It appears the brouhaha surrounding allegations some members of the previous parliament took money from the National Lottery Authority ostensibly to facilitate deliberations on the amendment of the National Lottery Act, 2006 (Act 722), has taken a new turn, as Lawyer Ace Ankomah says the said MPs should be arrested by the security agencies for taking bribes.
An amount of Ȼ150,000 was used to pay allowances to members of the Select Committee on Finance after it organised a workshop for them on amendments to the new lottery law, Act 722.
The authority’s legal advisor David Lamptey in a separate emails to the past Director-General,Brigadier General Mertin Ahiaglo (Retired) in August 2016, demanded the money is approved to apparently “push the bill for the consideration” by parliamentarians.
But concerns have been raised about the appropriateness of the money paid to the MPs for works they are already paid to do. Former boss of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short, said the conduct of the parliamentarians require an independent body to investigate it, because of the image crisis that creates for the house as a body.
In a Facebook post, Mr. Ankomah, who is also a member of the pressure group Occupy Ghana, said the conduct of the MPs is nothing but corruption which requires the long arms of the police to get involve.
“Let’s not mince words or molly-coddle this. NLA paying any monies, whatever it is dressed-up as (“per diem,” “T&T,” “push,” etc.) to MPs to do work for which they are paid salaries and allowances, is corruption. Demanding the monies is extortion.”
Mr. Ankomah also said not only the MPs who should be arrested but officials of the lottery authority who abetted in the mess, should also be hauled before the court for the necessary punitive action taken against them
“Police, CID, EOCO bosses, arrest the MPs and the relevant NLA officers! Investigate the allegations. Madam AG, prosecute them. Let the courts pronounce on their guilt or otherwise.”
But Director of Public Affairs of Parliament Kate Addo, who admitted the monies were taken by the previous parliament, does not see any prosecution in this matter, though she concedes the issue further dents parliament’s already battered image.
Meanwhile, Lawyer Lamptey has declined to respond directly to the email he sent to the MPs, describing as confidential emails sent to people over issues that affect their operations.
“I must say that our [corporate] emails are confidential; and so I’m not sure where this email is coming from; I haven’t read that email [and] I am not in the position to speak to it because I haven’t identified the email; you are reading it out to me. I don’t know the source, I don’t know whether it’s the same email [and] whether it was generated by me; I would need to check your source and then check what transpired during that process.”