In what appears to be desperate and deliberate agenda by some media hirelings to hang various corruption allegations against the current Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Kofi Osei Ameyaw, by engaging in series of media trial to get him removed from the authority, has collapsed.
The dirty media trial, which started last year soon after Mr. Osei Ameyaw was appointed as Director-General in March 2017, is said to be orchestrated and pushed by certain faceless individuals within the governing party, frustrated businessmen, as well as few disgruntled staff at the NLA, who are unhappy with some changes and restructuring process that had taken place at authority.
Interestingly, the issues took a dramatic turn last Wednesday March 14, when a certain ‘Procurement Expert’, one Godfrey Awool, called by an Accra-based Joy FM for an interview to speak on the latest so-called conflict of interest allegation against the NLA boss, rather exonerated Mr. Osei Ameyaw of any wrong doing.
The latest accusation, follows earlier claims that the Director-General, had allegedly bought an expensive gold jewelry as a gift to the first lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo among others.
However, in plain words, the independent Procurement Expert, told the station’s Mid-Day News presenter, Emefa Apawu that, “nothing stops a relative from bidding for a contract”, as the agenda appeared to have fallen completely.
The expert insisted that, matters of conflict of interest in procurement is a “slippery” area and therefore, absolutely nothing stops a relative from bidding, unless “When it comes to these moral issues, we all don’t behave in the same manner”.
According to him, to establish an actual conflict of interest, it must be determined that an evaluation of the various bids was done. He told the station and its listeners that, “If it is established that there was no proper evaluation…then we have a case of conflict of interest.”
This was after the NLA boss, has been accused of conflict of interest after some contracts have been awarded to one Madam Rama Hassan, professed to be the sister-in-law of Mr. Osei Ameyaw to supply end-of-year packages to the NLA somewhere November last year.
The supposed sister-in-law of the NLA boss, Rama Hassan, has maintained that, she won the contracts on merit and not based on her family ties to Mr. Osei Ameyaw.
She told the Station’s Corruption Watch team which is pushing the agenda, “I heard about the bid process. I applied for it…I went through the process…I got the contract, free and fair”.
NLA Boss Breaks Silence
Mr. Ameyaw, who broke his silence on the matter on Accra-based Citi FM, confirmed that the claims are coming from persons unhappy with his attempts to restructure the NLA to make it more efficient.
He said “People can come on a fishing expedition. They will come and make all manner of noise. People have been rented as mercenaries because of change and reshuffle at the NLA. They latch onto any piece of paper or any documentation and they take in out to some mercenary journalist and they go on a frolic trying to malign and intimidate and extort [money] from people.”
According to him, the procurement process was fair and transparent and as such the wild accusations thrown at him are in fact baseless.
“I don’t preside over the processes of procurement and people will just go around and make preposterous allegations… It is about time Ghanaians should stop all this hullabaloo about who is a relative and who is not a relative and who is a friend.
First and foremost, we must understand that if a corporation or a company that is a separate legal entity bids for a project competitively and the competition is open, fair, equitable, transparent and accountable, and somebody wins, I don’t think it is a conflict of interest.”
“I have never had any sister or anybody come to me for a contract and I have willfully manipulated to suit them. That is absolute nonsense. It will not happen under my watch,” he added.
The Director-General insists, some disgruntled staff of the authority, are among those who have unleashed some mercenary journalists to malign and blackmail him since his appointment.
Though he did not mention specific names, he disclosed during the Citi FMs interview last Monday that, these workers who hitherto his assumption were engaged in underhand dealings and averse to his latest reforms, connived with some media practitioners to blackmail him.
Meanwhile, some senior staff of the NLA, have also corroborated to The Herald that the current management since assumption of office, have made certain changes to the advantage of the authority by blocking some loopholes, a development some staff are unhappy with.