Ghana loses second cabinet minister

2012-01-24 21:57

Accra - Ghana's education minister has resigned, the government said on Tuesday, a week after another senior minister was sacked for accusing members of the cabinet of corruption.

No official explanation was given for the resignation, but the cabinet turmoil could cast doubt over President John Atta Mills' government ahead of elections later this year. Mills, who has touted his record against corruption, is seeking a new term.

Last Friday, Mills sacked Justice Minister and Attorney General Martin Amidu for accusing some cabinet ministers of "gargantuan crimes against the state" without backing up his claims with evidence.

A source close to the presidency said both Amidu's sacking and Iddrisu's resignation are linked to a decision by the government to pay a $30m settlement to a contractor who said he had a construction deal wrongfully terminated by the previous government.

Iddrisu had been among the ministers who had authorised the payout to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a known supporter of the ruling party who had planned to build stadiums for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament hosted by Ghana, the source said.

Amidu said in a statement after his sacking he had been a fierce critic of the decision to make the payout.

Mills has ordered an investigation by the country's anti-graft agency.

Ghana's economy recorded double-digit growth in 2011 thanks partly to its new oil wealth but Mills' critics claim that he has been soft on graft and is not doing enough to combat poverty.

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