The publisher of a Nigerian-based magazine, Ovation International, and a onetime contestant in Nigeria’s 2011 presidential election, Dele Momodu, has released a damning exposé on the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) on how it got money for party campaign towards the 2008 elections.
In his six-page epitaph to the late President Evans Atta Mills, Dele Momodu inadvertently revealed that the late Ghanaian leader received generous cash from Nigerian business moguls, including the billionaire and oil magnate, Jimoh Ibrahim and Clifford Orji Kalu, the controversial former Abia State Governor in Nigeria
Ibrahim is the chairman of Nigerian-based Global Fleet and Energy Group.
These Nigerian money bags were clearly influenced to finance the NDC’s campaign by the late president’s cleric, Prophet T.B Joshua, disclosed Dele Momodu.
“Prof [ex-President Mills] was really determined to win that 2008 election against all odds and he reached out to as many contacts as he could possibly do,” stated Mr. Momodu in his eulogy that had generated intense controversy since it started circulating in the media sphere.
“I am aware Jimoh Ibrahim provided significant support and resources to Prof for the election,” he said.
The NDC has been strongly criticized for securing the funds, as it violates the Political Party Law, which prohibits Ghanaian political parties from being funded by foreign concerns and entities.
Article 55 (15) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana specifically states, “Only a citizen of Ghana may make a contribution or donation to a political party registered in Ghana.”
Kwasi Jonah, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, told us in a telephone conversation on Monday that Dele Momodu’s exposé indicated a clear violation of the party law.
We gathered that the finances that the NDC secured from Energy Bank’s Jimoh Ibrahim might have motivated the NDC government to return the favour by facilitating the granting of a Universal banking license to Energy Bank.
Energy Bank set up a branch in Ghana in February 2011, despite a 2010 declaration by the bank of Ghana that it was not going to grant further banking licenses to banks, especially from the sub-region, given the massive influx of Nigerian banks into the Ghanaian banking sector.
Between 2005 and 2011, over six big players in the Nigerian banking sector were granted operational license in Ghana.
In 2010, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana Dr. Paul Acquah talked about the central bank’s intention. “It isn’t that we just want to put a cap on the entry of new banks.
What we mean is that licenses will only be given to new banks with a unique pedigree. For instance, our market does not have any US or Latin-American bank.
If a bank is coming from any such places, it definitely brings something on board that our market currently does not have,” he said.
Critics argue that when political parties secure funding from foreign sources, they become susceptible to subtle manipulations of these foreign interests.
However, Dr. Jonah insisted that all the political parties in Ghana mighty be guilty of this violation. “It is an open secret. In my opinion, it is highly hypocritical to condemn one party just because it has come out”.
According to the political scientist, the fact that there was a continuous blatant violation of this law guiding how politicians sourced funds, the law might have become unrealistic.
He suggested that a more prudent step would be to allow parties to source funds wherever they wanted.
However, they should be governed by a transparency clause that compelled the political parties to fully disclose how much they sourced from foreign interests.