…To Cover Corruption In Parliament
The Office of Parliament, has denied newspaper claims accusing the Speaker of the House, Edward Kobly Doe Adjaho of “greed”.
Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the Ghanaian Legislature, Kate Addo, called the publication in Tuesday’s edition of The Daily Searchlight as “erroneous, mischievous and malicious”.
The denial comes amid reports coming from The Herald’s sources in Parliament, that some Departmental Heads have been indicted in a dirty audit report from the Ghana Audit Service on procurements and general expenditures in the House.
This paper is reliably informed that some of the officers have been sent home by the Speaker, pending further investigations into the expenditures, in which amounts for goods and service, including the purchase of cars and their maintenance fees, were criminally inflated by the officers.
There are even suspicions about the prices of building maintenance. In some instances, some of the officers awarded procurement contracts to their own private companies.
Queries from the Speaker are said to be making the rounds in the House on the report from the Audit Service. The Herald is told that some of these officers are behind some of these smear campaign, including a recent one that Mr. Adjaho, had hijacked two official bungalows; that of the Deputy Speaker ,Baton Oduro, where he (Speaker) lives now and the official residence.
Amazingly, that of the Speaker, was under renovations at the time of the publication in The Daily Guide newspaper.
Ken Kunrachie’s Daily Searchlight in the said publication, had claimed it had credible information that the Speaker had “grabbed” five vehicles meant for distribution to the Deputy Majority and Minority Leaders of the House.
But “the Office of Parliament will like to place on record that contrary to the report in the Daily Searchlight, the Speaker is yet to be allocated an official vehicle in his capacity as Speaker”, a statement copied The Herald said.
It disclosed that “the BMW mentioned in the story was acquired when he was serving as First Deputy Speaker and was in fact bought as a second hand vehicle together with the then 2nd deputy Speaker, Hon Mike Oquaye”.
The statement said, “The facts of the story are erroneous, mischievous and malicious”.
Ms. Addo, revealed that “the paper sought to seek clarification on the issue from the Office of Parliament and was told that the facts of the story as the paper had it were wrong, but [it] still went ahead to publish its original story”.
“It must be noted that no vehicle has been parked at the residence of the Speaker as part of his conditions of service; they are convoy vehicles and not for the Speaker’s personal use”.
She said, “The Speaker, being conscious of the exigencies of our current times, has sought to cut back on expenditure and this has been evidenced by his declining to engage in certain endeavors that will incur cost to the Parliament and by extension, the good people of Ghana”.
The Speaker, it said “has, in fact, declined certain facilities provided under the terms of conditions of service as a way of cutting back on cost which includes, various international travels; details of which can be cross checked from the Office of Parliament”.
“Therefore, for any media member to describe the current Speaker as greedy does not only bring the Office of the Speaker into disrepute but is also unfortunate given the Speaker’s effort in encouraging minimal expenditure in Parliament since his assumption to the Office of Speakership”.
“The aim of the current Speaker and Parliament as an institution is to encourage free speech in order to deepen the democratic gains made by the country. However, false publications with malicious intent must be discouraged at all times if Ghana is to build on our democratic credentials”.
The Herald is also informed that the recent probe ordered by the Speaker into the letters written to the mobile phone and computer assembling company, RLG and others companies including, Zoomlion, by some individuals on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament soliciting for funds, has angered those individuals some of whom feel embarrassed by the order.
They have, therefore, ganged up to smear the Speaker, with dirt. Parliament meanwhile remains the only institution whose Audit report is not probed by the PAC.