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Politics of Thursday, 11 August 2005

Source: Hronicle

NDC Top Gurus Lash At Dr. Josiah Aryeh

It was he who cashed monies from the bank himself, and it was he who decided to pay project staff or not. he never kept any cash book. That is how he was able to squander the salaries and allowances of the project staff.' The Functional Executive (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has exposed the former General Secretary, Dr. Josiah Nii Armah Aryeh...,

...about how he ran the funds of the party from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). The NDC that has accused the suspended general secretary of not disclosing the whole truth during his tenure as chief scribe of the party, expressed disgust about comments and allusions made by him.

"These allusions which are totally false cannot go unchallenged. Very much against our will, Dr. Josiah Aryeh has compelled us to state the facts." A six-page press statement signed by members of the FEC of the party, captioned, "NDC replies Dr. Josiah Aryeh", stated that, "He has deliberately failed to tell the full story, particularly the way and the manner he ran the IEA project during his tenure of office."

According to the statement, at the time that the IEA money became operational in 2003, and the Director of Research, Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi, first handled it on behalf of the party at Kuku Hill in the office of Prof. John Evans Atta Mills. The statement contended that Dr. Aryeh protested against the project being run from outside the party headquarters, adding that consequently, the FEC decided to transfer the project to the office of the suspended general secretary under his supervision.

The statement signed by, Dr. Obed Yao Asamoah, the national chairman of the party, Mr. Lee Ocran, the vice chairman, Hon. E.T Mensah, vice chairman, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, national youth organizer, Mr. Baba Jamal, the deputy general secretary, Mad. Frances Asiam, national women's organizer, Mr. Bede Ziedeng, the acting general secretary, Mr. Kwaku Baah, national vice chairman and six other members, gave a nine-point argument, in response to allegations Josiah Aryeh had made against the party.

The NDC observed that, "It is a well-known fact that the period that Dr. Josiah-Aryeh ran the project, he squandered all or part of the salaries and allowances of virtually all the project staff, including, Mr. Seth Ofori-Ohene, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, Ms. Heartwill Quist and Ms Charlotte Halm," adding that these persons can testify to that and there are correspondences to that effect on file.

"In the circumstances, when the party resumed control of the project, the FEC decided that he be paid no further allowances until he made good what he has squandered."

According to the NDC, it would have been better not to wash their dirty linen in public, but taking comments made by the suspended general secretary, the party deemed it fit to let the cat out of the bag, saying, "It is pertinent to note that Dr. Josiah-Aryeh, was his own accountant, cashier, and the auditor under the project and kept the cheque book to the project account in his pocket, instead of leaving it in the custody of the accountant."

The NDC continued that, "It was he who cashed monies from the bank himself, and it was he who decided to pay project staff or not. He never kept any cash book. That is how he was able to squander the salaries and allowances of the project staff."

The NDC alleged that Dr. Aryeh, took home equipment provided under the IEA programme, such as computers, a satellite dish, a decoder, fax machine and others. They noted that the Dr. Aryeh was written to on February 17, this year, to return all the facilities but has since refused to return them, but rather sent an old computer, which was the property of the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, and therefore was rejected.

According to the NDC, Dr. Aryeh's suspension has paved the way for the party to successfully organize three programmes under the IEA project and the party was commended for the way and manner it has performed this year.

Responding to Dr. Aryeh's assertion of non-payment of his salaries, the NDC said, the non-payment was not peculiar to him alone, stressing that all the national officers of the party have never received any salaries or allowances ever since they got elected.

The NDC further state that the embattled general secretary has in his possession, two party vehicles, a Nissan patrol and a Mitsubishi pick-up, adding that it was unfortunate that he preferred to talk about discrimination. Touching on the delay in pronouncing on the investigations on him, the NDC said, "Dr. Josiah-Aryeh also considers his suspension from the position of the General Secretary of the party as unjustified and in any case, no longer valid, since 6 months had expired, forgetting that under the constitution of the party, such suspension can be extended monthly, consecutively for a further period of 5 months."

"In any event, time frames are predicated upon the assumption that disciplinary proceeding would be completed within the time frames. Can a person who refuses to cooperate for investigation to be completed within the time frame claim that time has elapsed and therefore his suspension is void? Are the provisions of the constitution to benefit the recalcitrant?"

The party reiterated that Dr. Josiah Aryeh was not suspended as a result of the way and the manner he ran the IEA project, but rather for his alleged act of misconduct and flirtation with the NPP in the run-up to the 2004 general elections, which according to the NDC was subsequently put into the public domain by his ?co-conspirators'. The party indicated further that there was no illegal conduct on the part of FEC and expressed dismay at the comments made by Dr. Aryeh.

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