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General News of Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Source: citifmonline.com

Reinstate me now - EC Finance director fumes

The embattled Finance Director of the Electoral Commission, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, has through his lawyers, written to the Commission to immediately reinstate him or face his wrath.

Citi News sources say the letter, which was copied to the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO), maintains that Mr. Kwaku-Asamoah is currently not under investigation, and must not be restrained from performing his duties.

About seven months ago, the Finance Director, together with the Commission’s two deputy chairpersons, were directed to proceed on leave for investigations into the missing GHc 480, 000 from the EC’s Staff Endowment Fund. But Citi News sources say his lawyers in the letter argue that, it is unjust for him to be locked out of his office when the alleged malfeasance did not happen under him.

Meanwhile, Citi News has also sighted an advise from the Attorney General’s Office asking EOCO to conduct a comprehensive independent forensic audit of the EC’s Staff Endowment Fund to deepen the investigation.

In the Attorney General’s opinion, EOCO’s investigations failed to prove whether any money was indeed misappropriated, and how much was involved.

Amankwah’s woes

In a related development, EOCO, on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that it has cleared the Deputy Chairperson of the Electoral Commission in charge of Corporate Services, Georgina Opoku Amankwah of any wrongdoing following a probe into the GHc480,000 believed to have gone missing from the EC’s Senior Staff Endowment Fund.

“We wish to emphatically and categorically state that no such clearance has been issued to any of the Officers of the Electoral Commission who are on leave,” EOCO said in a brief statement issued on Tuesday.

Madam Amankwah together with Dr. Asamoah and another director of the EC were directed to proceed on leave in July 2017, to enable EOCO investigate the matter.



Although she forcibly resumed duty last week, Madam Amankwah and her lawyer after meeting with EOCO officials, agreed on a 14-day ultimatum by which time she wants the EOCO report on her to be ready. She has vowed to return to work if she does not receive any response from EOCO.

This ultimatum was agreed upon after officials of the investigative body stormed her office to prevent her from occupying it.

EOCO Statement on Electoral Commission Officials by GhanaWeb Editorial on Scribd



But even before the 14-day period elapses, the Daily Guide newspaper in its January 23, 2018 edition, reported that some documents available to it from the Attorney General’s Department suggest that the affected officers including Opoku Amankwa have been cleared of any malfeasance.

According to the newspaper, “The report, dated January 10, 2018, indicates that the focus of the EOCO investigation was on Samuel Yorke Aidoo, the then Director of Finance, as well as Ishmael Pensah, a former Chief Accountant, who no longer works with the EC.”

Daily Guide further suggested that Georgina Opoku-Amankwaah and the other directors being investigated were allegedly being hounded by EOCO on the instruction of the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei.

But EOCO in its statement said the claims by the Paper are untrue.

“…the attribution that ‘EC Chairperson is said to be manipulating EOCO’ is blatant falsehood and needs to be condemned. The general public is invited to disregard the said publication,” the statement added.

The statement however fell short of addressing the newspaper’s claim of a report from the Attorney General’s Department.

https://www.scribd.com/document/369866642/EOCO-Statement-on-Electoral-Commission-Officials