The Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu, is in hot waters, as some assemblymen are leading a crusade to get him jailed over alleged corrupt practices leading to the fleecing of the assembly.
The peeved assembly members, led by Abraham Boadi aka ‘Opooman,’ Assemblyman for Ridge Nhyiaeso in Kumasi, accused Kojo Bonsu of a series of corrupt acts and embezzlements, chief among them being the construction of an amusement park named Rattray Park in Kumasi where over $4.4million had been spent.
Kojo Bonsu however denied the allegations.
Opooman and his group were banking their hopes on the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, which they had petitioned over Kojo Bonsu’s alleged illegal deals, to assist them get the KMA chief executive arrested to face the law.
Delving deep into Kojo Bonsu’s alleged corrupt deals, they said the KMA budgeted GH₵4,620,000 for the construction and maintenance of the Rattray Park, which was supposed to be open free to the public during the years 2014 and 2015, only for the budget to balloon to $4.4 million with no approval from the assembly.
Opooman said to the surprise of members of the assembly, Kojo Bonsu, who single-handedly constructed the project at a time the assembly had been dissolved, recently announced that he spent a whopping $4.4 million on it.
The crusading assemblyman stated that the assembly budgeted for Rattray Park in Cedis; therefore they were surprised that Kojo Bonsu later quoted dollars.
Opooman disclosed that Kojo Bonsu continually appealed to the assembly for additional monies for the completion and fencing of the Rattray Park in a manner that raised eyebrows among some members of the assembly.
He stated that what worried him was the fact that the Kumasi Mayor acted as if the KMA was his personal property as he single-handedly carried out the project even at a time the assembly was dissolved, disregarding transparency norms.
Opooman, who sounded furious, said “he did it whilst the assembly was dissolved, so we suspect foul play because that money is not in our budget and misappropriation of public funds is against the law.”
He consequently appealed to security bodies such as EOCO, BNI and other stakeholders to make sure that Kojo Bonsu was arrested to answer questions on how a project which was budgeted for in Cedis was suddenly quoted in dollars at gargantuan levels.
The assemblyman also accused Kojo Bonsu of diverting money budgeted for other projects like KUMACA Assembly Hall, a 200-seater library at Amakom, Amankwatia Aboabo and Friend Garden’s Drain and a 200-seater library at CPC.
Opooman charged the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament to quickly call for the arrest of Kojo Bonsu because he had used KMA’s money for a wrong project and allegedly bloated it.
Mayor Fights Back
However, the Mayor denied reports that he was a corrupt person who had been bloating project figures.
He stated that a few disgruntled assemblymen were bent on tarnishing his hard-won image, fanning the corruption rumour to embarrass him.
Kojo Bonsu stressed that it was not true that he had misappropriated funds of the KMA in the construction of the Rattray Park and also diverted funds for certain projects to non-priority areas.
He insisted that he had so far followed laid down procedures of the assembly with regard to project works being undertaken by the KMA including the Rattray Park.
Sammy Gyamfi, spokesperson for Kojo Bonsu, in a hurriedly arranged press conference to douse the raging embezzlement fire, said: “I want to state unequivocally that these allegations are baseless, hollow and unfounded.”
Gyamfi explained that the estimated cost of the Rattray Park project shot up from its original cost to a staggering $4.4 million not because Kojo Bonsu was corrupt but due to the unstable Ghanaian currency.
“Exchange rate fluctuations and unanticipated variations in the prices of some of these equipment are reasons the assembly exceeded its expenditure in the execution of the project,” he claimed.
Gyamfi, a law student, jabbed the assemblymen who had petitioned the Public Accounts Committee for lacking understanding on parliamentary procedures.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr, Kumasi