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General News of Monday, 17 February 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

Scandal! Allegations of financial malfeasance hit GIBA

Allegations of financial malfeasance and misappropriation have hit the management of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).

An internal communication by the Programme and Research Officer of GIBA, Raymond Ablorh, claims an amount of two million Ghana cedis could not be properly accounted for by the management in 2012 alone.

“The 2012 audit report revealed that GIBA paid over Ghc2 million to a company called Freedom Communications without a contract and for no work done,” Mr. Ablorh stated in a mail sent to members of GIBA.

He said a response given by the Executive Director, Gerald Ankrah, to the auditors when they raised questions about this transaction suggested that no due diligence was done on the company before it was purportedly engaged to render consultancy services to the association.

According to the mail, investigations have also revealed that Freedom Communications transferred huge sums of money under inexplicable circumstances to GEBAN, a company believed to be owned by the GIBA Executive Director, Mr. Ankrah.

Mr. Ablorh also raised an issue of misapplication of money paid by the Electoral Commission for publicity in the 2012 elections.

He said only 500,000 Ghana cedis out of 1.5 million cedis received from the EC for election broadcasts was given to members of GIBA; the remaining one million was consultancy fee.

Does GIBA need a consultant to take elections broadcast contracts from the Electoral Commission? And if the EC pays Ghc1.5 million and about one million Ghana cedis goes to a consultant, is this prudent? He asked.

Mr. Ablorh claimed that attempts have been made to cover up the shady deal.

He said while the 2012 audit report had not been discussed and accepted by members of the association, audits were conducted into GIBA’s 2013 financial transactions.

However, the auditor who conducted the 2012 audit, Elvis Asare of Kwame Asante and Associates, according to Raymond Ablorh’s mail, was virtually barred by the GIBA executive from conducting the 2013 audit.

The audit for 2013 was done by a different team of auditors, he said, insisting that there are questions to answer.

Even though he will not speak on record, the Executive Director said the allegations contained in the Research Officer’s mail are false.

He said a committee will be set up to investigate the matter.

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