The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani East, who recently announced how the political fortunes of President Akufo-Addo is fast declining in Bono Region and its environs, has thrown more light on the activities of two Ministers of State whose misconducts is negatively impacting on government’s popularity.
Among the two ministers; Akwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, has chosen to put the spotlight on his own biological brother, Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh, who is the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, accusing him of buying a state land and hiding it in the name of their retired senior brother,who has gone blind for some time now.
The other state official, is the Bono Regional Minister, Evelyn Ama Kumi Richardson, whom he accused of many things, including facilitating the sale of the state land to his brother, thief of state money, unlawful conducts, smuggling of illegal lumber abroad and disobedience to the President Akufo-Addo by snubbing his ban on foreign travels.
One Maxwell Mahama, described as the Political Assistant to the Bono Regional Minister, who doubles as the Sunyani Municipal Manager for the National Health Insurance and received his share of the exposé, with revelations by the Majority Chief Whip, who is also a lawyer that Mr Mahama has a criminal record with respect to fraud pending before court.
Mr Ameyaw Cheremeh, who has chosen to be shunned by his family and beloved by Ghanaians, especially the traditional rulers and other residents of Sunyani East Constituency, disclosed that the much talked about Sunyani abattoir land was bought by his own brother, whom he referred to as “Government Official One”.
Contrary to the claims by the Bono Regional Minister, before the Appointments Committee of Parliament that the abattoir land is still in the name of the Regional Coordinating Council, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has bought it and hidden in the name of their senior brother ,who is a pensioner and blind.
Interestingly, Mr Asomah Cheremeh, prior to becoming Lands and Natural Resources Minister, was President Akufo-Addo’s first Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, which has been split into Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, and might have been aware of the existence of the land on which the abattoir sits.
The Majority Chief Whip, indicated that attempts to takeover state land surreptitiously, left behind conflicting dates and other things, but a receipt in his custody show that transaction took place sometime in November 2018.
Mr. AsomahCheremeh intends to use the roadside land for his private business; a filling station.
The Majority Chief Whip, accused the Bono Regional Minister and her Political Assistant of being involved in illegal timber sale in the region by hijacking logs arrested by officials of the Forestry Commission and transporting same to Burkina Faso to sell using official vehicles of Regional Coordinating Council as a cover.
The said Mahama, whom he described as Acting Regional Minister and wields enormous power, regularly goes to the offices of the Forestry Commission to collect timber and cash in the name of sorting Serial Callers of the NPP.
He disclosed that on one occasion, a consignment of illegal timber was arrested at Tamale, and one Quashigah of the Forestry Commission at Goaso in Asunafo North municipality of the Ahafo Region, had to be called to intervene for those who arrested the timber to release it.
The Sunyani East MP said, Government Official One, bought the abattoir land which was facilitated by the Bono Regional Minister and was registered in the name of their old brother Nana Adu a blind man, who has no knowledge of the location of the said abattoir land.
The Majority Chief Whip, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Nimdee FM, a Sunyani-based radio station on Saturday as part of his agenda to expose the nature of corrupt activities currently ongoing in the Bono Region under the supervision of the Bono Regional Minister and sometimes involving her.
A lot of allegations have been leveled against the Bono Regional minister which includes GHc400, 000 bribe from the contractor in charge of the secondary city project in the Sunyani, taking 10,000 cedis from the Assemblies ahead of the president’s visit and yet the Assemblies still paid for the expenses, using official vehicles to escorts illegal lumbers.
The rest are the allegations of the minister collecting 12,000 cedis to procure motorcycles to various Assemblies but failed to supply the bikes, conspiring with lands commission to sell off the government lands and bungalows in the region among others.
Mr Cheremeh, had shown documents and text messages to support his claims that his brother Asomah Cheremeh in a telephone conversation, told him that he is now the owner of the abattoir land and he is therefore making plans to establish a fuel station.
The Bono Regional minister, before the Appointments Committee, said the land has been reversed to the Traditional authorities because the land no longer serve its original purpose.
The Appointments Committee of Parliament withheld the approval of Evelyn Kumi-Richardson, because questions were raised about her during her vetting.
Maxwell Mahama in his response to Mr Ameyaw Cheremeh, highlighted that knowledge is power, suggesting the MP lacked knowledge of interpretation and sense of logical reasoning, saying no right-thinking person, will do what the MP is doing to the Bono Regional Minister.
In a press release, the Political Assistant, said the office of the Regional Minister is mindful of the fact that, every right thinking person, must know that a person is presumed to be innocent until he is proved or has pleaded guilty.
But Ameyaw Cheremeh in a quick reply, said the press release issued by the assistant to the regional minister lacks credibility and he is not perturbed been described as not thinking right.
The MP, said Maxwell Mahama was remanded into prison custody for three months for defrauding J. A Adom Ltd a Sunyani based contractor some years ago, a case which is still pending, therefore, he has no integrity and he is not therefore surprise seeing him engaging in various corrupt activities at the Bono regional coordinating council.
Other issues such as her human relations, some illegal travels she undertook as MCE, were some of the issues that the Minority brought under intense scrutiny during her appearance before the committee.
The Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, insisted that the Evelyn Kumi-Richardson, must provide further information on some audit queries and land issues under her purview as Sunyani MCE which she failed but was finally approved.
Earlier in the week, the Majority Chief Whip, many times referred to the Regional Minister as “thief” insisting that the claim has been that women appointees were not corrupt and thieves, but same cannot be said about Mrs. Kumi Richardson.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh, said the Auditor General’s Department, had indicted the Regional Minister for employing lies to obtain state funds for her private trip to Canada in the name of an official trip to revive a sister city arrangement with the Canadian city of Nanaimo.
Her trip was described as “unapproved”, “unlawful” and disobedience to President Akufo-Addo’s ban on foreign trips. She was to refund an amount of GHC33, 283.40, but this has not been done by her.
The revelations, came about when pressure groups called; Coalition for Good Governance and Accountability in the
Bono Region and other NPP party-stalwarts, raised red flag over the Bono Regional Minister’s conducts in the region.
The group in a press release alleged that the Bono Regional Minister took GHC400, 000 cedis bribe from the contractor in charge of the Secondary City Project in the Sunyani municipality, which is stalling progress of work.
They hinted that, the Bono Regional minister levied all the Assemblies in the region to the tune of 10,000 Ghana cedis each ahead of President Akufo-Addo’s visit and yet everywhere he (Mr. President) went, the Assemblies still paid for the expenses.
They also alleged that the minister, levied all the Assemblies 12,000 cedis to procure motorcycles, but failed to supply the bikes to the various Assemblies.
According to them, the Bono Regional minister, has already made plans with the lands commission to sell off the bungalows opposite the prisons service and related lands to a businessman in Sunyani at a fee that is almost equal to a free gift, while the minister herself will take a huge sum of money from this said businessman as “kickback”.
However, the Majority Chief Whip, commenting on the allegations, affirmed the corrupt nature of Evelyn AmaKumi Richardson.
Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh, said the Regional Minister, has defied Presidential directive and spent thousands of Ghana Cedis on unapproved foreign travels which the Auditor General Report has indicted and directed that she makes a refund, but she has failed to comply with that directives.
On her nomination, the NDC MPs, argued that the nominee was not fit for the office, given a number of controversies she’s embroiled in.
Speaking on the floor ahead of her approval, North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, accused Mrs. Kumi Richardson of perjury when she appeared before the appointments committee, a statement the Majority Chief Whip has confirmed.
The Sunyani East MP, insisted that the Bono Regional minister lied at the vetting over her certificates and the Sunyani abattoir lands, because she as the then MCE, conspired and sold the old abattoir land to her friend.
Mrs. Kumi Richardson’s appointment was first disapproved by the committee over certain audit queries relating to a land acquisition case in March 2019, but was subsequently approved.