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Minister buys state land and hides it in blind brother’s name – Majority Chief Whip reveals

The Member of Parliament for Sunyani East and Majority Chief Whip, has done what many blood brothers wouldn’t dare to do; exposing the corrupt practices of an influential member of the family, for fear of being ostracized.

But Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh has chosen to be shunned by his family and be loved by Ghanaians, especially the traditional rulers and other residents of Sunyani East Constituency in the Bono Region, by confirming 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, Evelyn Ama Kumi Richardson, at the vetting committee that the abattoir land is still in the name of the Regional Coordinating Council, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, who is the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has bought it and hidden in the name of their senior brother who is a pensioner and also 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.

Mr. Asomah-Cheremeh intends to use the roadside land for his private business; a filling station. The transaction took place in November 2019.

The Majority Chief Whip, who is a lawyer by profession, also accused the Bono Regional Minister and her Special Assistant by name Mahama 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 ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

He disclosed that on one occasion, a consignment of illegal timber was arrested at Tamale, and one Quashigah of the Forestry Commission office 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. Asomah-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, at the vetting 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 question marks were raised about her during her vetting.

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 Asomah-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 and MP for Sunyani East, commenting on the allegations, affirmed the corrupt nature of Evelyn Ama Kumi-Richardson.

Mr Asomah-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 insisted that the Bono Regional minister lied at the vetting committee 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.

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