The Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative Victus Azeem has questioned an allocation of nearly GHS30,000 by the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) meant to be paid to some MPs as allowances.
The allocation of the money came to light when an investigative report indicted the Director of Legal Services at the GIPC, Abdul Rahman Mahama, who kept the money instead of paying it to the Members of Parliament.
Mr. Rahman three other managers, Edward Ashong Lartey, Vivian Agyapong, Kenneth Doe have been interdicted for procurement violations and diversion of public funds.
But attracting the most critical attention of the corrupt dealings is the case of Mr. Rahman Mahama, who was cited for pocketing the money meant to be paid as allowances to some parliamentarians.
The information was concealed from the Chief Executive of GIPC until a meeting between management of GIPC and parliamentarians at Dodowa on Sunday 2, June 2013 triggered investigations into the diversion.
The disciplinary committee of the Centre described this as a “gross violation” of the financial guidelines of the public service and GIPC.
The report has recommended his outright dismissal for ‘failing to protect the interest’ of GIPC and bringing the name of the institution into disrepute.
The Executive Director of GII Vitus Azeem questioned the intended payments to MPs who are merely doing their committee work as MPs.
“One of the serious things mentioned in the report is the payment of money to MPs. Why should such big monies be paid to parliamentarians, for what work done?”, he queried.
“They need to explain their involvement in this scandal in view of huge salaries paid to MPs,” he demanded.
He said the Management of GIPC should have ordered the audit much earlier following two scandalous incidents at the Centre last year. It involved a GHS20,000 birthday gift to the board chairman Ishmael Yamson.
A National Democratic Congress (NDC) fundraising group called Volunteers for Mahama also received money from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, (GIPC) ostensibly to help garner support for the ruling party during the 2012 general elections in December.
Details of the other corrupt deals contained in the recent audit report involved Kenneth Doe. He has been indicted for keeping in his account, part of the money diverted by Abdul-Rahman Mahama. Although he admitted keeping GHC 5,000, checks revealed he had GHC14, 000 in his possession.
Edward Ashong Lartey who is in charge of Marketing and Public Relations was also cited for failing to follow procurement guidelines in acquiring promotional materials despite concerns raised by the internal auditor of GIPC.
Another official, Vivian Agyapong, Administrative and Protocol Officer has been reportedly picked up by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). She photocopied confidential documents relating to the presidency and investors.
She was the official who recommended GHS20,000 of taxpayers money to be voted for the 70th birthday party of the Board Chairman. Part of that money was later returned on the instructions of Mr Yamson.
Mr Yamson told Joy News he was disappointed by the latest revelations, insisting that the Centre will be “relentless” in ensuring the right things are done because he was personally “allergic to bad corporate behaviour”.
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