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Haruna Iddrisu, Mahama Ayariga would be in jail if government was pursuing NDC, says Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo-Markin said claims that the Minority Leader is being prosecuted because of his constant criticism of the government are false

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, has dismissed claims and suggestions that the Akufo-Addo administration is out to get the Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, for his critical opposition to the government.

In a one-on-one interview on JoyNews’s The Pulse on Friday (31 May 2024), the Effutu legislator said claims and accusations that the Minority Leader is being prosecuted because of his constant criticism of the government are completely false.

“It cannot be true that people are standing trial because of their criticisms of the government. Haruna Iddrisu was very critical of the government but he was not prosecuted by the government over the double salary issue,” Afenyo-Markin said.

“If the government was minded to prosecute opposition MPs who criticise the government, then the likes of Haruna Iddrisu, Armah Kofi Buah, Mahama Ayariga and co would have been thrown in jail over the double salary matter,” he said.

Open-and-shut case

The Majority Leader observed that the double salary matter was a straightforward case that could have put many NDC MPs in jail, but for the president’s decision to ask them to pay back the monies instead of sending them to court for trial.

He said President Akufo-Addo decided not to send such a large number of political figures to court to be jailed. Such a course of action would have affected the image of Parliament and caused disaffection for the political class, he said, hence the decision to allow the MPs who took the double salaries to repay them.

Afenyo-Markin called on Ghanaians, therefore, to treat the assertion that some people are being prosecuted over the ambulance matters because of their constant criticism of the Akufo-Addo government with contempt.

It has been reported that roughly 48 MPs who served as ministers in the previous National Democratic Congress government are said to have received double salaries.

They were investigated by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service. The police said the actions of the MPs were contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) as amended in 2012 (Act 849).

Section 124 relates to the offence of stealing.

Some of the then NDC MPs who took double salaries were Alban Bagbin, Haruna Iddrisu, E T Mensah, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, Eric Opoku, Inusah Fuseini, Mahama Ayariga, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, Alhassan Azong and Dominic Akuritinga Ayine.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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