General News of Friday, 13 November 2009
Source: The Enquirer
Mr. Edward Dua Agyeman, the former Auditor General, who upon assuming office in 2001, sent Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) officials to arrest his predecessor, Osei Tutu Prempeh from church, on false allegations of possessing confidential state documents, has illegally awarded himself End-of-Service Benefit (ESB) and snatched two luxurious state vehicles home.
Mr. Dua Agyeman, hijacked the two vehicles, while on his terminal leave, which commenced on May 5, 2009 and ended on November 4, 2009. By press time yesterday, he was still wheeling the two cars. Incidentally, Mr. Dua Agyeman, in 2001 hauled his predecessor before the police stating on another set of false allegations that Mr. Prempeh had unlawfully taken government cars on retirement. It later turned out that the vehicles had actually been duly valued and sold to Mr. Prempeh by the state.
But even as a contract Auditor General, who is not entitled to retirement benefits, Dua Agyeman has snatched the two cars, a Toyota Land Cruiser V8 and Peugeot 607, with registration Nos. GT 1961 09 and GR 2211 X respectively. In his case, however, even though Dua Agyeman neither bothered to apply to buy the vehicles, nor did he have them valued, he has taken them free-of-charge and hidden them in his Teshie-Nungua Mansion.
Enquirer checks from sources within the Transport Unit of the Audit Service, yesterday, confirmed that Mr. Dua Agyeman had still not surrendered the two vehicles in his custody.
Whilst on his terminal leave, Mr. Dua Agyeman started lobbying insiders of the John Mills’ administration, asking for an extension of his stay as the Auditor-General.
Mr. Dua Agyeman, after launching a tirade of attacks on Prof. Mills in 2003, as Acting Auditor-General, was confirmed into office on contract by former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Mr. Dua Agyeman had attacked Prof. Mills, for stating at a press conference that by virtue of being a contract employee of the Kufuor administration he could not assert himself in the discharge of his duties as Auditor-General, as far as issues related to the executive were concerned.
Dua Agyeman became President Kufuor’s hatchet man, deploying his office to targeted members of the Rawlings’ regime and critics of the past NPP administration. Some of the victims of Dua Agyeman’s selective audit included, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, Tsatsu Tsikata, Kwame Peprah, Dr. Sipa Yankey, Sherry Aryitey, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., among others.
Mr. Dua Agyeman was appointed Acting Auditor-General in 2001, when he was already past the mandatory retiring age of sixty years. Even though the maximum duration for his tenure under the Constitution was five years, he stayed in office until the end of last week, when his terminal leave ended.
In 2006, the leading Minority party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) kicked a storm about the illegality of Mr. Dua Agyeman’s tenure and challenged the constitutionality of audit reports commissioned by him.
The then Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mr. Sam Sallas-Mensah, accused Mr. Dua Agyeman of dishonestly staying in office after the expiration of his constitutionally allowed term. Mr. Sallas-Mensah, who was then the Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper West Akyem Constituency, questioned the legitimacy of audit reports signed by Mr. Dua Agyeman after 2006, when his maximum term allowed under the Constitution had come to an end.
According to Mr. Sallas-Mensah, since Mr. Dua Agyeman had made so much noise about ghost names on government payroll he should have known better and voluntarily reminded his employers about the expiration of his tenure.
Article 199 (4) of the Constitution of Ghana states that “Notwithstanding” clause (1) of this article, a public officer who has retired from the public service after attaining the age of sixty years may, where the exigencies of the service require, be engaged for a limited period of not more than two years at a time but not exceeding five years in all and upon such other terms and conditions as the appointing authority shall determine.”
Mr. Dua Agyeman did not retire from the public service. However, since he was appointed into office on contract as Acting Auditor-General in April 2001, by the Kufuor administration, his tenure legally ended in 2006, leaving the last three years of his tenure an illegality.