General News of Monday, 1 April 2013
Source: The Chronicle
The procurement of science equipment for the Universities of Ghana and Cape Coast by the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) became a subject of investigation by the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) in late 2009 but an official report on findings has yet to be produced, according to The Chronicle.
GETFund confirmed to the newspaper that the fund has been under investigation by the EOCO for the past four years.
In an official response to The Chronicle’s enquiries on the procurements, the Administrator of the GETFund, Sam Garba, gave a breakdown of the payments done by the fund for the equipment, but emphasised: “This subject is being investigated by the Economic and Organised Crime Office.”
According to GETFund, it made payment for science equipment for the University of Ghana for GH¢12,017,340.01 – for the period 09/05/2008 to 25/11/2009, and an additional GH¢13,999,151.39 for the University of Cape Coast, spanning the period 20/02/2008 to 31/12/2009.
Correspondence from the GETFund to The Chronicle further noted that the payments were made by the Board of Trustees of the fund, whose tenure ended in early 2009.
According to the GETFund: “The current Board of Trustees and management have been co-operating with EOCO to get to the bottom of the matter, by supplying to them every piece of information that they have requested…”
It also emerged that the contracts leading to the procurement of the equipment were not awarded by the GETFund, but only paid for the consignment. “It should be placed on record that the contracts leading to the science equipment were not awarded by the GETFund, because that has not been the responsibility of the Fund, but only paid for it, as per the Fund’s mandate,” the GETFund noted.
But, the Chief Executive Officer of EOCO, Mr. Kwaku Akpadzi Mortey, has refused to give any details of the investigations it initiated into these procurements when The Chronicle contacted him on the matter.
To him, a “disclosure of operational information is wrong, [as] it can stigmatise people and institution [it] investigates,” adding that he would only do so in a law court.
He insisted that he “will not contribute to a situation that is wrong,” and assured The Chronicle that its investigations into the matter would end up being “a wild goose chase”
Meanwhile, The Chronicle’s initial investigations revealed that a deputy staff officer at the EOCO, Mr. Gideon Delali Deklu, who was assigned by his boss to investigate the questionable procurements at the GETFund, managed to secure for himself a scholarship from the GETFund to pursue a three-year Bachelor of Law studies at the prestigious Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), when indeed, investigations into the matter have not yet been concluded.
The management of the Fund has since confirmed that it awarded Mr. Deklu the scholarship for his studies:
“Mr. Deklu, indeed, has secured sponsorship from the GETFund, and that he did not secure same under any special circumstances, other than what is available to every applicant, and is consistent with the objectives of the GETFund.
This revelation has, however, raised serious ethical questions about the modus operandi of the investigating authority, and the credibility of its report on the matter.