrounding Ibrahim’s use of government equipment recently brought to the country at a cost of $28 million to help Local government to execute its projects is a case in point. How did Ibrahim get his hands on these equipment? According to letters signed by a Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije.The Deputy Minister indicated that he was writing based on directives he had received from the Office of the President. That means it was President Mahama who directed the Ministry to release the 28 million dollars equipment to his brother to execute a ‘philantropic’ project for the People of Ghana which would have been a noble cause if that was the main reason.
Let me jog readers memory to something that happened a couple of weeks ago concerning Ibrahim Mahama and a confrontation he had with a Photo Journalist.A couple of weeks ago, Ibrahim Mahama and some Policemen attacked a photo Journalist taking pictures at a construction site in Accra under the management of Ibrahim’s EP company. At that time, it did not make sense to me why taking simple pictures of road under construction should result with Ibrahim and some Policemen attacking this Journalist physically and taking his camera from him. Now I know the reason. Ibrahim was afraid his cover of using government property procured for use at Odaw river were being used at different construction sites in Accra, Tafo and Klagon by Ibrahim’s EP Construction company for contracts that his company stood to make millions of dollars and using government properties to execute, that is plain stealing of Taxpayers money.
The earth-moving equipment was brought in after Parliament approved a 2014 loan agreement to help provide funding for a new drive to retool the various local assemblies.But in two separate letters, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development directed the release of the equipment to EP.According to Joe Osei Owusu,Npp member of Parliament from Bekwai and a legal Expert, this amounts to a conflict of interest because the equipment has been found at the private construction site of EP at Akyem Tafo where the company is executing a contract.He disclosed on the Point Blank segment on Eyewitness News that when the equipment arrived in the country, they were registered in the name of German Equipment Company.
Why was government Equipment registered in the name of German Equipment Company? Are these government properties still registered in that Germany company’s name?
It might be routine to put your company’s name on equipment leased or on rental but in this case, Ibrahim did not lease or rent the equipment so it is very unusual especially it being government property for him to paint his company name and logo on them. If these machines were registered in a Germany Equipment Company’s name, was this an attempt to pass these government properties to Ibrahim EP Construction Company at the blind side of Ghanaian citizens?
When this underhand deal came to light, the reason given by Ibrahim did not make any sense. According to Ibrahim Mahama:
Ibrahim Mahama argued that such a professional job cannot be carried out without “putting your name on the equipment.”Explaining why he branded the equipment in the name of his company, Ibrahim Mahama stated that if that is not done, people may steal them and sell its parts.If government gives me a truck to work with and I don’t put my name on it and the next thing you know, it will be at the magazine and they are selling it and breaking the parts. What do I say to government,” he asked.
What a poor excuse. Is Ibrahim Mahama telling us people don’t steal equipment with company names on them?
You painted your company name on government property as if it belongs to you and this is the reason you are giving for an attempt to steal the equipment?
I have never heard of such a brain dead excuse. Putting company names on equipment prevent thieves from stealing them? “Shoot”, Ghanaians should then start protecting all their properties by putting make up companies name on them.
What is so annoying is that this Ibrahim saying ‘A good man is never honored in his country’. This has nothing to do about being a good man but an attempt to steal from poor Ghana Taxpayers which has been exposed. The Bureau of National Investigation(BNI) if it is truly an Investigative body without it being an extension of this administration to haunt its political opponents should initiate investigation into this matter. If government property has been used by Ibrahim for personal gain, he should be arrested and prosecuted for stealing.
(CARDINAL of TRUTH)
N/B Joe Owusu, Joe Wise, please contact me, [email protected]