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CARE-GHANA petitions OSP to probe vote-buying allegations in NPP regional polls

Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE”-GHANA) a non-aligned and non-partisan civil society organisation has petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to probe alleged bribery in the just ended Greater Accra and Ashanti regional executive elections of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The petition is based on the confession of one candidate who failed in winning the chairmanship position in the NPP Ashanti regional executive polls, Mr Robert Asare Bediako.

Mr Bediako alleged that he paid GHS1000 bribe to each delegate at the just ended NPP Ashanti Regional elections to influence their decision.

Speaking to Akoma FM on Monday, 30 May 2022, Mr Bediako said “while I was paying each delegate GH¢1,000, I thought I would win but some paid more than me so the delegates also gave in to the highest bidder and it’s very worrying the trend of monetisation in our body politics”.

“CARE”-GHANA in its petition to the Office of the Special Prosecutor said electoral fraud is unconstitutional and if not curbed can erode public confidence in Ghana’s electoral democracy and may lead to the use of unorthodox means of changing political leadership.

Below are details of the petition:

THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR,

THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR, ACCRA

PETITION: MR. KISSI ADJABENG

PETITIONER: CARE FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS GHANA (“CARE” GHANA) SUBJECT: PETITION TO INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGED BRIBERY, TREATING AND UNDUE INFLUENCE IN THE JUST-ENDED NPP GREATER ACCRA AND ASHANTI REGIONAL ELECTIONS

A. Introduction

1. Petitioner is an organization named Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE”-GHANA) a non-aligned and non-partisan civil society organization (CSO) registered with the Registrar General’s Department. “CARE” GHANA stands for Election Accountability, Good Governance, Free, Fair, Credible and Transparent Elections that is acceptable to all political parties and stakeholders.

2. “CARE”- GHANA exist to contribute to the consolidation of Ghana’s electoral democracy through the promotion of an independently fearless Electoral Commission and impartial electoral processes. “CARE” GHANA’s areas of work focuses on all election-related matters and good governance.

3. Petitioner says that Ghana’s electoral laws identify that a person commits the offence of bribery if he directly, or acting through another person –

(a) gives money, or obtains an office for a voter in order to induce the voter to vote, or refrain from voting; or

(b) corruptly does such an act on account of a voter having voted, or restrained from voting; or

(c) makes a gift, or provides something of value to a voter to induce the voter to vote in a certain way, or to obtain the election of a candidate; or

(d) if he advances, or pays money, or causes money to be paid to, or for the use of a person, with the intent that the money, or part of it shall be expended in bribery at an election, or knowingly pays money, or causes money to be paid to a person in discharge, or repayment of money wholly, or in part expended in bribery at an election; or

(e) if, before or during an election he directly or indirectly, by himself or through another person acting on his behalf, receives, agrees, or contracts for money, gift, a loan or valuable consideration, or an office, place or employment for himself, or for another person for voting, or agreeing to vote, or for refraining, or agreeing to refrain from voting; or

(f) if after an election he directly, or through another person receives money, or valuable consideration on account of a person having voted, or refrained from voting, or having induced another person to vote, or to refrain from voting.

4. Petitioner says that a person commits the offence of treating in elections

(a) if he corruptly either himself, or through another person, before, during, or after an election gives, or provides, or pays wholly, or in part, the expenses of giving, or providing meat, drink, entertainment, or provision to, or for any person –

(b) for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person, or another person, to vote or refrain from voting; or

(c) on account of that person, or another person having voted, or refrained from voting, or being about to vote, or refrain from voting; or

(d) if he corruptly accepts, or takes any meat, drink, entertainment, or provision offered in the circumstances, for the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a) of this section.

5. Petitioner says that a person commits the offence of undue influence in elections

(a) if he directly, or indirectly, or through another person, acting on his behalf –

(b) makes use of, or threatens to make use of force, violence, or restraint; or

(c) inflicts, or threatens to inflict on another person, a temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm, or loss. Details of the petition;

6. Petitioner says that reports filed on angelonline by Ferdinand Tiekon on May 30, 2022, indicate that, Mr Robert Asare Bediako aspiring chairmen in the recently ended NPP Ashanti regional elections alleged that he paid Ghc1,000 bribe to each delegate at the just ended NPP Ashanti Regional elections to influence their decision.

7. Petitioner says that Mr Asare Bediako alleged that other aspiring chairmen in the recently ended NPP Ashanti Regional elections paid higher bribes than him.

8. Petitioner says that aspiring chairmen in both Greater Accra and Ashanti Regional elections allegedly committed the offence of bribery and corruption by paying huge sums of money to influence delegates.

9. Petitioner says that aspiring chairmen in both NPP Greater Accra and Ashanti Regional elections allegedly committed the offence of treating by paying huge sums of money to influence delegates to refrain from voting for other aspirants.

10. Petitioner says that aspiring chairmen in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regional elections allegedly promised delegates job opportunities in the security services and scholarships abroad to influence voters to vote for them.

11. Petitioner says that aspirants in both Greater Accra and Ashanti Region threatened delegates with spiritual injury and damages if not voted for.

12. Petitioner says that delegates in the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regional elections allegedly corruptly obtain, money, drinks, food and provisions in circumstances that induce the voter to vote, or refrain from voting in the regional elections.

13. Petitioner says that electoral fraud is unconstitutional if not curbed can erode public confidence in Ghana’s electoral democracy and may lead to the use of unorthodox means of changing political leadership.

Conclusion

It is our earnest prayer that these allegations of bribery and corruption in the NPP’s Ashanti Regional and Greater Accra Regional elections will be thoroughly investigated and perpetrators prosecuted to deter others from desiring or repeating such acts inimical to Ghana’s democratic development.

……………………….

David Kumi Addo

Executive Director

“CARE” GHANA

Source: Classfmonline.com

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