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Vicky Hammah Dismissal Unjustified Says Brother Of Ghanaian Deputy Minister Of Communication Fired Over $1 Million Claim

November 10, 2013

In the aftermath of the firing of Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Lakshmi Hammah, diverse reactions have began filtering in.

In the aftermath of the firing of Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Communications, Victoria Lakshmi Hammah, diverse reactions have began filtering in.

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Speaking on a panel interview on Sahara TV, Lord Hammah, brother of the embattled minister bemoaned the injustice done to his sister through a blatant intrusion of her privacy and the swift dismissal that followed after the leak of the tape purported to be her voice saying she intended to make $1million before quitting politics. “There has been about 5 months of more taping of my sister; some concerning a very deep part of her private life”, he said indicating that Miss Hammah was the victim of a deliberate ploy by some faceless elements possibly within the corridors of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

He added that the issue bordered on state security since his sister was a government official and had to be protected against such acts since she could have been discussing issues of state relevance. He also condemned Miss Hammah’s dismissal. “This is the swiftest executive decision in terms of appointments in the history of our governance” he stated adding that it amounts to rewarding wrongdoing.

President John Dramani Mahama fired Ms. Victoria Hammah less than 24 hours after a tape with a voice purported to be hers went viral after playing first on a local Accra radio station. The owner of the voice was heard in a conversation with another female apparently in a moving vehicle saying she would make a million dollars before quitting politics. The voice also made other serious comments including an allegation that Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender Affairs, Children and Social Protection who is also the wife of President Mahama’s lead counsel in the 2012 election petition met with the judges of the Supreme Court the night before the verdict was read.

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Miss Hammah’s driver, Mr. Lawrence Quayeson was arrested on suspicion that he was responsible for the taping but has since been released by the police.

Contributing to the discussion, senior broadcast journalist Stephen Anti also raised an interesting angle to the whole story. According to Mr. Anti, the dismissal of the deputy minister may have been rushed since the voice on the tape has not been critically examined by forensic experts to determine its genuineness or otherwise and since more serious allegations of impropriety in the ruling government have gone unchecked. “I think it is very unfair if she was dismissed on the basis of corruption for example because the NDC government and the current government has had several issues involving GYEEDA and Suba, all of which are corrupt issues, … so far nobody has been asked to proceed on leave or sit back while these investigations continue”.

He suggested that the mere expression of an ambition might not necessarily amount to an offence or even a proclivity for corruption. He also proposed that the allegation of Nana Oye Lithur’s meeting with the judges was said without any real conviction and called for further investigations into the matter. “If you listen very carefully to the tape which I listened to, her reference to Nana Oye Lithur and the Supreme Court were all like gossip... so for me I think the first thing that the state machinery should do in order to put our minds at rest and Ms. Hammah’s mind at rest and her family’s mind at rest is to come out clearly with any investigation that has been conducted into the tape allegation”.

On his part however, senior broadcast journalist and legal practitioner Samson Lardy Ayenini who had earlier condemned the arrest of Ms. Hammah’s driver on the grounds that he allegedly recorded Ms. Hammah’s conversation defended his position and suggested that Ms. Hammah may rather be the one who has questions to answer to the police.  “Looking at the interpretation that is put to it and the question of the suggestion of judicial interference and corruption of the judiciary then she should rather be the one who should be answering questions at the police station or at the BNI or EOCO”.

He said even though the constitution protects individuals against the invasion of their privacy, in acute cases, public interest outweighs that of the individual, such intrusions may be permissible. “The criminal laws of Ghana do not criminalize the act,” he said.

Mr. Ayenini added that even if it was proved Mr. Quayeson was responsible for the taping, he indeed qualified as a whistleblower and should rather be protected by the police under the Whistleblowers Act of 2006, Act 720. “We are in a country where we are also promulgating a Witness Protection Act so that if you look at it from a certain larger principled perspective, rather, if it is the case that he taped it and took it out, it is a question of someone who may qualify as a whistleblower”. He described the police action as “shameful” and “a lazy job”.




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