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General News of Tuesday, 16 January 2018


EOCO to release findings on EC’s Opoku Amankwah in 14 days

The Economic and Organised Crime Office, EOCO, has asked lawyers for embattled Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, to give them two weeks to come up with their findings on their client.

This was among the major issues discussed at a meeting between officials of the EOCO and Madam Amankwaah’s lawyers after a near clash on Monday.

Officials of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office, EOCO, led by the Director, ACP K.K. Amoah, had stormed her office at the Electoral Commission to forcefully remove her from office for resuming full official duties in defiance of a directive that asked her to stay away.

The Deputy chair resisted the attempts to get her out of the office, indicating that the EC was treating her unfairly.

But following a meeting between her lawyer and officials of EOCO, it was agreed that EOCO presents its findings within 14 days.

Georgina Opoku Amankwah’s lawyer, Nana Boakye Adu-Poku, told Citi News after the meeting that, “they [EOCO] said they have conducted an investigation so we have to see the outcome of the investigation. What we have agreed is that, for now, she has to stay out for some time and after 14 days, whether the report is in or not, she will proceed to work.”

Madam Opoku Amankwah was directed to proceed on leave in July 2017, to enable investigations into the 480,000 Ghana cedis believed to have gone missing from the EC’s Senior Staff Endowment Fund.

Endowment Fund cash not in EC officials’ accounts – EOCO

In September 2017, EOCO confirmed that the money which went missing from the Electoral Commission (EC)’s Endowment Fund did not end up in the accounts of the officials of the EC under investigation.

However, the Executive Director of EOCO, K. K. Amoah, insisted that it was too early to conclude that the officials are innocent, given the mandate and access they had to the funds during the period.

EOCO commenced investigations into the activities of three officials of the EC; Georgina Opoku Amankwah, Chief Accountant, Kwaku Owusu Agyei-Larbi and Finance Officer, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, after over 480,000 cedis went missing, resulting in the officials being asked to proceed on leave.

Speaking to Accra-based Peace FM, the Executive Director of EOCO, K. K. Amoah, stated that, investigations were far advanced into the matter, and that they were going to submit their findings to the Attorney General, which has since been done.

According to him, there have been claims that the money from the Endowment Fund was used for some projects for the EC, but he said no documents have been provided to prove this claim.

“It’s been suggested that the money was used for some work for the EC. If that’s the case, they should bring receipts and documents to prove it. We haven’t got any such documents from them. Without those documents, we’ll continue to pursue them. With time, we will pass the information on to the Attorney General to pursue the matter in court.”

K. K. Amoah also clarified that the officials under investigation were still on leave and had not been interdicted.

‘Officials assisting investigations’

The Head of Communications at the EC, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, stated in July 2017 that the three officials proceeded on leave in order to protect the integrity of investigations by EOCO

“What I know is that, EOCO is investigating matters related to staff endowment fund where we have some gap in the deposits which must be paid to the staff from the deductions of the staff. As a result of which EOCO has started investigations and all persons who are related to the issue have been called for questioning… The commission is fully cooperating with EOCO as far as this investigation is concerned,” he said

A letter, written to the Chair of the EC, Charlotte Osei, dated July 4th, 2017 from EOCO, said “the suspects are assisting in investigations.”