Barton Odro deserves the sack not re-election (Part One)
Mr. Ebo Barton-Odro, Member of Parliament for Cape Coast and Deputy Attorney-General, must be either a very brave man, or has taken the decision to commit political suicide.
By holding a press conference to break his silence on the events that surrounded the doling out of GH¢51 million of public money to Alfred Agbesi Woyome in dubious settlement claims, Mr. Barton-Odro is re-kindling a flame that is likely to consume his political career.
According to our reports from Cape Coast, Mr. Barton-Odro complained thus: “I have been vilified and insulted by people who do not understand the law, and I have kept my quiet, whether because of the Cape Coast seat…”
For the uninitiated, Mr. Odro still sits at the Attorney-General’s Office as the second in command to Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, Government Chief Legal Adviser, after openly stating on radio, immediately the Woyome scandal broke out, that the state had no case to pursue in respect of the Woyome dole-out.
One needs not be a legal luminary cast in the mould of John Mensah Sarbah to understand this submission to mean that the Deputy Attorney-General, who is paid from the sweat of Ghanaians to use his knowledge of the law to protect the public purse, has by his ‘STATE HAS NO CASE’ submission washed his hands off any attempt at recovering the loot.
GH¢51 million would do a lot throughout the country. At Cape Coast, for instance, it would complete the Cape Coast Stadium, rebuild the Kotokoraba Market, and construct the Pedu overpass, three projects that have remained on the drawing board since time immemorial.
In any society where the rule of law has a place in its political evolution, Mr. Barton-Odro would be defending himself before a court of competent jurisdiction, on the role he played or omitted to play in the huge dole-out to one man, who happens to be a top financier of the ruling party.
The Chronicle is recommending this particular case to President John Dramani Mahama, who claims to be looking for ways and means of curbing corruption in his administration. We are not sure what the Honourable Member of Parliament for Cape Coast had in mind, when he complained that people who do not understand the law had insulted and vilified him.
We know that one does not need to be a Queen’s Counsel to understand that the GH¢51 million handed over to Woyome could have bailed many communities in this country out of the pangs of hunger, and other hardships inflicted on them by an administration that doles national resources away in careless abandon.
In any society where political office is treasured, Mr. Barton-Odro would not be seeking re-election to Parliament House. In fact, he would have resigned from his position as Deputy Attorney-General and left the House of Parliament on his own volition.
By failing to protect the public purse, Mr. Barton-Odro has contributed to the state losing GH¢51 million. and we do not believe one has to be the Chief Justice to know this basic fact. The people of Cape Coast North should reject him with the contempt he deserves. The Deputy Attorney-General has proven to be a liability to the state and Cape Coast. which sent him to Parliament.
By the way, when Mr. Martin Amidu, the former Attorney-General, took the likes of Mr. Barton-Odro and many other officials at the Attorney-General’s Department to the cleaners on the Woyome scandal, where was the MP for Cape Coast and all his knowledge in law?
The Chronicle is inclined to believe that when former President Jerry John Rawlings referred to ‘Evil Dwarfs’ surrounding the President in his address to the NDC faithful at Ho recently, he had people like the Deputy Attorney-General in mind. Our understanding is that the Founder of the NDC is hitting at those whose actions and inactions have led to huge monetary losses to the state. Barton-Odro deserves the sack, not re-election!
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