Managing Editor of the Insight, Kwesi Pratt Jnr. has cautioned former President Rawlings against his resort to gods to vindicate himself whenever his integrity is questioned.
Kwesi Pratt wondered why the former President would challenge the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Dr Henry Lartey to swear an oath to the gods with regard to the $5 million Abacha gift saga.
Dr. Lartey dared Mr. Rawlings to clarify his claims that he was not corrupt in connection with the gift controversy involving Mr. Rawlings and the Nigerian Leader, Sani Abacha.
He urged Mr. Rawlings to rather make himself available for investigations.
"…We will take JJ Rawlings to CHRAJ for him to come and account to Ghanaians. Probity and accountability; we want to hear from him, so founder, come and tell us, please come and tell us how clean you are. We want to [ask]: 'Are you clean, JJ Rawlings?' Read my lips – JJ Rawlings, are you clean? If you are, don't let us go to CHRAJ; you yourself go to CHRAJ and say: this is my situation. We asked questions and he says: 'Posterity will judge me.' No, we want to judge you now, not posterity…" Dr. Lartey stated.
Mr Rawlings, who’s the longest serving Head of State of Ghana, just this week, dared the GCPP Flag bearer who has petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), to investigate him over the money he received from late Nigerian President, General Sani Abacha.
Rawlings recently conceded in an interview with Nigeria’s Guardian Newspaper that he received $2 million from General Abacha instead of five million which was reported in the media about two decades ago.
Speaking to some queen mothers who paid a courtesy call on him from the Queenmothers Foundation of Ghana, Mr. Rawlings invited Dr Henry Lartey to settle the matter by going the traditional way of consulting the gods.
The former president also told the queen mothers at his office in Accra that Dr. Lartey had been paid to "vilify" him.
"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 revealed.
"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?" Flt Lt Rawlings stated.
But contributing to a panel discussion on Peace FM's Kokrokoo, Kwesi Pratt advised Mr. Rawlings to use the constitutional procedures to address the issue.
According to him, though he (Rawlings) has already conceded to receiving $2 million from the Nigerian leader, he "should back down on his liking to seek intervention from the gods, that is not the prescription of the law" if he wants to clear his name.
“Even the sitting President [Mahama] was hauled before CHRAJ, why not the former President. If President Mahama had said someone wanted to disgrace him and so he’ll not subject himself to the CHRAJ probe, what would Ghanaians have said? CHRAJ is there for all Ghanaians, why is it that some people always want to resort to the gods to establish their guilt or otherwise when they are embroiled in controversies. Not everyone believes in going to swear at a shrine…that even constitute a trial by ordeal which our laws frown upon. So all we do must be done through lawful process.
"...Ex-President Kufour while in power, was taken to CHRAJ, same as former Minister of Health and later Transport, Dr. Richard Anane and former Minister Dr. Sipa Yankey, so what is this craze of Rawlings wanting to always consult the gods," he added.
Henry Lartey Accepts JJ's Juju Challenge
In a related development, Dr Henry Lartey has accepted to swear an oath to the gods – Antoa specifically – as dared by former President John Rawlings, in a bid to establish whether or not he (the flag bearer of the Great Consolidated Popular Party) took money from the governing party to vilify the former military ruler vis-à-vis the $5million Abacha gift saga.
Following the counter-challenge by Mr Rawlings, Dr Lartey told Accra-based 3FM on Tuesday that: "I am not scared, if you believe in God you will face any devil, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I am not panicking; the truth will always be the truth. I am a full Christian and I practice Christianity. Moreover, I am basically an African and if we have African traditions, we go through it. We might perhaps go ahead to see the national imam and the council of the charismatic churches too. The truth is always the truth and always will be the truth…"
"Rawlings hasn't got any intelligence, he's portraying the typical gestures of the PNDC, and I am going to have a press conference to reveal everything I know. I have many things to say. [There's] a lot of information about Rawlings and his wife [that] I have to let out of the bag. He cannot lie and cheat this time around." Dr Lartey said.
He also denied claims that he was paid by the NDC to malign Mr Rawlings. "My father left me a lot of assets and no one can pay me in Ghana. My house I live in Osu behind the Christianborg castle is worth over 100 million dollars. It's quite hilarious to hear that from my friend Rawlings, it's an incredible allegation, he can't prove it. Will he tell me who paid me? Was it General Mosquito or Kofi Adams? This is democracy, I dare him to. Why would I dare a former head of state if he hasn’t taken the money? Was it 2, 5, or 100 million? He should come out to say it".
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