STC Procurement Office Burnt!

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..A Day After Fraud Detection; MD Goes Wild

Alfred Dogbey

A suspected arsonist, working at the procurement department of the state-owned intercity STC Company Limited, last Saturday – Valentine’s Day – sets ablaze the department after some fraudulent acts were detected.

Aside this, four officers, have also been arrested over fuel theft at the same institution.

The mysterious Valentine’s Day fire, came a day after an Assistant Procurement Officer, Ebenezer Tetteh Lomotey, and other officers in the department were last Friday, caught red-handed inflating prices and were subsequently queried.

Insiders told The Herald that following last Friday’s stern query, management was going to scrutinize payment vouchers and perhaps properly investigate the activities of the STC procurement department, but woke up to a burnt office – where the fraudulent practice took place.

Shockingly, Mr. Lomotey, the Assistant Procurement officer, was said to have visited the office, stayed alone; the fire gutted the procurement office moment after he left.

Interestingly, the fire only destroyed the most recent files and other documents, including computers, an office chair as well as an air-conditioner.
The Herald’s sources within management, disclosed that it took the timely intervention of the personnel of Ghana Fire Services, who brought the fire under control.

The incident has taken many, particularly the members of staff by surprise.

Giving details about the incident, a top management staff told The Herald that the STC Assistant Procurement Officer, decided to procure some fuel filters and other logistics for the buses. Unfortunately, the items got finished from the supplier where the company used to buy the fuel filter for GH61.80 persewas on credit bases.

The Herald, learnt because the company urgently needed the items, Mr. Lomotey was sent with cash to go and purchase the fuel filters at a different place, where the price was expected to be lower.

Intriguingly, Mr. Lomotey claimed the filters were bought for GH100 each. His claim shocked both management and staff of the company, confirming long-held suspicion of fraudulent practices by the procurement officers.

The officers, were promptly called into the office of the Managing Director, Samuel Nuamah-Donkor and queried.

This was after the acting head of finance and account, one Mr. Richard Hottor, was sent to where Mr. Lomotey bought the items to cross-check the price. The result of the verification turned out that the prices of the item have been criminally inflated.

It is, however, unclear how many of the fuel filters were purchased.

Even though, Mr. Lomotey is said to have flatly denied any knowledge about how the fire gutted his office, an outraged Managing Director, has setup a committee to quickly investigate the bizarre fire and submit the report for drastic action to be taken.

Some workers told The Herald that there seems to be a criminal gang still operating in the company and who won’t let off their fraudulent acts in line with the ongoing restructuring of a once vibrant state transport company.

Meanwhile, another staff, Philip Darkey, who is working at the Fuel Department and a brother of the Head of Human Resource and Administration, Isaac Darkey, has been arrested and detained by the police for stealing volumes of fuel.

The suspect, Philip Darkey, who upon an interrogation admitted and pleaded guilty to the crime, mentioned three senior staff as his accomplices. They include, Audit Officer, Joseph Nee-Addo, Christian Okere, officer in charge of Stores, both currently on interdiction and the driver of the fuel tanker, Adjei Akrong.

Surprisingly, Philip Darkey, was only given one month suspension without salary. This was after he was granted bail by the Kaneshie Divisional Police. He has since returned to work.

Meanwhile, incredible information picked by The Herald indicates that the current Board, chaired by Patrick Vanderpuye is scheming to reinstate the former Head of Finance and Administration.

Mr. Jans-Baka Nuhu, is on interdiction for embezzling thousands of workers provident fund, as well as allowances.

The Herald is reliably informed that, even though Mr. Nuhu did not refund the monies after a committee report indicted him, the current Board is planning to reinstate him, despite the fraud he had committed against the company.

The move is said to be raising eyebrows among the unionized workers at the company, who have vowed to kick against the Board’s decision.

Some of them argued that a former station manager at Cotonou in Benni, Gregoire Gbekley, who was vindictively dismissed by the former Managing Director, Charles Thompson, is still home. They could not appropriate management’s decision to bring back somebody who allegedly committed fraud.

More to Come!

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