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Prosecute Osafo Marfo; leave the Auditor General alone – NDC to Akufo Addo

The main opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) has accused the government of working to ensure the removal of Daniel Domelevo from office as the Auditor-General.

The General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia addressing the media in Accra Monday blamed this on the surchage of in excess of $1Million the Audit Service imposed on the Senior Minister Yaw Osarfo Marfo.

The Eocomiic and Organized Crime Office(EOCO) probe of the Auditor General’s office has been met with stiff resistance from civil society organizations urging for the Special Prsecutor to rather handle the matter.

The NDC said the government is not happy with Mr Domelevo fight against corruption which is dealing with government appointees.

“The Auditor General has intensified steps to reclaim the illegal payment from the Senior Minister. Certain backdoor machination are being engineered to have the Auditor General himself removed. Instead of government chasing the theif, government is now chasing the policeman who is chasing the chief. It is worthy of note that Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo and Prof. Edward Duah Agyemang Chairman of the Audit Service Board who previously constituted a Cabinet sub-committee to investigate the previous NDC adminsitration are collaborating to see the removal of Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo because he has resisted direct interference with his work which is constitutionally insulated from interfereneces,” Mr Asiedu Nketia said.

Below is the full statement read by the NDC General Secretary, Mr. Asiedu Nketia

The attention of the NDC has been drawn to some sinister machinations by the Akuffo Addo government to remove the Auditor General from office. Mr. Dumelovo’s crime is that he has dared to take the fight against corruption to the highest levels of the thieving Akufo-Addo government and is insisting on doing the right things in accordance with Ghanaian law.

The Economic and Organized Crime Office, acting almost certainly at the behest of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, has extended a clandestine invitation to the Auditor General, ostensibly as part of investigations into a petition filed by an NPP hatchet man acting in concert with agents of the Akufo-Addo government.

What is being presented as a routine investigation into allegations of wrongdoing is, in fact, an attempt to gag the Auditor-General and subsequently remove him from office because of his uncompromising stance in the fight against corruption. Put more accurately, this EOCO investigation is designed as retribution against Mr. Dumelovo because he has been on the tail of Yaw Osafo Marfo over the latter’s involvement in the massive corruption scandal under which $ 1 million was paid to Kroll Associates, a UK company for no work done.

The Auditor-General, in a letter dated 24th September, 2019, addressed to the Senior Minister, outlined reasons why the Senior Minister’s payment to Kroll Associates was to be disallowed and have him surcharged for the amount of Gh₵4,869,421.87 the equivalent of US$1,031,460.50 being payment to Kroll Associates for a contract awarded in September, 2017 with the effective date of 13th February, 2017.

Brief background:
The Akufo-Addo administration on 26th September, 2017 signed a contract with Kroll Associates for some professional services. The contract was signed on behalf of the Government by Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo the Senior Minister. The contract was to take effect from February 2017. This particular

contract was curiously awarded to Kroll Associates based on an expression of interest by the company.
Based on the expression of interest, the contract was eventually awarded on sole sourcing basis without prior approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) contrary to the dictates of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) as amended.

Following the letter from the Auditor General demanding proof of approval from PPA failure of which the Senior Minister stands liable for surcharge, the Office of the Senior Minister, has released some documents purporting to show PPA approval for the contract.

A letter dated 14th November, 2017 and addressed to the Minister for National Security, showed sole sourcing approval by the PPA . This purported approval went to the National Security Council Secretariat and not the Senior Minister. We must note that the Senior Minister, Mr. Osafo Marfo, is not a member of the National Security Council Secretariat.

Furthermore, the sole sourcing approval by PPA conveyed to the National Security Council Secretariat was done and communicated on the 14th November, 2017.

Note that the contract to Kroll was awarded on 26th of September, 2017 with a retroactive effective date of 13th February, 2017. This simply reveals that the Kroll Associate contract awarded by the Senior Minister, did not receive prior approval from the PPA.

This is in clear violation of the Public Procurement Act, which calls for the immediate prosecution of all involved including the Senior Minister.

Following the Auditor-General’s intensified steps to reclaim the illegal payment from the Senior Minister, certain back door machinations are being engineered to have him removed.

It is worthy of note that Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo and Prof. Edward Duah Agyemang, Chairman of the Audit Service Board, who previously constituted a Cabinet Sub-Committee to investigate the NDC administration are collaborating to see to the removal of Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo because he has resisted direct interference with his audit work which is constitutionally insulated from such interferences.

The information available to the NDC shows that the Audit Service, in the absence of the Auditor General, procured some vehicles which process went through the Entity Tender Committee which was not superintended over by Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo.

We are aware that the office of the Auditor General provided dequate responses to queries about the circumstances that informed the procurement of the said vehicles and the authority that authorized the transactions.

The Auditor-General, is known for his principled stance and pragmatism in his approach to work. Having entered the seat of government to expose corruption, it is being met with stiff resistance and machinations.

The Akufo-Addo government is using EOCO to tie the hands of the Auditor service Board and leave them with no option than to ask the Auditor-General to step aside pending investigations.

Information available to us shows, that as part of the larger plot to remove the Auditor General from office, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), an NPP offshoot which has been used to carry out this vendetta, would petition the President in the coming days for the removal of the Auditor-General instead of the prosecution of the real
culprits of corruption such as the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo. President Akufo-Addo who has not hidden his haste to clear corrupt appointees of wrongdoing without proper investigations, would in turn be all too happy to oblige and ask the Auditor General to step aside.

The object of all this is to relieve the pressure mounted on Yaw Osarfo Marfo, over his involvement in this brazen act of corruption in the $1 million Kroll Scandal and prevent Mr. Dumelovo from doing further work that will shed more light on the deep-seated corruption the President is supervising.

In a nutshell, the invitation of Mr. Dumelovo by EOCO, is the first step in a grand scheme to remove him from office because the Akufo-Addo government finds him a threat to their agenda of state capture under which corruption is being used to enrich government and NPP officials as well as relatives of the President.

Mr. Dumelovo’s fearless fight against the canker and his determination to shine the light on all who engage in corruption irrespective of their position, is perceived as an existential threat to the Akufo- Addo government.

Specifically, his surcharge of the Senior Minister for the corrupt Kroll deal, is deemed too big a blow as Mr. Osafo Marfo is considered too a big fish to fall hence the elaborate plot to remove him.

If President Akufo-Addo were truthful and principled, he would order further investigations into the Kroll corruption scandal following which prosecutions will commence against the Senior Minister.

Why is Mr. Osafo Marfo still in office when there is sufficient evidence detailing his involvement in the award and payment of almost Gh₵5.5 million to Kroll Associates without prior approval from the PPA? Is this breach of the Public Procurement Act not sufficient basis for his removal from office and subsequent criminal prosecution?

With a President who promised in that heavily plagiarized inaugural speech to protect the public purse by insisting on value for money, would fair minds not be expecting him to protect the office of an Auditor-General who has proven strong his support to the President’s call to protect the public purse?

Why is President Akufo-Addo fighting constitutional bodies and state institutions who are pursuing the fight against corruption contrary to his oath of office?

Having proven the culpability of the Senior Minister, we expect the President to act in a manner that is in keeping with the dictates of Ghanaian law rather than taking steps that deepen corruption and the total dissipation of the public purse in the manner Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo has been exposed to have done.

The witch-hunt of Mr. Daniel Yaw Domelevo reveals deep seated governmental complicity in the systematic rape of the resources entrusted into the care of President Akufo-Addo.

It shows the President’s lack of commitment in the fight against corruption involving his friends and family members who have constituted his government.

The use of EOCO in this dubious endeavour and the schemes set in motion, must be a worry to all well-meaning Ghanaians especially anti-corruption Civil Society Organizations such as the GII, IMANI Ghana, Occupy Ghana, the CJA etc.

Especially when, the enforcement of the powers of surcharge of the Auditor General was given effect by a recent Supreme Court Ruling in a case filed these very same Civil Society Organizations.

The attempts to remove the Auditor General from office is part of a sinister move that would paralyze the Audit Service which had been effortlessly undermined by the actions of Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo and Professor Edward Duah Agyemang when they engaged private audit firms through sole sourcing to conduct parallel audits- activities that are under the jurisdiction of the Auditor General

There is an orchestration to have a puppet smuggled into the Auditor-General’s office as has been done to other otherwise independent public institutions since the assumption of power by the Akufo- Addo government. This must be resisted if our nation must move forward with any hope of fighting corruption in our public institutions.

Rather than hounding Mr. Dumelovo, we are by this press conference calling on President Akuffo Addo to immediately order the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo for the breaches of the Public Procurement Act. We demand an immediate cessation of the hostile victimization of Mr. Dumelovo by the Akufo-Addo government.

President Akuffo Addo must demonstrate that no one is above the laws of Ghana including Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is curious to note that the Attorney General, Miss Gloria Afua Akuffo has put before the courts, some appointees of the previous NDC administration for allegedly breaching the Public Procurement Act, we wonder why the Attorney General is not showing the same interest in having Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo arrested and charged.

We know without a shudder of doubt that the reason for the inability of the President and the Attorney General to crack the whip on Mr. Osafo Marfo in this case of naked looting of state resources, is because of the family and friends ties that binds them together.

We find the conduct of the EOCO unacceptable in the sense that the anti-graft agency is comfortably inviting Mr. Yaw Domelevo for questioning and granting him bail but has refused or neglected to invite Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo for the same breaches of the Public Procurement Act.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we cannot have two sets of laws in Ghana, one for the family and friends of President Akuffo Addo and another for other Ghanaians.

If President Akufo-Addo fails to take action on this case of corruption by his Senior Minister, as we expect he would, he will have cemented his image as the biggest promoter of corruption in the history of Ghana and the one President who presided over the most corrupt government. His moniker as the chief corruption clearing agent would have been well and truly earned.

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