Alex Sarfo Kantanka
THE WOES of the President’s nominee for the vacant Juaben District Chief Executive (DCE) position in the Ashanti Region, Alex Sarfo Kantanka, has deepened.
The nominee, nicknamed as ‘Aluta’ in political circles, was apprehended over bribe allegations; few hours after assemblymen in Juaben had rejected him for the second time during voting on Monday.
The police said Aluta was captured in a viral video, where he was demanding back his ‘bribe’ money from assemblymen, who he said failed to cast their ballot for him.
As if that was not enough, the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, also in a letter has invited Aluta for questioning over the same viral video, describing him as “a person necessary for the investigations.”
“You may be accompanied by counsel of your choice,” a letter addressed to Aluta said, adding the Special Prosecutor “has commenced investigations into allegations of corruption and corruption-related offences (especially corruption and intimidation in respect of a public election), particularly, in relation to your Alex Sarfo Kantanka’s nomination and confirmation or otherwise as the Municipal Chief Executive of Juaben Municipality in the Ashanti Region.”
The police statement earlier signed by Supt Alexander Kwaku Obeng, Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, said Sarfo Kantanka was granted bail the same day.
“After his investigation caution statement was taken, Alex Sarfo Kantanka was granted bail,” he said, adding that his arrest was in connection with bribe allegations.
Supt Obeng noted that investigations into the case were ongoing, stressing that anyone that flouts the law would be dealt with without fear of favour.
Before the arrest, a video on social media captured Aluta demanding a refund of his money from some people, believed to be assemblymen.
Looking angry and panting for breath, Aluta openly said he would forcibly take his money back from the assemblymen for failing to vote for him during the polls.
The people in the video looked quiet and scared, with the exception of one, who called the bluff of Aluta by saying that he had no money to refund to the nominee.
Aluta, who visibly looked dejected, was seen throwing his hands in the air in despair, amid threats that he would wait downstairs and deal with the assemblymen.
Tension in Juaben
For the second time in a row, Aluta, the president’s nominee was rejected on Monday.
He garnered 10 ‘Yes’ votes as against 15 ‘No’ votes and one ballot was rejected, during the elections, which was held under tight security in Juaben.
During the first election, Aluta, who is very popular in Juaben and the nearby communities, managed to secure just five ‘Yes’ votes from the same assemblymen and was re-nominated to go for a second approval process.
Even though the 10 ‘Yes’ votes that he secured during the second election was an improvement on the first polls, it was woefully not enough to secure him the confirmation.
There was tension in Juaben immediately the results of the polls were announced as angry supporters of Aluta threatened to physically attack the assemblymen.
The heavy presence of armed policemen at the election venue and in the streets of Juaben, proved vital as the security agencies worked to maintain law and order.
Ahead of the second voting, the Juaben Traditional Council deflated reports that Nana Otuo Serebuor, the Juaben Paramount Chief, had ordered assemblymen to kneel and beg him for voting against Aluta last Friday.
A statement signed by Kwaku Ankoma Asare, Registrar of the palace, said the Omanhene on October 29, 2021, resolved the differences between the assemblymen and Aluta in his palace at the instance of the assemblymen.
Afterwards, he said, the assemblymen turned around and organised a press conference on Friday, October 29, 2021, on the same Juaben MCE confirmation election issue, which the Omanhene had peacefully resolved.
The Juabenhene therefore, invited the assemblymen and asked why they refused to contact him before going public and at that point, the assemblymen realised their mistake so they willingly knelt to apologise to the Omanhene.
“At no point was any assembly member forced to kneel for voting against the nominee. After all, the Omanhene had no mechanism to know how members voted,” the release said, adding that no elections were held on Friday.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi