Top Officials In Big Trouble
By Alfred Dogbey
The Herald’s ongoing investigations, into gross mismanagement of State Transport Company (STC) has uncovered more damning documents and memos, revealing how huge sums of monies were fraudulently blown by some top officials of the State company.
The activities, The Herald gathered, has been hidden from the new Managing Director (MD), Samuel Nuamah Donkor.
The rot at the state-owned STC, is massive and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has been combing through files and summoning officials for interrogation over what look like naked and daylight stealing at the once enviable transport company.
Even though the Head of Legal, Head of Audit, Head of Finance and Administration, as well as the Head of Administration and Human Resource, are aware of the rot, they have swept the dirty deals under the carpet as the state-owned STC is being bled to death.
One of such documents in possession of The Herald signed by John Appiah Kubi, the current Station Manager at Abidjan and dated October 23, 2013, has revealed how his predecessor, Victor Anane Frimpong, collected huge sums of money from Ivory Coast-based businessmen, signing agreements renting out STC properties , but the monies never got to the state company.
Mr. Appiah Kubi, stated in a confidential letter that, “in going through our tenancy agreements, we have found out that two of our tenants namely; Ali Bitar of M2A Distribution and Grimaud Kpofin of New Dolphin Meyle who were supposed to have paid rent advance of 750,000 and 780,000 CFA respectively, upon signing of their agreements [but ] have not paid anything to the accountant”.
The letter was addressed to Mr. Victor Anane Frimpong himself and copied to the dismissed Managing Director (MD), Charles Thompson, Head of Legal, Head of Audit, Head of Finance and Head of Administration and the Head of Administration and Human Resource.
According to the secret memo, when the aggrieved tenants were invited for questioning, “Each of them claims, he has paid and that they paid the money to you [Anane Frimpong Victor]”.
Mr. Appiah Kubi, noted that, the tenants “claimed Mr. Anane Frimpong promised giving them official receipt, but they could not receive them” the letter stated.
The incumbent Station Manager, concluded that “we therefore wish to refer their letters to you before any action is taken by either side”, attending that “both agreements were signed in August 2013”.
From The Herald’s investigation, it emerged that many of the Station Managers posted to Abidjan, since the days of Mr. Ohene Darkwa, E.T. Brown and other Abidjan Managers of the STC, only go to amass wealth for themselves, but do not work in the interest of STC.
Another letter, also written by Mr. Appiah Kubi and addressed to the Head of Legal Unit, Mrs. Doris D.Bekoe, also exposed how his predecessor collected and pocketed monies from some tenants, who rented Ghana government state-stores, and fraudulently issued his own receipts, instead of the official receipt from STC accountant.
The letter dated October 12, 2013, expressed worried that, “from all indications, the tenant, [Greamo New Dolphin Meyle] has some receipts to show for monies paid”.
Mr. Appiah Kubi disclosed, “just that those receipts are not from the Account but from the out gone Manager”, referring to Mr. Anane Frimpong.
According to Mr. Kubi, his interaction with the tenant; Mr. Greamo revealed that he was keeping those receipts for legal purposes, warning, “as much as possible, the tenant has not done anything on his own accord”.
He said, Mr. Greamo was “permitted by the out-gone Manager and he should not be made to suffer for somebody’s actions or inactions”.
Indeed, there are claims that profits generated from the STC properties, particularly in Takoradi, Abidjan and Coutonou stations are channeled into the pockets of Managers.
At Takoradi, for example, The Herald gathered that warehouses belonging to the company, numbering 21 have been rented out at various sums, however, documents covering the agreements could not be traced. Whether there are valid document or not remains questions yet to be answered by the Takoradi Station Manager.
The situation is not different at Abidjan either. Apart from several dubious contract deals on stores, a guest house owned by STC named Takyi-Mensah Lodge; one of STC’s biggest revenue generating properties in Abidjan.
Sadly, however, it has currently been left in the hand of a security man, with no receipt covering its management and the picture is not clear as to how much money is coming into company’s coffers from the running of the lodge.
It is unclear, what plans the new MD, Mr. Nuamah Donkor and the Board of Directors, headed by Patrick Vanderpuiye, have in order to block the revenue losses and restore sanity into the management of the company.
There is also an emerging scandal in the company involving the two representatives from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Mrs. Veronica Turckson, Head of Finance and Administration and Emmanuel Quartey, the current Head of Audit.
The two are reported to have purchased CCTV cameras, unauthorized renovation of toilet at Tudu Terminal at the cost of over Gh¢30, 000, as well as unauthorized painting of the company’s head office building, ignoring procurement laws.