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General News of Sunday, 29 December 2019

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

High profile scandals of 2019


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Scandals have a way of creeping into our news when everything seems quiet and peaceful and 2019 has had its fair share of such.

Do you remember any major scandals in the year which shook the core of the nation?

Well, GhanaWeb has compiled some unforgettable ones that featured in the year and bring them to you as the year draws to an end.

Anas’ ‘galamsey’ exposé

In February 2019 a Presidential Staffer and Secretary to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining (IMCIM), Mr. Charles Cromwell Bissue was captured in an exposé by investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, accepting money to facilitate clearance for a mining company without going through due process.

Several others connected to the work of the committee, were also seen in the video playing “facilitating” roles at negotiated fees.

This expose came a shock as the aim of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on illegal mining, as commissioned in March 2017 by Akufo-Addo, was to sanitize artisanal and small-scale mining in the country as well as develop a roadmap towards lifting an indefinite ban on small scale mining that lasted about 21 months.

Charles Bissue, in March decided to step aside to avail himself for investigations after he had allegedly been accused by Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ Tiger Eye PI documentary on galamsey fraud.

Subsequently, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service exonerated Mr. Bissue from allegations of corruption.

After investigations, the CID, in a final report, concluded that Mr Bissue did not circumvent the laid down procedures of the IMCIM to favour ORR Resource Enterprise, the company at the centre of the incident.

PDS takes over ECG

The Power Distribution Services (PDS) officially took over the power distribution operations from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) early in the year.

Meralco Consortium, a Pilipino Power Company won the bid to take over the operations of ECG is major shareholder in PDS.

However, government terminated the concession agreement with Power Distribution Services (PDS) on claims of fraud in August.

Government explained that documents presented by PDS as a guarantee for the takeover of the state-owned power retailing and distribution company were forged.

An independent forensic probe into allegations fraud however revealed there is no evidence to suggest any of the entities involved in the deal conspired to defraud the state.

Ghanaians on social media aired their frustration over power outages after the privatisation of the Electricity Company of Ghana, blaming government for taking away their problems with ECG and giving them a worse option, Power Distribution Services Ghana (PDS).

Kroll deal

The names of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo popped up in a fraudulent payment of US$ 1 million to an alleged UK-based asset recovery company called Kroll Associates.

The fraud was spotted by the Auditor General Department’s report of an audit conducted on Ministries and government agencies in 2018.

With this development the Auditor-General (AG) ordered Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, to refund about GH¢5.5 million allegedly paid to UK based consultancy firm M/S Kroll and Associates within sixty-days, accusing the Senior Minister of paying the private firm more than GH¢4 million cedis for no work done.

According to the Auditor-General, the Senior Minister did not seek parliamentary approval or consult the Public Procurement Authority before paying the money.

PPA boss' company busted for selling government contracts

In August 2019, investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, released a documentary on how Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), A.B Adjei was engaged in the sale of contracts.

Manasseh Azure Awuni has also confirmed that the company was engaged in selling contracts. Undercover encounters with the General Manager of the Company, Thomas Amoah, revealed that the company was selling a ¢22.3 million road contract to K-Drah Enterprise, a fake company Manasseh used for the investigation.

Undercover encounters with the General Manager of the Company, Thomas Amoah, revealed that the company was selling a ¢22.3 million road contract to K-Drah Enterprise, a fake company Manasseh used for the investigation.

This contract was awarded to B-Molie Limited, a company Mr Amoah said was a sister company of TDL.

He was however suspended by the president over these allegations of corruption and conflict of interest.

Akufo-Addo subsequently ordered the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and those relating to potential acts of corruption to the Office of Special Prosecutor “for their prompt action.”

Investigations from CHRAJ is yet to be disclosed.

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