From Francis Owusu-Ansah, Sunyani .
Barley a week after members of the Berekum West District Assembly in the Brong-Ahafo Region took GH¢54,000 from the District Chief Executive (DCE) nominee, Mr. Martin Obeng Adjei, and yet ditched him, The Chronicle can report that, at least, nine of them have refunded their share of the ‘confirmation cash’.
On July 27, 2018, the 27-member assembly, made up of nine government appointees, gathered to confirm the President’s nominee, Mr. Obeng Adjei, at Jinijini, the district capital.
However, before the exercise, supervised by Mr. Eric K. Owusu, Berekum Municipal Electoral Officer, could get underway, the honourable assembly members bargained with the nominee to grease their palms with GH¢2,000 each to soften the grounds for his smooth endorsement.
Mr. Obeng Adjei, a retired educationist, managed to raise the amount demanded and went into the confirmation exercise with all the confidence needed to emerge victorious.
Just as a former General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Owusu Afriyie (Sir John), once said, delegates must be feared,when the confirmation exercise was over, Mr. Obeng Adjei came crashing on his knees, as he could only secure 12 ‘Yes’ votes, representing 44% out of the 27 valid votes cast.
He needed at least 18 votes to be confirmed as DCE, but, alas, neither the words of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Kwaku AsomahCheremeh, nor the monies paid, could convince the assembly members to accept him.
The battle was over for the nominee, because, per the standing orders of the District Assembly, the result meant an outright rejection, and the President may have to nominate another person.
But, for the assembly members who took GH¢2,000 each to execute an assignment, the battle was for them to justify why they should keep the monies after they refused to act as agreed.
The Chronicle gathered that moments after the election, some of the assembly members approached the rejected nominee and assured him of returning his monies.
Speaking to The Chronicle via phone yesterday, the Assembly Member for the AtonetiaElectoral Area, Isaac Adjei, confirmed that nine of his colleagues had refunded monies they took from Mr. Obeng Adjei.
“Yes, at least, I can tell you that nine of us have refunded the monies, because we cannot keep the monies for no work done,” he said.
According to him, he was personally present when the monies were returned to the nominee.He, however, kicked against the idea of assembly members taking monies before endorsing District and Municipal Chief executives.
He pointed out that the nominee is an accomplished educationist, whose experience was going to help accelerate the development agenda of the new district.
“It is very disturbing that such a person, who was one time a deputy Municipal Director of Education, should be treated this way,” he lamented, and called on the media to wage a relentless crusade against the practice.