Ministers used two different accounts to collect double salaries - Majority leader suspects

Ministers used two different accounts to collect double salaries - Majority leader suspects
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 17-04-2018 Time: 08:04:18:pm

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu is suggesting some former government officials may have been involved in a deliberate attempt to steal from the state by taking double salaries.

The Suame NPP MP explained these ministers who were also MPs bagged salaries for the two political offices, an infraction of the criminal code.

They did this by presenting two different bank accounts for the two offices ostensibly to avoid detection.

While he would not mention names, the fourth most powerful figure in parliament went on to claim that in some of the reports that have come to him, some ministers allegedly used different signatures for the different accounts.

He said these revelations if proven to be true rubbishes the claim by some implicated politicians who maintain they were unaware of the double payments.

He added the ex-government appointees cannot claim ignorance of these offences if they are found to be true.

Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu also added even reshuffled ministers who had exited government also allegedly took salaries.

Already nine NDC MPs have reported to the Criminal Investigation Department with a possible charge of stealing while serving under the Mahama administration.

It is a charge they have vehemently denied while also accusing the government of political witch-hunt.

Former Lands and Natural Resources minister who is also Tamale Central MP Inusah Fuseini has described the accusations as an "occupational hazard" and a "calculated attempt to dampen our spirits"

"I have not stolen and I will not steal from the government. I deny the charge with all the strength in me".

He told Joy News' Joseph Ackah-Blay the investigations has had a toll on him. "See how I am distressed", he said.

Another Mahama appointee Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah who was Minister of state in-charge of Social and Allied Institutions told Joy News "me, I am not a thief".

But the Majority leader has said while parliament is working to resolve the image-denting revelations some cases appear wilful.

The payments may be a "genuine oversight" for the first month but if an MP notices the trend over months, then the politician cannot feign ignorance.

He said the MPs should have known that 'something funny is happening'.

Offering an explanation over how some MPs ended up with two paychecks, the Majority leader explained there was a lack of communication between the Finance Department at Parliament and that of the Presidency.

If the two departments had communicated, it should have been possible to detect the payments early enough, he said.

The Suame MP also faulted the Auditor-General observing that none of this irregularities were captured in its annual reports from 2013 to 2016 when the double salaries were paid.

He rejected the claim that the practice has been going on since 1992 when Ghana returned to democratic rule.

He explained that while serving as a member of President Kufour's executive, he was asked to choose whether he wanted an MP's salary or a minister's.

He chose MP and later after his government left office in 2009,  he has had to reject another payment from the Presidency as ex-gratia  after receiving one as an MP

MPs, he said, are always "hot" looking for money to service loans, pay debts, meet needs - family and familiar supporters.

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