|Member of Parliament
for Nkoranza North
January 7, 2005 – February 4, 2007
|Preceded by||New constituency|
|Succeeded by||Major (rtd) Derek Oduro
(from March, 2007)
February 19, 1953 |
|Political party||New Patriotic Party|
|Relations||Kofi Munufie (father)|
|Alma mater||University of Ghana|
|Occupation||Teacher / Politician|
Early life and education
Eric Amoateng was born in Ghana on February 19, 1953. He had his secondary education at Nkoranza Anglican School, Nkoranza, where he passed his O-levels. He then attended Nkoranza Training College, Nkoranza for his A-level education, completing in 1973. He then attended the Nkoranza Teacher Training College, from where he qualified as a teacher. Years later, he attended the University of Ghana, obtaining a diploma in religion in 1992.
Amoateng initially worked as a teacher. He then worked as marketing manager for a company Koajay, that bought and distributed school supplies. Amoateng was also the chief (king) of Amoma, a town in the Kintampo South District of the Brong Ahafo Region, with the title Nana Amoateng Ameyaw II. He is said to have spent lavishly on his people and earned a reputation for philanthropy.
Eric Amoateng unsuccessfully bid to stand as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP candidate for the Nkoranza constituency in 2000 amidst some controversy. Some were reportedly wary of his affluence. It is also reported that in 2001, Amoateng was once accused of visa fraud. Amoateng renounced his chieftaincy in 2004 in order to stand in the December 2004 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NPP, adopting Bomini in the neighbouring Nkoranza North constituency in the Nkoranza District of the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana, as his home town. His candidacy for the Nkoranza North constituency was challenged at the Sunyani High Court in 2004 but the case was eventually withdrawn from the court. He won 46.9 per cent of the votes with a margin of 22.3 per cent to become the first ever Member of Parliament for the newly created Nkoranza North constituency, from January 7, 2005.
Arrest, trial and jail
News sources reported that Amoateng was arrested in the United States of America on November 12, 2005. He had travelled to the USA on an Emirates Airline flight to the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) with a friend, Nii Okai Adjei. The trip was ostensibly to buy wrist watches for resale in Ghana with US$9,000 seized from Amoateng. Seven boxes of pottery which had landed at Newark Liberty International Airport from London, destined for JFK a day earlier were found to contain 136 pounds of heroin. The reported street value of the drugs was about US$6 million. Amoateng and Adjei were monitored by security personnel as they took delivery of the cargo and sent it to an American Self-Storage location on Staten Island. They were arrested the next day when they went to inspect the goods. Amoateng apparently unsuccessfully claimed diplomatic immunity following his arrest. They were charged with "conspiracy with intent to distribute heroin".
Eric Amoateng and Nii Okai Adjei initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiracy to distribute narcotics when brought to court. Adjei later changed his plea to guilty. Following this, a second charge was brought against Amoateng. In August 2006, a third charge of "distributing a controlled narcotic substance of about a kilogram or more containing heroin" was brought against Amoateng.
Fallout from arrest
Following his arrest, there was a long debate as to whether Amoateng should still be held as the sitting MP for Nkoranza North. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Chief Whip, maintained that "until the case is disposed off he remains a suspect and that the allegation would have to be substantiated." While the majority leader in parliament announced that the government will hold the fort for the MP, the opposition insisted that a by-election be held to replace him. This went on for more than ten months. One of his sons, Augustine Akwasi Amoateng, defended his father's innocence in April, 2006. Amoateng eventually sent a letter of resignation around May 2006 to parliament but this was thrown out on procedural grounds. The Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Sekyi-Hughes, directed on January 30, 2007, that the question of Amoateng's long absence from parliament be revisited. He however sent a resignation letter dated 4 February 2007 to the speaker of the Parliament of Ghana which was accepted.
- On February 13, 2006, the Nkoranza constituency branch chairman of the NPP commended the volunteers who worked on Eric Amoateng's 300 hectare maize farm in his absence.
- On March 24, 2006, a rally was held in his support by the people of Busunya attended by NPP delegates. Some placards at the rally read “Cocaine or No Cocaine Amoateng Is Still Our MP.”
- In April, 2007, the chiefs and people of Busunya in the Nkoranza district named a street after Eric Amoateng for his "contribution to the socio-economic development of the area". He is also reported to have helped to "finance the construction of eight streets and drainage systems in the town which is the constituency capital."
- Ayesha Harruna Attah. "From Parliament to Prison: The fall of a Ghanaian Father Christmas" (pdf). Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. pp. 61–62. Retrieved 2007-04-22.[permanent dead link]
- "Cocaine MP Was A Magician". Ghana Home Page. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Nkoranza MPs assist the needy". Regional News of Monday, 16 May 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Ghana MP in US 'heroin' arrest". BBC African news website. BBC. 2005-11-22. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "'Drug' MP was busted for visa fraud in 2001". General News of Wednesday, 23 November 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "2 Ghana Men Busted In NY". General News of Tuesday, 15 November 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Amoateng had $9000 to purchase watches". General News of Thursday, 15 December 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Amoateng formally pleads not guilty". General News of Tuesday, 13 December 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Amoateng Remanded In US Prison". General News of Tuesday, 20 December 2005. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Amoateng In More Trouble?". General News of Tuesday, 28 March 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Amoateng: Experienced Drug Trafficker?". General News of Saturday, 22 April 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
In or about and between December 2003 and November 12, 2005, both dates being approximate and inclusive, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, the defendant Eric Amoateng, together with others, did knowingly and intentionally conspire to import a controlled substance into the United States from a place outside thereof, which offense involved one kilogram or more of a substance containing heroin, a scheduled 1 controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States code, section 952a.
- "Amoateng Faces Fresh Charges In The US". General News of Monday, 7 August 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Amoateng Admits "Pushing Drugs"". General News of Wednesday, 11 April 2007. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Criminal cause for pleading" (PDF). Copy of court document. Ghana Home Page. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Eric Amoateng jailed 10yrs, gets another 5yrs supervised release". General news. VibeGhana.com. 2008-02-13. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
- "Amoateng Defended In Parliament: Innocent Until ..." General News of Tuesday, 17 January 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Govt to take over duties of 'Drug MP'?". General News of Thursday, 19 January 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "NPP, NDC Divided On By-Election For Nkoranza North". Politics of Saturday, 2 September 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Amoateng's Son Speaks". Diasporian News of Thursday, 20 April 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Eric Amoateng Resigns". Rumor Mill of Tuesday, 23 May 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Amoateng's Resignation Is Null and Void". General News of Wednesday, 30 August 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Privileges Committee to consider Amoateng's absence". General News of Tuesday, 30 January 2007. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Eric Amoateng's Resignation Letter". General News of Sunday, 11 February 2007. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Amoateng's Seat Up For Grabs". Ghana news website. HiGhana.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Rt Hon Speaker swears in new member of parliament". Official website of the Parliament of Ghana. Parliament of Ghana. 2007-03-21. Archived from the original on 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Amoateng's farm harvested". General News of Monday, 13 February 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
- "Cocaine Or No Cocaine, Amoateng Is Still Our MP". Regional News of Tuesday, 28 March 2006. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
- "Street Named After Amoateng". General News of Tuesday, 10 April 2007. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
|Parliament of Ghana|
Newly created constituency1
|Member of Parliament for Nkoranza North
20052 – 20073
Major (rtd) Derek Oduro4
(from March 2007)
|Notes and references|
|1. Newly created constituency before December 2004 elections
2. From January 7, 2005
3. Until February 4, 2007
4. Sworn in on March 21, 2007