Regional News of Thursday, 31 October 2013
Source: Daily Guide
Series of alleged corrupt practices have been uncovered at the Wa Depot of the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) causing various investigative bodies to look into the matter to find the perpetrators.
The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) in the Upper West Region confirmed to Daily Guide that they were investigating the matter but failed to disclose their findings so far.
Investigations conducted by the paper revealed that the Depot Manager, one Gyewu Dickson, his Internal Auditor, one Mankama and Edward Saaka, the accounts officer, allegedly colluded to embezzle funds of the company under the guise of purchases and supplies.
Management of the company who dispatched an auditor from Accra to look into the matter was also keeping its findings under wraps while persons purportedly cited in the reports were still at post.
The financial malfeasance involving the officials of the company had been going on over a year now resulting in more than GH¢40,000 loss of revenue to the company which is running short of buses.
According to information gathered by Daily Guide, perpetrators of the corrupt act caused the huge revenue loss by over-invoicing within the period under investigation.
Officials, it was gathered, were accused of cultivating the habit of taking blank receipts from suppliers and inflating figures of items purchased ranging from spare parts to manor repair works.
One of such underhand dealings was cited on April 22, 2013 where an individual was contracted to prune the branches of a tree behind the manager’s office for GH¢50 as contained in a petty invoice with number 005842.
A fortnight later, Savanna Waste Management, a janitorial company in charge of cleaning the main yard of the depot, also presented an invoice valued GH¢650 for same job.
A pay voucher with reference number 012618 with a corresponding cheque number 785403 was accordingly prepared and issued.
Similar financial improprieties were also recorded on the February 27, 2013, February 24, 2013, April 2, 2013 and April 8, 2013 where monies were doled out to some organizations including Kanyir Auto Electrical and Buk Rash Ghana Limited under mysterious circumstances.
It was uncovered that though these organizations were contracted to do some jobs for the MMT, there charges were reportedly inflated in order for the officials to benefit.
It was, however, unclear if management of the company intended taking punitive action against the individuals cited in the report, as efforts to talk to one Robert with the Audit Department of the MMT on the matter proved futile.
He admitted being assigned to carry a thorough audit of the books of the company in Wa but indicated that he presented his report to his superiors on his return to Accra.
The MMT official declined to disclose the content of his findings to the paper, saying he could only do so on authorization.
Meanwhile, the Depot Manager, Gyewu Dickson, has admitted to Daily Guide that he and two other subordinate staff were being investigated by management of the company and EOCO for financial impropriety.
According to him, until the full facts of the matter had been established by the two investigative bodies, he would not commit on the matter, indicating that they gave their responses to both the Auditors in Accra and EOCO.
Mr. Gyewu indicated that he could not confirm or deny whether his subordinates were those engaging in the alleged underhand dealings, until a comprehensive report had been received from the MMT headquarters in Accra.
In a related development, one John A. Mahama, a staff of the company, in a letter dated September 6, 2013 had petitioned the Managing Director to block the leakages in revenue in the Wa Depot of the company.
He accused the Depot Management and two of his subordinates of inefficiencies that had resulted in the siphoning of the company’s cash, citing unapproved deals which had been the bane of these actions.
The collusion to carry out a well planned financial scandals, he warned, could drown the fortunes of the company and appealed to management to, as a matter of urgency, safeguard the sinking company in the Upper West Region.