For Exposing Kasoa MCE’s Corruption In Audit Report
By Alfred K Dogbey
Two Senior Internal Auditors at Awutu Senya-East Municipal Assembly in the Central Region, have been told to leave the Assembly “with immediate effect,” under bizarre circumstance. The two have been transferred on the presumption that they were behind the leakage of some corrupt practices at the Assembly, to the media.
Even though, no reasons have been assigned in the transfer letters given to them, however, the staff of the Assembly are of the view that the move was in connection with the leakage of a damning financial audit report about the Assembly, which The Herald extensively broke sometime in July, this year.
The auditors among other things, discovered “duplicate cheque numbers and dates, unplanned expenditures, unapproved payments, no receipts, no memos attached to Payment Vouchers (PVs), items not routed through store issues, under-declaration of collected revenue and other scandalous developments.
The transfers were effected on the instruction of the Central Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Sarpong by the Chief Director of the Central Regional Co-Coordinating Council (CRCC) in Cape-Coast.
Both the Regional Minster and his Chief Director were said to be classmates of the Municipal Coordinating Director of Awutu Senya-East Municipal Assembly, Musah Yahaya Froko at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Musah Yahaya Froko and Adams Nuhu, Chief Executive of Awutu Senya-East Municipal Assembly, are said to be “the law and order” in the Assembly. They are accused of influencing the transfers of the two officials who had spent less than a year at Kasoa, having been transferred from the Agona West District, Swedru.
The two, Gordon Walter Doe, a Senior Internal Auditor and his assistant, Hilarious Kweku Kuwuame, after the media report were accused by Mr. Nuhu of leaking the audit report, which revealed systematic financial malfeasance, misappropriation of funds and daylight looting of the Assembly’s coffers under his watch.
Insiders say, though both auditors have denied leaking the damning report to the media, the MCE still lodged a complaint to the Central Regional Co-Coordinating Council, as well as, the Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Sarpong, leading to the swift transfers, which was done ostensibly to allow the rot to continue at the Assembly.
The letter, a copy of which is in the custody of The Herald, dated November 11, 2013 and signed by the Regional Chief Director, Kwame Oppong, for the Regional Minister and copied the MCE, Mr. Nuhu read, “you are kindly requested to release the affected Officers to report to their new heads”.
Gordon Walter Doe, according to the letter is to report at Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese, while Hilarious Kweku Kuwuamen, heads to Hemang/Lower/Demkyira District Assembly.
The issues captured in the audit report, include misappropriation of funds and lavish misuse of taxpayers’ money. It is not clear if the Central Regional Co-Coordinating Council or the Local Government Ministry investigated these claims.
The rotten internal audit report titled “Quarterly Internal Audit Report on Expenditure for the Period June 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012” covered only four months period of Mr. Nuhu’s four years tenure.
The powerful MCE, is said to be heavily backed by a certain powerful fair-coloured female Minister and a Member of Parliament (MP), who has been protecting and resisting his dismissal. There are plans to re-nominate him for another term by the John Mahama administration.
Last July, after The Herald’s exposé, operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), stormed the Assembly, scanned through files, computers and commenced investigation about the rot at the Assembly, but nothing has been heard since, yet the MCE is still at post, and on a witch-hunting spree.
Meanwhile, The Herald is informed that members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and chiefs in the municipality are not happy about the MCE’s continuous stay in office, accusing him of abuse of power and non-performance.
The Stinking Dossier
The audit documents in possession of The Herald revealed a whopping sum of GH¢98, 620.74, nearly ¢1billion old cedis of taxpayer’s money given to the Assembly for development, was lavishly spent on Muslims Ramadan, curtains, clearing of refuse and rent.
Part of the money, called “Seed Money” meant for development of the newly created municipality was spent on “Rice for Muslim’s Ramadan, so-called ‘Presidential visits, office curtains, evacuation of refuse and meeting with staff and lawyer”.
“Rent for office accommodation” alone cost GH¢44, 000.00 and paid to one Bennet Orleans A Ashun, whilst GH¢5, 720.00 was given to one Alexander Amoah as
It was discovered that GH¢7, 200 (¢72million old cedis) was also spent on Rice for Muslim’s Ramadan, while GH¢4,660.00 for President’s Visit and GH¢ 2, 29.00 for meeting with staff and lawyer.
However, the supposed “Presidential Visit” is raising some eyebrows as The Herald was told President John Mahama, only briefly visited the municipality
to inspect an ongoing project and left. But those who collected the money insist it was used given to journalists, who were on the president entourage.
A certain Duglas Osie Yebah –“the Asst. Director 2B” received two payments – Rice for Muslim’s Ramadan and President’s Visit.
Another shocking thing is that huge cash was blown on ordinary curtains. As much as GH¢10, 417.74, the equivalent of ¢104 million was paid to Gracelove Creations on the “Supply of and fixing of Office curtains”.
GH¢11, 450.00 was dolled-out to Despa Construction and Krishom Enterprise as payment of “evacuation of refuse at Old Market and Kasoa Iron City”.
Also realized was that majority of the Assembly’s contracts were mostly going to Obaa Yaa Construction Ltd, Despa Construction, Krishom Enterprise and the Municipal Environmental Officer.
Apart from a certain woman, believed to be the owner of the Obaa Yaa Construction Ltd, who scarcely visits the Assembly, owners of the other companies; namely Despa and Krishom are not known to the staff. They are only known to the MCE.
It has been found that a certain Jacob Mensah Appiah, who has been taking payments for ObaaYaa Construction Ltd, is the same person, who has been taking payments for Despa Construction, Krishom Enterprise, meaning that the companies are owned by the same person or the same group of individuals.
It is still not clear, whether or not the same Jacob Mensah Appiah, is the owner of all the three companies.
Between the periods of August 12, to December 12, 2012 alone, close to ¢1.4billion payments were made to the said Jacob Mensah Appiah, in the name of the above mentioned companies.
There were also certain payments that were made without the approval of the Assembly, but authorized by the MCE, Mr. Nuhu.
“Duplicate cheque numbers and dates, unplanned expenditures, unapproved payments, no receipts, no memos attached to Payment Vouchers (PVs), items not routed through store issues, understatement of Revenue collected by REVSOL” and others things were discovered by the auditors.
They said contractors and suppliers such as Despa Construction, Municipal Environmental Officer, Municipal Road Engineer, Krishom Enterprise, Obaa Yaa Construction Ltd among others were said to have “falsified” signatures to withdraw heavy cash from the Assembly’s coffers.
They reported that a “..trend has emerged that payments to some particular persons, do not write their names when they sign for cheques collected from the finance office e.g. Despa, Krishom, ObaaYaa, Municipal Environmental Officer and Municipal Road Engineer”.
The findings of the report also pointed to “different names on PV and on bank statement” and questioned “why make payments to assistant director 2B and not MCD, who is the Spending Officer?”
The Herald also independently cited another document titled “No Name On Disbursement Form – Why Should Bank Pay?”. It revealed huge amount of payments were made to companies by the municipality, without names of recipients on the disbursement form.