General News of Saturday, 8 July 2017
The Member of Parliament for Kumawu, Philip Basoah has said that he intends to petition the leadership of Parliament to conduct a separate probe into the case of the missing GHs480,000 from the Electoral Commission (EC)’s Endowment Fund.
According to the MP, the allegations made public by the Economic Organised Crime Office (EOCO) who stated they were conducting an investigation into the country’s election supervisory body were unfortunate.
Three senior officials of the Commission; Deputy Chairperson in-charge of Finance and Administration, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, Chief Accountant, Kwaku Owusu Agyei-Larbi and Finance Officer, Joseph Kwaku Asamoah were asked to proceed on leave as investigations proceed.
Despite EOCO’s ongoing investigations, the Kumawu MP believes that given the fact that the Special Budget Committee of Parliament has oversight responsibility, it was imperative that they probe the matter as well.
“It that’s the situation then I’ll say that it’s a sad one. I’ll draw the attention of the leadership of the Committee [the Majority leader] is the chairman and the vice is the Minority leader. I’ll contact them and draw their attention and if there’s a situation, we’ll find a way to deal with the issue,” he told Citi News.
Philip Basoah added that the current government was committed to addressing corruption in the public sector and any official found misappropriating state funds will be made to refund it.
“Just as Nana Addo promised, any person who’s taken Ghana money unlawfully, we’ll make sure the money is brought back. In such a situation we have the oversight function of the institution. So when we meet them and we get to know that it’s the case, then we have to report it to the appropriate quarters.”
‘EOCO can’t dictate to EC Chair’
MP for Efutu Constituency, Alexander Afenyo Markin has challenged the decision of Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei to order the three officers of the Commission to proceed on leave following the EOCO report.
According to him, although EOCO has the power to look into such matters and make its report available to the Electoral Commissioner, it does not have the power to direct her on what do to.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday, Afenyo Markin said the decision to ask the suspects to proceed on leave must be grounded in law. “EOCO has the mandate to investigate such issues. What I’m a bit worried about is the language of.
“EOCO has the mandate to investigate such issues. What I’m a bit worried about is the language of proceeding on leave. If EOCO so desires to advise the EC that these people that we are investigating, we hold the view that their continued stay of the in office may undermine the outcome of the investigations, therefore interdict them, so be it. But if EOCO writes to tell Madam Chair to direct some people to proceed on leave.”
“She must not direct someone to proceed on leave because EOCO says so, EOCO should ground its reasons in law,” he said.