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General News of Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Rot at NSS: Names of 27 district directors out; 2 women involved

The names of 27 district directors of the National Service Scheme (NSS) who have been picked up by operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for interrogation on the various roles they played in the Ghc7.9 million financial rot at the NSS, are out. A list containing the names, which is available to the Daily Graphic, includes two women. However, one of them Anastasia Zanoo of the Ga South District Office of the NSS has been granted bail.

An amount of Ghc7.9 million has been lost to the state in the month of July 2014 as a result of the payments made to 22,612 non-existent service personnel.

The arrested district directors are: Hayford Bredzei, the Director of the Ho Municipality; Alfred Mensah, Jomoro District; Kenu Foster Asiedu, Kwahu West; John Sam, Asante Akim Central; Emmanuel Boafo Asiedu, Kumasi Metro; Frank Akoto Acquah, Atwima Kwanwoma; Noah Kofi Boadi, Asante Akim South; Ali Issah, Bole; Gideon Kwesi, Ga West and Jones Tannor of the Tano South District.

Others are Sulemana Alhassan, Asunafo South; Andrew Wak, Bawku West; Fidelis Bani, Hohoe Municipal; Seth Naorta Bekyire, Gomoa East; Godfred Hooney, Wassa Amenfi East; Benjamin Amponsah, Bia East and West districts; Mark Mwirii Jebuni, Saboba, Joseph Kumah, Nanumba North and Alhassan Yahaya, Gushegu.

The rest are Iddrisu Mohammed, Gunu, Tolon; Siibu Mahama, West and North Gonja; Shaibu Malik, Mamprusi West; Shaibu Mbema, East Gonja, Mohammed Abu Hanifah, Nanumba South and Iddrisu Adam, Karaga.

Regina Kyanoo, Lambussie Kani and Anastasia Zanoo, Ga South District are the two women among the arrested officials.

Some are in Accra while the rest are being transported to Accra.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the NSS, Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, and five of his directors have been ordered to step aside for investigations to be carried out into the alleged embezzlement at the NSS.

Also affected are more than 27 directors cited as allegedly partaking in the financial malfeasance at the scheme.

A statement signed and issued in Accra by the Board Chairperson of the NSS, Mrs Gifty Mahama Biyira, cited the affected directors to include Michael Kombor, Director in charge of Finance and Administration; Ms Sophia Karen Akuoko, Deputy Director in charge of Operations; Fiifi Asubonteng, Director of IT; Alhassan Iddrisu, Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), and Ms Gloria Aku Mensah, the acting Internal Auditor.

Additionally, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the NSS, Mr Seth Asiedu, and all other officers of the scheme who have been cited in the rot, have also been directed to step aside.

The board has taken over the running of the NSS until further notice.

The Daily Graphic broke the news on the rot at the NSS in its Thursday, October 2, 2014 edition and followed up in its next edition with the list of 27 directors of the NSS who allegedly paid a total of GH¢200,000 as bribes in their attempt to influence operatives of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to stop investigations.

Alhaji Imoro, who allegedly parted with Ghc100,000 out of the total amount to influence BNI investigators to conceal the canker, is being monitored closely by the BNI.

A total of Ghc7.9 million was paid to 22,612 non-existent national service persons in more than 100 districts in July 2014.

According to Daily Graphic checks, after hints of massive fraud at the NSS, various sums of money and other items were used to induce investigators to stop their attempt to uncover the rot.

The list, which is in the possession of the Daily Graphic, mentioned Alhaji Imoro as having paid Ghc85,000 and Ghc15,000 on two separate occasions.

The Daily Graphic also gathered that there are video and audio recordings of both the locations and the occasions the said directors paid the bribes to BNI officials.

The paper had also learnt that smocks, tubers of yam, laptops and goats were used by the directors in their effort to entice the BNI officials to either stop or conceal the outcome of the investigations.

The next highest giver of the bribe after the NSS boss is the Half Assini District Director of the scheme, Alfred Mensah, who was said to have parted with Ghc26,000.

Another suspect, Seth Laarfa Bekyire, was alleged to have paid Ghc20,000 while Samuel Quansah, Roland Awuni, Stephen Agodoa and Justice Nandi of the Nkwanta South, Nkwanta North, Krachi East and West districts respectively, paid a total of Ghc7,200 as bribe, while the District Director for the West Mamprusi and Moaduri District, Shaibu Malik, was alleged to have paid Ghc4,000 as bribe.

Other names on the bribery list are Hayford Bredzei, Ho Municipality, Ghc5,000; Mbema Saibu, East Gonja District, Ghc5,000; Samuel Bempong, Kwahu North (Afram Plains), Ghc5,000, Alex Foley, Kenyasi, Ghc5,000, Siibu Mahama, West and North Gonja, Ghc4,000; Tannoh Jones, Bechem, Ghc3,000; Samuel Atta Gyesew, Ghc2,000 and Ralph Alorwu, Atebubu-Amaten, Ghc1,000.

The other district directors who parted with various sums of money and other items to conceal the outcome of the investigations are Lamini Mohammed, Tano North, Ghc3,000 and two Samsung laptops; Ibrahim Musah, Yendi, four smocks; Greater Accra Regional Director of NSS, Nana Diasekapa Obugyei II, Ghc2,000; Charles Ekpe, Akatsi District, Ghc2,000; Kena Asiedu, Kwahu West District, Ghc500.00 and Dzokoto Nesta of the Sogakope District, Ghc700.00.