The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has disclosed that it will petition the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to further probe vote-buying allegations levelled against Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MASLOC, Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria.
According to the Centre’s Corruption Watch arm and it’s partners, there is evidence following investigations that the Deputy CEO of MASLOC breached the provisions of the Constitution when she distributed public funds (MASLOC loans) to some delegates of the governing New Patriotic Party during the party’s primaries last month.
CDD-Ghana believes CHRAJ should further investigate the matter because, during their investigations, she admitted to distributing the items to some delegates.
Speaking on the subject, Head of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Linda Ofori-Kwafo said on JoyNews’ Newsnite that: “Clearly, this is an issue of conflict of interest, abuse of office and there is a need for further investigations into the matter.
“If you look at our Constitution, it indicates that ‘a public officer shall not position himself where his/her personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his/her office’.”
The Corruption Watch investigations revealed the Deputy CEO of MASLOC engaged in an act of vote-buying by giving incentives to voters during the NPP primaries.
The Deputy CEO has, however, justified her actions by indicating that persons who took the loans are eligible.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of the State Enterprises Commission (SEC), Stephen Asamoah Boateng, has jumped to her defense. According to him, the Deputy CEO is right because she gave the money to eligible applicants.
“I’m not sure she gave it to them to induce them. I’m not too sure she did unless there’s evidence to prove that. Unless you tell me that the people in Yendi didn’t have the right to apply unless you tell me they are not paying back. Unless you say it’s free money,” Mr Boateng argued.
Reacting to this, the head of GII described the comments as unfortunate.
“I think when we are applying the law, we should not just look at what the law says and whether your action is actually in line with what the law says.
“I think this explanation is not acceptable and for me, I’m so surprised she’s still at post. We should investigate this matter and if there are sanctions that need to be meted out, we should. And I was expecting the head of SEC to condemn her actions and not rather resort to justify what she did,” she added.