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General News of Saturday, 30 March 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

We await Special Prosecutor to probe ‘abnormal’ payments to MMT MD’ – CHRAJ boss

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is working with the Special Prosecutor, to determine how to deal with a case of fraudulent payments to the Former Managing Director (MD), Bennet Aboagye.

The Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Joseph Whittal revealed this to Citi News.

While the substantive case is being investigated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, some workers of the company have petitioned the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, (CHRAJ) to investigate the continuous payment of salaries and fuel allowances to the interdicted MD,

According to the petition sighted by Citi News, Metro Mass pays its former head, close to GHc 17,000 as monthly salary.
However, since the matter cannot be looked into by two anti-corruption agencies concurrently, the CHRAJ boss indicated that the Commission will act on the matter once it gets the terms of the agreement from the Special Prosecutor.

In the body of the complaint, we realised that, they have served a similar complaint with the Special Prosecutor (SP), My office has written to the SP, to find from him whether he has received one from the past or it’s similar to the one that was served to the Commission for investigation. This is because; two investigative bodies shouldn’t be working on the same matter at the same time.

“Much of the allegations are clearly within the anti-corruption mandate of the Commission although there is a portion on procurement that I believe the SP could be interested. I am awaiting what the SP will say to determine if our mandate has been triggered or his has been properly triggered”, he said on Eyewitness News.

Abnormal payments

When the host of the show, Umaru Sanda Amadu asked what he made of the said payments, Mr. Whittal described them as unusual given the circumstances surrounding the case.

“To be sincere, it is not normal to be interdicted for the President to appoint a substantive MD and you continue to withdraw your salary and continue to have your allowances paid to you. Although these are allegations, it is not normal.”

The workers, who are also the petitioners called for the prosecution of Mr. Bennet Aboagye.

“Sir, pursuant to article 218, clause (e) of the 1992 constitution, we are formally petitioning your esteem office to investigate the issues enumerated above and retrieve the fraudulent monies paid to Mr. Bennet Aboagye and Initiate punishment/prosecution of anybody or group of individuals found to be complicit in these payment.”

All evidence relating to the above are with us and we are willing to further assist your outfit to get to the bottom of the matter,”

Allegations made by Metro Mass staff

The petitioners also revealed that the transport company also pays five thousand Cedis monthly to Mr. Aboagye to fuel his official car although he has been at home since May 2018.

In addition, the company also allegedly pays for servicing the car used by the MD who was interdicted after the Office of the Special Prosecutor was petitioned to investigate allegations of fraud and procurement malpractices in April 2018.

The petitioners, who are workers of the state-owned company said Mr. Bennet Aboagye has been paid over 280,000 Ghana Cedis since May 2018 when he was interdicted by the Board of the company.

The payment, according to the petitioners, is allegedly upon the instruction of the board.

In the petition delivered to CHRAJ on March 26th, the petitioners demanded quick investigations and action.

The petitioners are calling on CHRAJ to as a matter of urgency to investigate and retrieve the said monies from the former managing director of the company.

The Board of Directors of the Metro Mass Transit Limited asked Mr. Aboagye, to step aside with immediate effect.

Mr. Aboagye was accused by staff of MMT of undertaking some shady deals as well as attempting to bribe whistle-blowers.