Information available to betterghanadigest.com indicates that a sister to Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is alleged to have masterminded the relocation of some 400 tricycles belonging to the Northern Development Authority (NDA) that reportedly got missing from the NDA’s yard at Tamale last year.
According to our source, the Vice President’s sister, Hajia Lariba Abudu, who is also the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Northern Development Authority (NDA), allegedly has knowledge of the missing tricycles.
Reports indicate she is linked to the NPP’s Kandahar boys youth group in the area that allegedly forcibly took the tricycles away without the authority’s concern.
Hajia Lariba, also known as Hajia 1, who has openly declared to contest in the ruling New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary primaries in the Walewale constituency in the North East region, has started distributing tricycles to some delegates and members of the NPP in the area to get their support as she seeks to unseat deputy Agric Minister, Dr. Sagre Bambangi who is also seeking a third term as a Member of Parliament for the constituency.
Our sources in Walewale and NDA have revealed that Lariba Abudu, who is riding on the back of his brother’s position and influence, has vowed to unseat the sitting MP, and claims she will do whatever it takes to win the seat come December 2020.
“She always says ‘money no be problem’ and truly she has started sharing motorbikes and tricycles to win the hearts of the delegates in this area. The MP who is a minister even fears her,” a source told Myxyzonline.com.
One of the sources said some residents in the area believe the tricycles she is sharing to her party members and opinion leaders could be the missing tricycles but hesitate to question her, especially when Dr Bawumia has met some bigwigs in the area to ensure that her sister sails through the primaries successfully.
On December 12, 2019, President Nana Akufo-Addo fired the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority (NDA), Dr Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun, shortly after it emerged that the tricycles had disappeared.
In a letter signed by the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, no reason was given for the revocation of Dr. Haroun’s appointment.
A close source at the NDA said Hajia Lariba Abudu allegedly threatened to cause the dismissal of Dr Haroun if he went ahead and investigated her in connection with the disappearance of the tricycles.
The CEO knowing clearly he had nothing to do with the missing tricycles, however, went ahead to chronicle to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service how the tricycles were stolen, and mentioned his deputy, Hajia Lariba, as one of the people to be questioned in connection with the issue.
After the bizarre incident, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) launched investigations into the circumstances under which the tricycles could not be accounted for.
The CID in a statement signed by its Regional Crime Officer, K Otuo Acheampong requested that some persons be released to assist in the investigations of the missing tricycles.
The CID is yet to make its findings public since it started its investigation.
No Arrests Made Yet
Months after the disappearance of the motorcycles, the Police in the Northern Region are yet to make an arrest over the incident that has raised eyebrows across the country.
In an interview with Accra-based Joy FM, the Northern Regional Police PRO, DSP Mohammed Tanko said investigations into the matter was underway although no person had been picked up in connection with the missing bikes.
”No arrest has been made so far but the matter is being investigated. This is the first time in the history of Ghana police service we are going to have officers fully armed on motorbikes to fully deal ruthlessly with any criminal who will try to use a motorbike to engage in inappropriate acts,” he said.
Sources from the Northern region indicate that the police are finding it difficult to arrest the persons who were tasked to take the bikes away, although their names have been given to the police.
Hajia Lariba, who says she is on her way to Parliament is alleged to have used some forces in government to stifle police investigations.
“They have told the police it is their party matter and for that matter they are afraid to do the right thing…They know those who took the tricycles away but can’t effect arrest,” a source close to the Ghana Police Service said.
The reports from the area corroborate the assertions of the MP for Kumbungu, Ras Mubarak, who has said the police are not making much effort to bring the perpetrators to book.
”Northern Region is one of the most deprived areas of the country… the impact these missing tricycles would have made on the livelihood of the people would have been great. What we suspect is that they have distributed these tricycles to their party members and they haven’t done the distribution in an equitable manner. The action of the administration in expedition action for those who might have been involved to be brought to book is not encouraging and I hope Ghanaians will see the true nature of the NPP,” Mr Mubarak said on Joy FM earlier this month.
He continued, “Information I have gathered shows that these are militia groups parading in the Tamale metropolis and harassing people simply because their party is in government and we were told all these militia groups will be disbanded…As we speak they haven’t done the disbandment and they are using tricycles bought by the state and no one says anything. The Minister in charge will have to give the nation a full account of exactly what happened.”
Minister Runs For Cover
Meanwhile, the Northern regional minister, Salifu Saeed, whose name was mentioned in connection with the incident, has denied reports that he ordered the bikes to be taken from the office of the NDA in Tamale.
“I wish to state categorically and unequivocally that, I did not direct anyone or group of persons or company to pick any item from the premises of the NDA yard in my name or the Northern Regional Coordinating Council,” the Minister said in a statement.
He indicated that he was the same person who “ensured the protection of the said items upon my appointment until the appointment of the CEO of NDA.”
He also debunked claims from a social media commentator, Kevin Ekow Taylor that he knew about the alleged stealing of the bikes.
“The said claim being purported by the letter of the former NDA boss and Kelvin Taylor’s report is false and a palpable lie. This is an attempt to soil my hard earned reputation and hard work. If I was really behind the tricycles pick up, I would have written formally to the NDA, giving clear directions and the locations to deposit the items,” he added.