Joy News has learnt that the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), has released some of the 23 District Directors of the National Service Scheme (NSS) who were arrested last week in connection with alleged fraud at the secretariat.

The officials, including the Ga South District Director, are said to have been asked to home after spending some time in BNI cell.

They are alleged to have connived and facilitated the payment of nearly Ghȼ8million into ghost national service accounts.

In July alone up to 7.9 million cedis was paid into ghost and duplicate accounts. Officials including the Director of National Service, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan was also fingered, accused of paying some 100,000 cedis to allegedly bribe BNI officials.

Alhaji Imoro Alhassan paid the biggest of the total of 200,000 in bribes with the ultimate aim of reportedly concealing the facts.

It is perhaps the biggest scandal to have been unearthed within the scheme that engages graduates from the nation’s tertiary institutions.

Investigations continue as government prepares to prosecute those found culpable.

Board liable?

Meanwhile, Legal practitioner Samson Lardy Anyenini has warned that the board of the National Service Scheme (NSS) may not absolve itself from possible culpability in the scandal that hit the scheme.

Board Chairperson of the NSS, Gifty Mahama, after a crisis meeting last Thursday, issued a statement directing the 23 to proceed on leave to pave way for further investigations into allegations that managers of the NSS ballooned the payroll by over 22,000 services and defrauded the state of 7.9 million Ghana cedis.

“It would appear the NSS Board was actually or constructively aware and approved a scheme to increase the numbers of service persons (ghost personnel) as a means of raising funds to run the NSS's various internal projects including maize and tilapia farms to generate funds which were later shared among the district, regional and national offices for the running of the NSS in the absence of government funding,” Mr Anyenini stated on his facebook page.

According to him, “apart from the GhS 100.000, other alleged bribe cash was received by auditors and receipted as 'regular' feeding cash for audit rounds.”

He believes that following the development, the board, which had the supervisory responsibility to oversee the operations of the NSS cannot absolve itself of blame.

“If so, then you may fix liability on the decision maker but can the [implementer] suffer same or any? How easy or difficult will it be to establish a criminal mind in the said scheme or scam?” Samson Lardy Ayenini quizzed.