Feature Article of Saturday, 10 November 2012
Columnist: Tweneboah-Koduah, Nana Akua
By Nana Akua Tweneboah-Koduah
The Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) which had been sitting on a stinking scandal running into more than 10 billion old cedis had been forced to break its silence on the case following the exposure by this reporter.
The GCGL which had refused to date to alert the police about this fraudulent dealings which had gone on for more than six years was forced to finally issue a statement with an obscure headline, “Graphic will abide by good corporate governance” on page 32 of the Daily Graphic on Wednesday November 7, 2012. The statement signed by the Managing Director, Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, confirmed my story that the GCGL through its internal audit process had unearthed fraudulent dealings at the company.
But the management of the GCGL instead of referring the case to the police to prosecute the culprits had rather allowed the billions of hard earned cedis to go into flames by simply dismissing the fraudsters whilst the lead culprit is on interdiction.
It is very worrying that GCGL which is saying it will abide by good corporate governance has taken over the duties of the police. Many observers at the GCGL are crying foul and believe more people possibly some management staff are involved hence the decision not to let the police take over the investigations.
Interestingly, Mr. Ashigbey threw dust into the eyes of the public by stating that the issue was not made public because investigations were still ongoing. If what Ashigbey is saying is true and that the ringleader of the fraudulent operation, Frank Oduro, who is also the General Manager in charge of Marketing is still under investigations, why then should Ashigbey issue that statement?
Many employees at the GCGL strongly believe that Frank Oduro who is a strong member of the NPP is being shielded by his colleagues including Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh and Ashigbey, all NPP diehards.
“Otherwise, I do not know why the police have still not been informed. Why is the management afraid to tell the police? Who are they trying to protect? Are the fraudsters bigger or more important than the company?” lamented a disappointed employee.
Another employee emphatically stated that by dismissing the culprits there is no way the company will recoup the billions of cedis that they stole. “I am very mad at the management. Why can’t they at least send them to court so that the company can recoup some of the monies they stole?” asked the employee.
It will be recalled that last week I broke the story that Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) has been hit with yet another gargantuan fraud running into billions of old cedis whilst the board and management due to embarrassment, shame and shock are tight-lipped on the issue.
Five personnel of the Advertisement Department of the GCGL who were part of the syndicate that has been making the fraudulent deals in the premises of the GCGL for years without detection, were summarily dismissed rather than being referred to the police for investigations and prosecution. They are Ebo Acquaye, Michael Didza, Peter Wetri, Henry Quarshie and Ibrahim Sackey.
Strangely enough, the main fraudster behind the overall operation, Frank Oduro, General Manager, Marketing, has been interdicted whilst the GCGL conducts internal investigations, with many personnel at the company seething with anger on why the police have still not been alerted on this massive fraud.
Below is the text of the statement issued and published in the Daily Graphic on Wednesday November 7 to confirm the story.
The Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) has, through its internal audit process, unearthed certain fraudulent dealings in the operations of the organization.
A press statement signed and issued by Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, the Managing Director, said in accordance with the company’s disciplinary procedures, management investigated and dismissed four staff who were found to have defrauded the organization and recommended to the board the dismissal of a manager for gross misconduct.
The statement said the Board of Directors, which has responsibility for disciplining executive management staff, was currently investigating allegations made by an investigative committee against the GM Marketing, who has been interdicted in the interim.
“The Graphic Communications Group is committed to delivering all aspects of its work with integrity. We have no doubt that through the collective efforts of our board, management and staff, which have brought the company this far, this matter will be addressed effectively”, Mr. Ashigbey assured the public.
He expressed optimism that the company’s systems and procedures would be even further enhanced with lessons from the incident.
Mr. Ashigbey, however, made it clear that the company did make the issue public because investigations were still ongoing.