Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide, has condemned comments by National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, on a cabinet forensic audit report which alleged the misappropriation of funds by some state agencies under the erstwhile Mahama administration, saying he is clearly ill-informed about the subject.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) rubbished the findings of the report that incriminates some of its members, alleging that the Secretary to the Committee and Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Prof. Dua Agyeman lacks integrity.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily, Pius Hadzide said Asiedu Nketia’s utterances were ill-informed.
“Investigations that are being conducted are not being conducted by the Auditor General. They are being conducted by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) so he is fundamentally wrong when he says that the Auditor General’s express permission has to be sought for other private firms to be engaged. That will be the case if it was the Audit Service conducting the investigation.
“He [Asiedu Nketia] is ill-informed about the thing. Number two, there are only five standing sub-committees of government. Security, Defence, Legal and Governance, Economy and Infrastructure, and all these committees are chaired by the Cabinet Secretary. Instances arise where committees are created as a result of the Cabinet decision, but those are not Cabinet sub -ommittees.”
Remove Audit Service Chair
Mr. Nketia had asked President Akufo-Addo to remove the Board Chairman of the Audit Service, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman.
According to the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Prof. Dua Agyeman does not have the integrity required to hold the position.
Prof. Dua Agyeman is also the chair of an audit committee charged to investigate allegations of corruption made against about 20 former officials of the John Mahama government.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, Mr. Asiedu Nketia asked President Akufo Addo to sack Prof. Agyeman Dua, a former Auditor General, if he wants to win the fight against corruption.
“Dua Agyemang does not have the integrity and character to undertake such an assignment. The person who has been appointed by Nana Akuffo Addo to chair the Audit Service Board and who has been asked to recruit these private firms in the name of cabinet committee secretary is the one who has now been recycled to chair the audit service board to fight corruption.”
Recounting some of Prof. Dua Agyeman’s alleged corrupt deeds, Asiedu Nketiah said the board chair of has engaged in many fraudulent activities
“In 1983, Dua Agyemang was banned by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana from practicing accountancy and auditing in Ghana for forging an audit report for a private firm whose accounts he had neither seen nor audited. The same Dua Agyemang, in 1986 led a team to conduct special investigations, at the end of the exercise he presented a forged report causing some heads of departments to suffer unjustly.”
The Chairman of the Audit Service has recently been accused of interfering in the work of the Auditor-General.
The Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, has petitioned President Akufo-Addo over what he called unlawful interference in his work by the Service’s Board Chairman.
He cited procurement manipulations, interference of audit processes, and unlawful circulation of audit findings among other things, as the basis for his request for presidential intervention.
Auditor-General petitions Nana Addo over interference by Board Chair
In the Auditor General’s petition, he said he received a complaint from a prospective vendor that his firm was stopped from submitting proposals.
“My investigation revealed that the Audit Service Board Chairman instructed Mr. Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, a Deputy Auditor General (DAG) and Mr. Ebenezer Aglomasa, a procurement Officer to replace the approved firms with others of his choice,” the Auditor General noted.
Mr. Domelovo said this was done without his knowledge and the knowledge of the Public Procurement Authority.
According to him, “the Chairman admitted to the offense with the excuse that the law did not exist during his tenure of office as Auditor General.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency has set-up a committee to investigate concerns of interference raised by Auditor the General.
I’m not undermining Auditor General- Board Chairman
The Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman, has denied allegations that he is interfering with the work of Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo.
The Board Chairman insisted that roles are clearly defined, and the Board was not interfering in the work of the Auditor-General.
According to him, per the Audit Service Act and the Audit Service Regulations, there are some functions he would have to perform, and functions of the Board which includes giving an instruction where necessary for proper management of the Service.
He maintained that he was not undermining the Auditor General.
“I have explained the circumstances surrounding all [the concerns he has raised]. Nobody will undermine the Auditor-General for anything.”
While denying the allegations, Professor Dua Agyeman also stated that he has also petitioned President Akufo-Addo on what he considers the Auditor-General’s non-cooperation.
“We have also submitted a letter to the president concerning the same issues of non-cooperation and one of the issues is that when he travels he doesn’t tell us. We don’t know when he travels and what he goes to do and so on.”
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana