He lost the endorsement twice and lost his bribe money too, and if the Special Prosecutor gets his way, the Juaben Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) nominee, Alexander Kwabena Sarfo -Kantanka, will lose his freedom too.
Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka has been charged with 26 counts of election-related corruption.
Mr. Sarfo -Kantanka, who failed to secure the needed votes to become the MCE for the Juaben Municipal Assembly in the Ashanti Region after two rounds of voting in September and November 2021, was caught on camera demanding the return of monies he had paid to some members of the assembly to influence his confirmation.
The suspect allegedly gave the elected members of the assembly GH₵5000 each and gave GH₵2,500 to each of the government appointees.
“The Accused admitted gifting the indicated sums of money to the respective categories of the members of the Assembly to influence the outcome of the elections in his favour,” court documents filed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, have revealed.
Members of the Juaben Municipal Assembly in the Ashanti Region had, for the second time, rejected Sarfo-Kantanka as MCE after he failed to reach the two-thirds threshold needed.
He polled a total of ten ‘Yes’ votes as against 15 ‘No’ votes with one ballot rejected. Twenty out of the 26 assembly members boycotted the previous process that Friday, citing the heavy security presence at the venue.
The visibly angry nominee, who failed to secure the votes after the second attempt “went berserk and vented his wrath on the members of the Assembly and angrily demanded a refund of the money he had gifted to them,” the Special Prosecutor said in the court documents.
He demanded that everyone who accepted the cash “return his money urgently”.
The police arrested him and subsequently granted him a self-recognizance bail on November 1, 2021.
The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, invited Alexander Sarfo-Kantanka for questioning following a viral video of him allegedly demanding a refund of bribes he paid for his confirmation.
The 26 counts that Mr Sarfo -Kantanka has been slapped with cover all the 26 Assembly members he gifted money during the election process.
His action, the Special Prosecutor, is “contrary to sections 256(1) and (2) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) as amended by section 9 of the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1034).”
He will appear before a Kumasi High Court on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.
Allegations of potential metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) bribing their way through their endorsements is an open secret in Ghana’s politics. Many civil society organisations, such as the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) have decried the practice.
This prosecution may be a test case for the special prosecutor and politicians who bribe their way into office at the various levels of governance.