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General News of Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Special Prosecutor summons two over alleged corruption

The Office of the Special Prosecutor has invited the Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat and the Administrator of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) Secretariat to help with investigations to ascertain whether or not either of them or both have used their positions for private benefit.

The two officials — Mr Kingsley Agyemang, the Registrar, and Mr Richard Boadu, the Administrator — are to report at exactly 10 a.m. on September 3, 2019 and August 28, 2019, respectively.

When contacted, Mr Boadu denied any wrongdoing and said he was prepared to meet the Special Prosecutor.

However, Mr Agyemang could not be reached, as he was on official assignment outside the jurisdiction.

Letters addressed to the two officials, both dated August 22, 2019 and signed by Mr A. B. K. Amidu, copies of which are available to the Daily Graphic, said: “The Office has been conducting preliminary investigations into suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences in the nature of use of public office for private profit or benefit, contrary to sections 179 (c) and 179 (d) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

“The matters of preliminary investigations have reached such a stage that instructions for a full investigation into possible use of public office for private profit or benefit in the award of scholarships to needy students have been issued.”

Both officials are to report with all information and documents, including relevant minutes of the board relating to the award of scholarships, in particular for tertiary education in Ghana and outside, where applicable.

Invitation

The letters to the Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat and the Administrator of the GETFund both read: “You are accordingly being invited as the Registrar of the Scholarship Secretariat or and therefore its Chief Executive Officer/the Administrator of the GETFund Secretariat to assist in the investigations in pursuance of sections 29 and 73 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959) and Regulation 10 of the Office of the Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2374).”

They are to report to the acting Head of Investigations of the OSP.

>b>Kingsley Agyemang react

Mr Agyemang, who is on official duties in India, confirmed receipt of the letter from the OSP.

He told the Daily Graphic via telephone that the whole issue bordered on Section 2 (b) of the GETFund Act, 2000 (Act 581) which touched on the object of the fund.

Section 2 (b) of Act 581 says the GETFund is “to provide supplementary funding for the Scholarship Secretariat for the grant of scholarships to gifted but needy students for studies in second-cycle and accredited tertiary institutions in the country”.

The act interprets accredited tertiary institutions to include any post-secondary institution that is accredited.

It listed accredited tertiary institutions to include: a university or university college, a polytechnic, a diploma-awarding teacher training college and a post-senior high school institution.

Mr Agyemang said he would react fully after the engagement with the Special Prosecutor, but explained that “we at the secretariat, since 2012, had not received funds until last year”.

In that year, he added, the Scholarship Secretariat received about GH¢1 million and it was used to award scholarships to brilliant, needy students in second-cycle schools.

“We’ve done nothing untoward; I’ve done nothing untoward. We will assist in the investigations. I’ll meet him on Tuesday and react fully after the meeting with the Special Prosecutor,” Mr Agyemang added.

Meanwhile, attempts by the Daily Graphic to reach the Administrator of the GETFund for his response have been unsuccessful, as he is also on official assignment outside the country.

Information available to the Daily Graphic indicates that as of the time of going to press yesterday, the administrator was airborne for an official engagement.