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General News of Saturday, 9 July 2011

Source: Multi TV

Stan Dogbe Cleared

Mr Stan Dogbe, the Presidential Aide who was alleged to have taken an amount of GH?169,000 from the Information Services Department and failed to account for the money, has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

A Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, speaking on Majority Caucus on MultiTV Thursday, said an internal audit at the Information Ministry had indicated the money was used for its intended purpose – budget education.

The Daily Guide newspaper in its Tuesday September 14 2010 edition broke the story of Mr Dogbe signing for GH?169,000 for budget education and quoted the presidential aide as saying “part of the cash was used to buy Christmas hampers to selected journalists and to influence articles published in the media.”

The explanation appeared not to have convinced sections of the public, forcing the Minister of Information Minister, Mr John Tia to issue a statement to stress that the money was used for its intended purpose. That intervention also failed to convince skeptics who continued to cite the newspaper report as an example of corruption in the Mills government.

The former Member of Parliament for Zebilla, Mr John Ndebugre even called for the arrest of Mr Stan Dogbe over the matter, as well as the scrapping of the Information Ministry. Communications Minister Haruna Iddrisu argued against that suggestion and said it was far fetched, assuring that the money “must be accounted for and will be accounted for.”

Responding to a caller who repeated the allegations against Mr Dogbe, Mr Ablakwa said it was not fair to try and convict Mr Dogbe in the court of public opinion.

“I [am] stating quite unequivocally that Mr Stan Dogbe has been cleared by an internal audit that has been carried out at the ministry and then an audit report that is also available by the Auditor-General. If somebody is working at the ministry and money comes for education campaign, all he did was to collect the money and hand it over to the directors and they did their work, they did the public education campaign, [the money] has been accounted for, there are receipts and vouchers to prove what the money was expended on. I don’t think that we can call that corruption,” he explained.