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General News of Monday, 27 June 2005

Source: Chronicle

Nana Konadu blasts Auditor-General

... He?s the most dishonest A-G ever, she says

NANA KONADU Agyeman Rawlings, the former First Lady, has lambasted the Auditor-General, Mr. Edward Dua-Agyeman, describing him as the most dishonest and untruthful senior public servant Ghana has ever had.

According to her, the Auditor-General should be guided by the principles of auditing which requires that when a person is audited, that individual or the organization was given the report or invited to respond to queries raised by the auditing team instead of resorting to blackmailing through the media.

?If he knows auditing procedures, he should give the person that he claims to have audited the opportunity to respond to his queries, and if he was dissatisfied with the explanation or anything, then he could conclude that the person was fraudulent. He does not know the principles of auditing, he should be taught the basic procedures. In fact, he is the most dishonest and untruthful Auditor-General Ghana has ever had, yet he dares pointing accusing fingers at somebody,? she pointed out.

She added, ?We have done everything above board. The NPP government knows much about him. He is only playing politics with his work.?

Speaking with The Chronicle in an interview on Monday, June 20, in reaction to media reports that a bench warrant had been issued for her arrest, coupled with interpretations that her husband had responded to the invitation of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Nana Konadu said the actions of the Auditor-General were purely political intimidation and harassment.

According to the former First Lady, ?I have not been invited by the CID for the second time. They cannot invite me for the second time, because my lawyers have written to them and there was also no basis for them to invite me.

?The CID cannot even investigate something which is before court. In any case, whatever the organization has done, it was done above board.?

Mrs. Rawlings said, she found it unfortunate when she heard that the Attorney-General was instructing the CID to do what was untenable and unjustified.

The former First Lady rubbished the effusions that she failed to respond to the second invitation, and accused the government of having a political vendetta and victimization.

Nana Konadu revealed that the Nsawam Cannery was closed down for more than ten years before it was bought through a proper divestiture procedure. She added that at the time, seven companies put in bids, stressing that all the allegations leveled against the organization were unfounded.

According to her, whatever the Auditor-General and his cronies were doing was not only mischievous but also diversionary tactics aimed at distracting the attention of the masses from the corrupt practices of the government.

Responding to the comparison that had been drawn between her and her husband, Mr. Rawlings, on issues relating to CID invitations, Nana observed that, ?Nobody should compare my issues with my husband. There are different issues involved. I have chosen a different way to respond to the invitation on behalf of the organization. I am representing the organization but they are creating the impression that it belonged to me. This is very bad,? she said.

According to her, though she is not above the law, just like every individual in the country, including the president, the CID had no mandate to invite her on the particular case, let alone issue a bench warrant for her arrest.

It would be recalled that the CID invited the former first lady to help them in the investigation between Caridem versus the Divestiture Implementation Committee and Auditor-General?s department a fortnight ago.

She turned down the invitation and gave reasons why she could not appear before the CID, pointing out that the actions of the CID would not only amount to interference with the judicial process to her detriment and prejudice, but also to contempt since the issues raised by the CID were pending before court.

The former first lady, who is also the president of the 31st December Women?s Movement, was to report to the deputy CID boss, Mr. Patrick K Ampewuah.

A letter dated June 6th this year, signed by the CID captioned, ?Re-Caridem Vrs D.I.C Auditor-General (A-G),? to Mrs. Rawlings said, ?The CID is investigating an allegation of defrauding and forgery reported by the Auditor-General?s Department. You are kindly requested to report to the Deputy Director/CID on Wednesday 8/06/05 at 0900hours to assist in the investigation.?

Responding to the request of the CID, Counsels for Nana Konadu, Mr. Tony Lithur and Co. said, they were surprised at the invitation, stating, ?Our client is the chairman of the Directors of Caridem Development Company Limited (Caridem) and the President of the 31st December Women?s Movement.

?The movement which owns Caridem had sued both DIC and the Auditor-General in a civil suit which is currently pending in the High Court Accra. Our client is a potential witness in the said suit.?

Last Monday, it was again reported that a bench warrant had been issued against Mrs. Rawlings, but she dismissed it saying, ?I was not invited for the second time. This is a complete mischief meant to divert attention from the wrong-doings of the government.?