OUR PARTY IS IN POWER -The police have no say, screams NDC boss
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
Like the play-ground bully, the Suame constituency chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Chief Ali, stormed the Suame Police Station in Kumasi at the head of party hoodlums yesterday morning to put the fear of God in a Detective Inspector, ostensibly to get the peace officer to back out of a case involving him (chairman), or face the consequences.
The party chairman threatened to deal with the police officer if he dared continue to handle the case, claiming it was not for the police to handle and determine the issue at hand. Alhaji Ali saw the case as purely one for the party and Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to decide, and that as long as “our government is in power,” the police have no say.
The constituency chairman stormed the station at a time the investigator was gathering pieces of evidence to commence investigations into a number of issues, including the seizure of a public toilet by the NDC constituency officials.
The ranting chairman is on record to have told the police that the order for the seizure of a public toilet followed instructions from his superiors at the NDC regional office, and would not budge to any interference.
Under the watch of this paper, the Suame constituency chairman, one Mr. Isham, who accompanied Chief Ali to the police station in his unregistered car, objected to the handling of the case by the investigator, accusing him of bias and intimidating NDC followers, citing an instance in 2008.
But the investigator has reacted, saying he was not part of electoral process during elections, except to provide security for the orderly conduct of elections.
Police Inspector Kwakye is investigating a case in which the NDC chairman is alleged to have confiscated a public toilet at the Kotoko area of New Suame for management and subsequent benefit of NDC footsoldiers, reminiscent of the early days of the NDC regime in 2009.
A committee appointed by the Assembly Member for the New Suame electoral area, Nana Kofi Senyah, to manage the toilet facility on his behalf, lodged a complaint with the police after the NDC chairman had arrogated to himself the power to take over the facility, ostensibly to create jobs for the boys, without justification.
The committee wanted police intervention to retrieve almost GH¢1,000 being proceeds from the facility from the attendant who has refused to render accounts to the committee over the past six weeks since the Sub-Metro Council, headed by Chief Ali, confiscated the toilet facility.
By the policy of the KMA, all assembly members have, since 2010, been allocated one public toilet each to operate, so that the proceeds are used to take care of developmental needs of their areas, including maintenance.
The Kotoko public toilet in dispute was handed over to the Assembly Member by the KMA, as part of conditions for managing public toilet facilities in the Kumasi metropolis.
The KMA letter, with reference number S.37/164/01 which vested the operation and management of the Kotoko toilet in the care of Nana Senyah, and signed by Mr. Solomon Asiedu, the Metro Co-ordinating Director for the Metro Chief Executive, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, said he (Assembly Member) would be expected to pay surtax to the Sub-Metropolitan Assembly.
Following this, the Assembly Member appointed a six-man committee to take charge of the facility, and see to maintenance and rehabilitation works.
The Committee members include Madam Alice Boahemaa (chairperson), Issah Ishack, Alhaji Abubakar, Sulemana Moro, Mohammed Yakubu and Karim (No. 1). One Ama Serwaa, alias Ama Karim, said to be the wife of Karim No. 1, was appointed the attendant.
But the Suame NDC constituency chairman, Chief Ali, who also doubles as the chairman of the Suame Sub-Metro Council, would have nothing to do with that, and reportedly masterminded the forcible takeover of the facility a month ago, and re-engaged Ama Karim to handle the proceeds, claiming NDC activists cannot remain unemployed in their own regime.
The Chronicle has gathered that Chief Ali and his constituency organiser, Mr. Isham, are also operating other public toilets in the area for their benefit, which allegation, Chief Ali has denied.
Reacting to the allegations, Chief Ali admitted the seizure of the toilet facility, saying the Sub-Metro Council was compelled to take over the Kotoko toilet facility, because the Assembly Member was not paying tax for the running of the facility to the council, as directed by the KMA.
According to him, only GH¢10 had been paid in respect of tax since the facility was handed over to the Assembly Member, and that the outstanding levy charged had accumulated, hence the decision to take over its management.
He said that the attendant was the same person engaged by the Assembly Member, and that it was not true that the facility had been allocated to NDC footsoldiers for management.
The Assembly Member has rebuffed the non-payment of tax claim of the Sub-Metro chairman, saying the Sub-Metro Council had not worked out any surtax, let alone communicate it for his attention and necessary action and payment.
Meanwhile, The Chronicle has gathered that Inspector Kwakye has declined to handle the case and handed over the docket to his superior, Chief Inspector Nyamekye, the officer-in-charge of Suame station, to assign another investigator to handle the case to ascertain the ownership of the Kotoko toilet facility, and the circumstances leading to the forcible takeover.
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