The New Patriotic Party has temporarily ‘banned’ its Deputy General Secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen, from speaking to the media in an official capacity on any matter until a disciplinary case against him is resolved.
The decision was taken by the party’s National Steering Committee at its meeting on Wednesday, which considered a leaked audio tape of Nana Obiri Boahen in which he made some serious allegations against the NPP.
The deputy general secretary claimed in the audio that the party received an amount of GHC50 billion from Ghana’s presidency for the organisation of its national annual delegates conference in Cape Coast last year.
He further claimed that though he’s an executive of the party, he has not been given an office, adding he had at most times used his own resources to conduct party businesses.
The leaked tape, which went viral, attracted criticisms from the public who were shocked by the revelation from the deputy general secretary.
The party on February 28 denied the allegations and indicated the matter had been referred to its National Steering Committee to look into the matter and make appropriate recommendations.
A statement issued by the general secretary of the party John Boadu on Wednesday said the Steering Committee met on the matter and considered the leaked tape as well as its related matters.
It said the Committee gave him a hearing and also took notice of Mr. Boahen’s public apology “for the false allegations he had made against the “Flagstaff House” and the party leadership”.
The statement said the National Steering Committee has thus referred his conduct to the party’s disciplinary committee in accordance with Article 4 of the party constitution.
“The committee has further instructed the Deputy General Secretary, Nana Obiri Boahen to refrain from speaking to the media in any official capacity until his issues with the disciplinary committee have been fully resolved,” it stated.
Meanwhile the Steering Committee has reminded members of the party of their duties under Article 3(D) of the party’s constitution that enjoins them to protect and promote the good name of the party and also remain loyal and truthful to the party’s cause at all times.
Nana Obiri Boahen had suggested in a leaked private conversation with a supposed National Democratic Congress (NDC) member that he was given a paltry GHC3,000 from the GHC50 billion which the Flagstaff House gifted the party with for the congress.
“Even when we went to Cape Coast recently on an official assignment, as a member of the resolution committee, they gave me only GHc 3000, and received a paltry sum of GHc 2000 for fuel. So in all I was given just GHc5000, while the Flag Staff House had given headquarters an amount of about GHc 50 billion. I’m only watching them; what is happening now is called ‘grabbing, grabbing’ that is what they are doing,” Mr. Obiri Boahen said in the said audiotape.
But the NPP issued a statement Tuesday to rebut the claims contained in the said tape, describing the allegation by Mr. Obiri Boahen as “palpable false”, indicating “no such thing happened”.
The statement signed and issued by the general secretary John Boadu said “Nana Obiri Boahen himself has subsequently admitted to the falsity of his baseless allegation”.
It said the party has taken serious exception to the “unfortunate comments” by Mr. Obiri Boahen,
Prior to the NPP’s denial of the claim, Mr. Obiri Boahene admitted on an Accra-based radio station that the conversation was indeed between himself and an NDC member, but explained what he said in the tape was not a true reflection of what is happening in the NPP.
He said he had to exaggerate what he said so he could get the NDC member whose name has been given as Kwaku Skirt to also open up and divulge sensitive NDC information to him.
“What i said in that conversation is not true reflection of what is going on in my party. But sometimes as mature politician, if you want to squeeze information out of people you need to exaggerate something, because when you show disinterest in what he’s saying, he will not give you enough information.
“But lying and giving him false information, he was able to give me detailed information. Infact the information I had from him has been very beneficial to me as an individual and to my party as well. What he said about the NDC concerning the plans and strategies of the NDC party, I have it all and I won’t discuss on the airwaves; I’m too mature as a politician,” he claimed.
On March 2, however, asked President Akufo-Addo and the NPP to forgive him for ‘lying’ about some 50 billion cedis he claimed the presidency gave for the organisation of the party’s annual delegates conference in Cape Coast last year.
He issued a statement on his private company’s letterhead – Obiri Boahen and Associates, a law firm – claiming the tape was tampered with, therefore invalidating the contents.
“This heavily doctored and fraudulent, voice-mimicked tape, which the contents thereof are untrue; and incorrect ought not to be given any credence and attention,” Obiri Boahen said.
He noted, “I have learnt much lessons from this unfortunate incident, from this heavily edited; secretly recorded; intentionally mutilated and doctored audio recording or cassette, I vow not to find myself under such circumstances again. My loyalty and commitment with/to the New Patriotic Party, shall ever continue to be resolute and firm. ‘To err is human; and to forgive is divine’ says the sages.”
By Stephen KWabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana