EOCO Probes How GH¢1,000,000 Was Spent …By Bawku Assembly

From William N-lanjerborr Jalulah, Pussiga
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in the Upper East Region has launched an investigation into how GH¢1,000,000 seed money, meant for the newly-created Pusiga District Assembly, was spent.

Following the EOCO’s investigation, the Pusiga District Chief Executive, Alhassan Abugbilla, and the District Coordinating Director, met the regional head of EOCO upon an invitation on March 7, 2013 to volunteer information about their knowledge about the GH¢1,000,000 seed money, and how it was spent.

During the first Ordinary Meeting of the Second Session of the Assembly at Pusiga, where Mr. Alhassan Abugbilla announced the EOCO’s investigation in his address, the members of the assembly lauded the move, and said they were optimistic it would help the Assembly to get answers from the Bawku Municipal Assembly, on how their assembly’s seed money was spent.

According to the members, the outcome of the investigation would, no doubt, reveal how the Bawku Municipal Assembly – the mother assembly of the Pusiga district – spent the seed money on its (Pusiga District) behalf at the time it had oversight responsibility over Pusiga.

Interacting with some of the assembly members, they told The Chronicle a letter was written to the former Regional Minister, Mr. Mark Woyongo, to get the leadership of the Bawku Municipal Assembly to provide answers on how they disbursed the money, but no positive response was provided.

This, according to the members, created a negative impression about the Bawku Municipal Assembly in the minds of many of them.

The Pusiga, Fumbiisi and Binduri districts were the new district assemblies created by the late President J.E.A. Mills in 2012. The Pusiga and Binduri districts were both created out of the Bawku Municipal Assembly, and so the Bawku Municipal Assembly had oversight responsibility over them.

Due to matters of procedure, and the fact that Pusiga District had no separate accounts, its seed money was lodged into the Bawku Municipal Assembly account to be spent on infrastructure and other needs to aid the smooth take off of the district.

The assembly members were not comfortable with the long silence of the leadership of the Bawku Municipal Assembly over the matter, and have called on the EOCO to do diligent work to ensure that every pesewa of the seed money was accounted for by the leadership of the Bawku Municipal Assembly.

Information available to this paper showed that the Binduri District Assembly was also facing a similar problem with the leadership of the Bawku Municipal Assembly, who have allegedly refused to answer questions about how the seed money was used, and how much was left, except to suggest that they were only answerable to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The current structure housing the office space for the District Chief Executive and District Coordinating Director was built in 2007 to serve as a Community ICT Center, but was renovated to befit the status of the assembly,c before the two senior administrators moved in.