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20 October 2016

NDC wants to ‘hang’ me – Rawlings

rawlingsThe brouhaha surrounding the ‘fairly heavy’ $2 million ‘new notes’ which Sani Abacha, former President of Nigeria, gave to former President Jerry John Rawlings, has taken a new twist.

Former President Rawlings is pointing accusing fingers at some bigwigs in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for inducing Dr. Henry Lartey, leader of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), to vilify him.

According to the former Commander-In-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, some top men within the ruling NDC, which he formed out of his sweat and blood, have turned around to ‘stab’ him in the back by masterminding the vilification by the GCPP leader.

Rawlings could not fathom why every attempt was being made by his own people (the gurus in NDC) to deliberately garble and sully his reputation, while ‘shedding tears’ about the deterioration of respect, especially, for the elderly in society.

Interacting with some members of the Queenmothers Foundation of Ghana at his office in Accra recently, Mr. Rawlings made reference to the widely publicised $2 million gift he received from the late Nigerian President, Sani Abacha, when both of them were heads of state.

His reference followed concerns by the traditional rulers, who expressed worry over the negative backlash directed at him, stressing that he was surprised to note that the people behind the whole issue were members of his own party.

To back his claims, he named Dr. Henry Lartey, flagbearer of the GCPP, for spewing “vile stuff” against him (Rawlings).

Dr. Lartey had petitioned the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to probe the $2 million gift, which Mr. Rawlings has not denied receiving. Dr. Lartey indicated on an Accra-based radio, Onua FM: “The perpetrator of corruption is walking about free. We will fight them and fight until they come out with the truth, and the truth will be judged by the courts.”

Ostensibly, Mr. Rawlings appears to be bitter, as he stated that Henry Lartey was being influenced by persons in a party he founded (NDC). “About three days before his drama, I got information that he was going to be financially rewarded for what he did, and incidentally, he was instigated, not by people in the opposition,” Mr. Rawlings added.

Interesting, but on a serious note, former President Rawlings indicated that he was ready to face off with Dr. Lartey, come what may, including the use of a lie detector or go the traditional way. “Why are people worried about the level of integrity we’ve tried to maintain? We say we are Christians; we swear on the Bible; Muslims on the Qur’an; I’d like to invite people like him (Lartey) that we go traditional as well. That we invite the white man’s technology (lie detector) to also come and verify the truthfulness, the integrity of my word, and for him to be simply asked who paid him to do what he did?” Mr. Rawlings remarked.

A report on citifmonline, dated Monday 11th July, 2016, headlined, ‘Nigeria’s Abacha gave me $2m not $5m – Rawlings confesses’, said that the “Former President Jerry John Rawlings has rejected claims that he received $5 million from former Nigerian President Sani Abacha. Mr. Rawlings, while speaking to the Guardian Newspaper in Nigeria, admitted receiving the money from the then President of Nigeria, but said it was $ 2 million, and not $5 million, as alleged.

According to the story, Mr. Rawlings, prior to the confession, had failed to confirm or deny the story, which was first reported by The Chronicle Newspaper.

In the 1990s, The Chronicle let the cat out of the bag that the ex-President in question, J.J. Rawlings, had collected such an amount of money from the then Nigeria President, Sani Abacha.

Meanwhile, when the matter of the alleged bribe money from Nigeria broke, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), founded by Jerry Rawlings, put up a strong defence for him (J.J. Rawlings) when the matter went on the floor of Parliament for investigations to be conducted into the matter by the then Speaker of Parliament, Justice D.F. Annan.

A motion by the then Minority for the investigation was shot down, because the Speaker had ruled at the time that the Minority did not bring enough evidence to support their call for investigations.

Below is an excerpt of what transpired in the interview with The Guardian on his (Rawlings) anti-corruption and alleged $5million ‘gift’ from Abacha.
“… He was a very noble, quiet looking and elderly man. He was respectable looking. In fact, what he said (‘Sir, we need you more than you need us’, Rawlings quoted one Gwarzo who was sent by Abacha), simply disarmed me. So I said it was okay. He could send for the parcel (which was in the boot of a car). His assistant then went and brought in the parcel – 2 million dollars: new notes packed in plastic bags, fairly heavy. We left it in the sitting room.

“We finished with some niceties and he left. I informed some of my close comrades of the parcel from Abacha. I gave away about 350,000 dollars to two people for urgent disbursements. One of our senior colleagues, who was in charge of an exercise, drew down certain amounts. We went on like this until the suitcase was exhausted…”

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

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