Monetization of election isn’t new – Agyemang-Duah on alleged bribery of EC officials in Ejisu by-election

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Former United Nations Governance Advisor, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah
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A Governance Expert Professor Baffuor Agyemang-Duah has said that monetisation is not new in Ghana’s politics.

To him, the system is corrupt therefore, to deal with this matter, a holistic approach will have to be adopted by all stakeholders to tackle the corrupt system.

“We are behaving as if this is a new thing, it is not. We need to find an antidote and stop it.

“In previous elections, candidates had publicly admitted they gave money, both from the NPP and NDC. The system is corrupt, so what do we do? Let us sanitize the system,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, May 4.

He was contributing to a discussion on the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) lawmaker for Kwadaso Dr Kingsley Nyarko who was seen on live television handing over a white envelope suspected to contain money to two EC officials.

The EC swiftly withdrew its officials from the Fumesua Pentecost Church polling station with Polling Station Code F311503.

Moreover, the EC subsequently suspended the two, Regina Serwaa, a Ballot Issuer, and Presiding Officer George Sasu.

“The Electoral Commission has taken immediate steps and has withdrawn the two (2) temporary staff while investigations take place.

“The Commission upholds the principles and values of integrity, truth and transparency. These values are reinforced during the training of all temporary staff. The Commission will not countenance acts which cast a slur on the integrity of the institution and will not hesitate to sanction its officials who violate its laws,” portions of a statement from the EC stated.

However, private legal practitioner Martin Kpebu maintained that the EC must report the NPP MP to the OSP to investigate the alleged bribery of its officers.

Speaking on 3FM’s news analysis programme Hot Editionthe human rights lawyer said, “The EC, having withdrawn its officers, should go ahead and present the matter to the OSP” for the OSP to go into the matter to determine the facts.

Moreover, Mr. Kpebu said that it is time we demand the truth and also called on the NPP MP to admit his wrongdoing.

“He should admit it so that the law will take its course and serve as a warning to the rest of us in society,” he stated.

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Meanwhile, the embattled Kwadaso lawmaker, Dr. Nyarko, has denied the allegation of bribing officials of the Electoral Commission.

He said he did not influence any official to rig the poll in favour of the NPP candidate.

“If I were to influence them, do you think I would do it in a public space? If I wanted to do that, do you think I would have done that in public space?  I did not bribe anybody to vote or to do anything untoward for my candidate.

“I can’t influence the EC officials who are trained, who are honest, who are disciplined to do anything untoward, ” he told journalists.