General News of Monday, 16 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has made a major breakthrough in its investigations into the scandal at the National Service Scheme (NSS) with the recovery if Ghc15 million.
So far, 171 individuals, including the former Executive Director of the NSS, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan, have been implicated in the scandal.
Some of the implicated directors have entered into an agreement with the BNI and are currently refunding the money, which is part of the amounts paid to 30,816 non-existent national service persons from September 2013 to August 2014.
Information gathered by the Daily Graphic, which first broke the scandal in October last year, indicated that the fraud was perpetuated through mandatory, voluntary and overpayment of returns.
The breakdown shows that 29,358 ghost names were generated for the mandatory scheme while 853 and 605 names were generated for the voluntary and overpayment returns respectively.
BNI sources have declined to give out the names of the directors who are refunding the amounts, in their bid not to breach the agreement between the BNI and the directors.
“We are focusing on retrieving the money and that is exactly what we are achieving. It is important the state recoup all the embezzled funds,” a BNI source told the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview in Accra at the weekend.
Regional and district directors of the NSS have a total liability of Ghc49 million while directors at the NSS headquarters are liable to refund Ghc31.1 million.
While assuring Ghanaians of the resolve of the BNI to retrieve all lost funds to the state, the source said, “We are still recouping the money and we urge Ghanaians to be patient and allow us to do our work diligently.”
“Trust us to protect the public purse,” it said.
Alhaji Imoro is currently standing trial at the Financial Division of the High Court and has pleaded not guilty of the charge of stealing Ghc86.9 million.
He has been granted bail in the sum of Ghc90 million, with three sureties, all to be justified, with property valued at more than one million Ghana cedis.
He is to reappear in court on March 12, 2015