The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disassociated itself from comments made by its Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodoo Constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye.
The MP is quoted by an Accra-based radio station as saying at the party’s Unity Walk in Somanya: “It is unfortunate but I can only say that this will not dampen the spirit of the NDC. Between 2001 and 2004, they sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata, Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adam and Kwame Peprah. It did not stop us from winning elections in 2008. We are going to win the elections and bring Abuga Pele out”.
Speaking on 3FM’s Midday News on Monday, a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, George Lawson, said the comments by the MP do not represent that of the party.
“That is not the position of the party,” he told host Afreh Kwakye Nuamah, “ [Nii Lante] expressed his own opinion.”
He added: “If the party will come out with its position, we either issue a press statement or a press release or we call a press conference and speak to the issues but for now we have not issued a statement and that is not our position.”
He says the NDC believes in the rule of law. As such, it will not do anything that will injure the judiciary.
“And here a court of competent jurisdiction has convicted a member of a party. It’s the ruling of the court and we respect the ruling of the court. We will not do anything to undermine the judiciary,” he said.
Nii Lante lashed out
Meanwhile, many anti-corruption groups and governance experts including Citizens Movement Against Corruption have condemned the legislator for his comments.
The latest to condemn the comments of the MP is governance expert and political analyst, Ahmed Jinapor, who describes the comments as “unfortunate and ill-informed”.
According to him, it does not surprise him that such comments are coming from Nii Lantey because “he has made statements of that sort before”.
Abuga Pele, the former National Coordinator of the then Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA), was on Friday, February 23 sentenced alongside the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, Philip Assibit, to a combined jail-term of 18 years on several counts including willfully causing financial loss to the state.