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Ghana@50 Commission of Enquiry not happy with testimonies
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General News of Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Source: GNA

Ghana@50 Commission of Enquiry not happy with testimonies

Accra, Aug. 19, GNA- Justice Isaac Duose, Chairman of the Ghana@50 Commission of Enquiry on Tuesday warned that district assemblies that do not account for proceeds of the of Ghana@50 souvenirs should put their acts together or face the law.

The warning was necessitated by the evidence given to the Commission by district assemblies in the Volta Region, suggesting that those assemblies arbitrarily gave out items that were supposed to be sold for free without approval from the Regional Co-ordinating Council or from the Ghana@50 Secretariat thereby causing financial loss to the state. ""Those of you who decided to give out items free of charge when you were supposed to sell and make accounts of proceeds should prepare to account to the law," he stressed, adding: "All of you are singing the same songs as if you have rehearsed.We are fed up."

The district assemblies received about 2,500 Ghana@50-branded T-shirts, 1,500 baseball caps, anniversary mugs and jubilee cloths, with explicit orders in the form of memoranda accompanying the items, to sell them at prices fixed by the Ghana@50 Secretariat and account for the proceeds to the secretariat.

But some of the assemblies in the region that testified before the commission said they could not account for the items because they were expensive as compared to similar products on the market. They were therefore compelled to give them out for free to identifiable groups and individuals.

Some of the district officials told the commission that they were not aware that they were supposed to sell the items and render accounts of the proceeds, since they did not spot any memoranda to that effect. Others said although they knew that the items were fore sale there was a clause in the memoranda accompanying the souvenirs that if they failed to render accounts for the items, it would be surcharged to their respective distri ct assemblies' common fund, and so decided to absorb the cost.

Justice Duose rebuffed the argument, saying, "The Common Fund is meant for development of your districts and for this purpose in question".

"This excuse you people are giving the commission is not tenable. You were ordered to sell and render proceeds. "And I hope other district assemblies yet to appear before the commission would not give the same testimonies," he said. All assemblies in the region, received GH¢10,000 from the Ghana@50 Secretariat to support the Jubilee celebrations. The Ho District assembly did not submit its memoranda on time to the commission and was asked to appear on Wednesday August 12. 11 Aug. 09

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