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General News of Saturday, 27 May 2017


Streamline work of various investigative institutions - IDEG tells government

Executive Director of IDEG Dr Emmanuel Akwetey said it is time President Nana Akufo-Addo streamlines the work of the various investigative institutions.

He said the President should issue a decree to that effect Minister has no business investigating any issue to do with corruption in public office.

Contributing to the discussion on the recent scandals at the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and National Communications Authority (NCA) on Joy FM/MultiTV's news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday, he said it is the preserve of the police to carry out such investigation.

"We must have a rule or policy where there is a minimum requirement for the police to take over, the Minister has nothing to do with setting up internal committee whatsoever.

"Crime is crime and it must be dealt with without any political colourisation which it takes on once it gets in the media," Mr Kwetey said.

His comments follow revelations by the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, in an interview with Joy FM that some officials of NCA allegedly withdrew $4 million from the accounts of the Authority and have failed to account for it.

The Minister named William Tevie, former NCA Director; Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie, former Board Chairman; one Alhaji Osman, former Deputy National Security Coordinator among others as officials involved in the scandal.

The Minister said an investigation by the current government revealed that the named officials had contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million, to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.

Mr Hamid further revealed that a local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, was also charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.

In a related development, Joy News intercepted an investigative report which alleges that former Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority Dr George Crentsil received a $1.2million kickback from a contractor.

Lemet Construction Company is said to have worked on a new block of the Standards Authority Training School at a cost in excess of GHC15 million.

The contractor did not state why he gave out the money but the report indicates Dr. Crentsil admitted receiving the cash.

According to the report submitted by the board of directors of the Ghana Standards Authority to the then Trade Minister Dr Ekwow Spio Gabrah, Dr George Crentsil took $1 million from the contractor working on the GSA training school on one occasion.

Adding his voice to the criticisms of ministers initiating investigations Dr Kwetey believes with institutions which have clear mandates in dealing with such matters, they should be seen to stepping up to the plate.

"What is the office of Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) doing in a case relating to economic crimes at NCA and GSA? How does the Bureau of National Investigations come in?

"It confuses issues and makes it very difficult to deal with issues," he said.