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Opinions of Monday, 9 March 2020

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

On the GETFund exposé

I have yet to fully weigh in on the GetFund exposé that hit the media headlines last week, because I have not as yet fully familiarized myself with the reasons being advanced for why his ardent detractors are averse to President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s extending the tenure of Mr. Daniel Yao Domelevo, the Auditor-General, whose then-acting position was suddenly and, understandably, suspiciously elevated to that of a substantive Auditor-General by a witheringly defeated President John Dramani Mahama at the tail end of the latter’s tenure, in what clearly appeared to be a strategically scorched-earth attempt to decisively sandbag the Akufo-Addo Administration right from its inception.

You see, the widespread suspicions on the part of the operatives of the then newly elected or mandated Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) was perfectly understandable and all to be expected, because for more than a year under the tenure of Mr. Mahama, Mr. Domelevo had served in the capacity of Acting Auditor-General without any visible signs of being fully confirmed as substantive Auditor-General of the Ghana National Audit Service (GNAS).

It appears presently that the otherwise creditably performing Auditor-General is being pressured to either leave his post or be summarily dismissed by the President because of Mr. Domelevo’s alleged decision to release the names of some well-heeled politicians, public officials and civil servants who may have unduly benefited from the Ghana Education Trust Fund, or GETFund, a State-sponsored scholarship program that was originally established with the sole objective of assisting poor but talented Ghanaian citizens in dire need of financial assistance further their academic and/or professional development. Mr. Domelevo’s crime appears to be that as Auditor-General, he ought to have carefully and critically examined the names of candidates listed by the GETFund administrators as having benefited from the program between 2012 and 2018, before causing the same to be publicly and officially released into the public domain or published, as any erroneous publication of the names of listed candidates who may not have actually benefited from the program was likely to cause considerable embarrassment to such candidates and possibly significantly damage the image and reputation of such candidates as well, which is precisely what has appears to have happened.

Of course, yours truly is quite well aware of some of the run-ins or some of the headbutting that have occurred between the Auditor-General and some very powerful members of the current Akufo-Addo Administration, including Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister at the Presidency. At any rate, it was all to be expected that Mr. Domelevo and his staff could not have been careful enough, in view of the fact that the apparently erroneously published names of candidates who claim not to have received a dime or pesewa from GETFund were actually listed by the program’s administrators and managers, and not by the Office of the Auditor-General as such.

Needless to say, those of my readers who have been sedulously following my take on the personality and professional performance of Mr. Domelevo are fully aware of the fact that this writer has been staunchly supportive of the Auditor-General, when I have been provided with credible evidentiary cause to do so. And so far, Mr. Domelevo has admirably demonstrated that he is absolutely not afraid or shy to tackle apparent fiscal kinks or improprieties involving some of the most prominent and powerful figures in government, a situation which was either rare or virtually nonexistent, in retrospect, with the advent of the terror-trailing so-called Rawlings Revolution and throughout the tenures of the NDC-sponsored presidents of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.

Which is absolutely in no way to either imply or suggest that in his brash and very public confrontation with Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister at the Presidency, for just one striking example, Mr. Domelevo’s conduct has been absolutely without blemish or any behavioral infelicities. At the end of the day, what matters more than anything else is that the Auditor-General is clearly seen to be diligently and impartially performing his duties as he ought to.

There is every reason to believe, even as locally renowned legal lights like Mr. Martin Kpebu have suggested, that in deciding the question of whether to extend the tenure of Auditor-General Domelevo or not, that pure professionalism triumphs over personal sentiments or sheer ideological proclivities on the part of “The Prime Mover,” tongue-in-cheek here, of course.

As I have always maintained, when it comes to the discursive subject of the internal dynamics of the New Patriotic Party, the real enemy is often within the reach of one’s arm.

In other words, the worst of Auditor-General Daniel Yao Domelevo could not be worse than the worst of those diehard internal Akufo-Addo detractors who almost succeeded in effectively quashing the latter’s, in retrospect, most auspicious presidential ambitions.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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