The increasing raid on the nation’s resources by the people who have been given the mandate to manage the destinies of the about 27 million Ghanaians continues to manifest in all facets of the administration of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress.
Information and documents available to the New Statesman indicated that the La Dade kotopon Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region has been embroiled in alleged financial improprieties which insiders say are threatening the developement of the infant assembly.
The assembly which was created in 2012 out of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly appears to have become a conduit for ‘family and friends’ to satisfy their greed, at the expense of the people it is supposed to serve.
So serious has the situation become that ‘the powers that be’ have succeeded in schemed for the removal from office of the Chairman of Finance and Administration Committee, T T Caternor, who had raised improprieties which had gone on, mostly between January and June, last year, under the watch of the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Djagmah Vanderpuije, who was acting as the MCE.
Among the issues raised by Mr. Caternor, which incurred the wrath of the powers that be, was the alleged inflation of the contract sum for the drilling of a borehole. While the National Security has been drilling boreholes at the cost of GHC6, 000, the La Dade kotopon Municipal Assembly last year paid a sum of over GHC38, 000 for the drilling of one borehole.
The contract, which was executed by Bossman Hydro and Civil Engineering Works, was signed by on behalf of the Assembly by Asshaley Dzanie, the Municipal Coordinating Director, while Musah Osman signed on behalf of Bossman Hydro and Civil Engineering Works, as the Managing Director.
Other issues raised by Mr. Caternor before he was sacked included a sum of GHC 14,394.25 paid in respect of the purchase of petty tools and implements, not supported by any pay vouchers; a sum of GHC65, 484, 00 paid as a consultancy fee shrouded in complete secrecy; and a sum of GHC63, 670.25 paid in the name of Library and Subscriptions, with no supporting pay vouchers.
Another issue that was also raised had to do with the decision by the Assembly to grant a discount of GHC57, 888.60 to Alliance Media in respect of bill boards’ project which was awarded for the sum of GHC289, 443.00.
“The La-Dade kotopon Municipal Assembly’s Bill Board Committee has agreed to give you a discount of 20% which amounts to the sum of fifty seven thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight Ghana cedis and sixty pesewas (GHC57,888.60), out of a total amount of Two Hundred and eighty nine thousand, four hundred and forty three Ghana cedis (GHC289,443.00) as per the attached. The total New amount due the Assembly is Two Hundred and thirty one thousand, five hundred and fifty four Ghana cedis, forty pesewas (GHC231,554.40)this is for you information and settlement.”
This was the content of a letter signed by Frederick Tettey Lartey , Municipal Finance Officer , and Anthony Gafifie, Municipal Director of Works, and addressed to Alliance Media.
According to the immediate past Chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee, when these issues were raised given by those in charge of the finances of eh Assembly. And the powers that be felt he was ‘worrying them’ and so schemed to get him out.
Mr. Cartenor subsequently sent a petition to the Greater Accra Minister complaining about how his appointment as a government appointee to the Assembly was revoked because he wanted to ensure proper financial accountability.
The petition, dated March 4, 2014, states in part: “[During] my interaction with some Greater Accra Regional Executives of the NDC they indicated that a number of charges were leveled against me by the Constituency Executives of La Dede Kotopon Municipal Assembly. Union listening to some of the charges reiterated, I realized that the charges were not founded on any facts but rather a calculated mischief to eliminate me from the assembly for the persistent queries in the financial matters and the duties of the Finance and Administration Committee.”
The petition added: “The committee had a lot of unexplained expenditures of Government funds. We requested clarifications from the Municipal Coordinating Director, the Municipal Finance Officer and Chief Executive but these clarifications were not forthcoming. We as a committee are aware of contracts that have been signed without the knowledge of the Finance and Administration, Committee of which due process has not been allowed… In order to prevent myself and the assembly from facing the Public Accounts Committee on grounds of misappropriation, misapplication and corrupt practices and further to prevent the image of the NDC Party from malicious attack in the media, I was of the view that these practices could be corrected and streamline.”
But till date, the issues have not been resolved. The only action taken is that Mr. Cartnor has been dismissed for fighting the alleged rot at the Assembly.