General News of Monday, 10 July 2017
An official correspondence between the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Charlotte Osei and the embattled Director of Finance, Dr. Joseph Kwaku Asamoah shows he was indeed not at post when the GHC480,000 was missing from the Commission’s Staff Endowment Fund.
The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), has been grilling Dr Asamoah, a Deputy EC Chair and another official over their alleged involvement in the loss of the cash. Charlotte Osei recently directed the three to step aside for investigations to continue.
In a response to Chairperson Charlotte Osei’s directive to proceed on leave, Dr. Asamoah wrote that he was neither at post as Director of Finance, nor was he in any position to influence management’s decision regarding financial administration of the Endowment Fund during the period of the alleged loss.
Documents cited by Citi News show that Dr. Joseph Kweku Asamoah assumed office as Director of Finance in October 2014, following the retirement of the then Director, Samuel Yorke-Aidoo.
Prior to coming to office, he was the Electoral Commission’s internal auditor.
He became a signatory to all the Commission’s financial accounts on 21st November, 2014 after the commission wrote to its bankers to inform them.
The documents further reveal that the EC Boss, Charlotte Osei, on 5th February last year, wrote to the Former Director of Finance, Samuel Yorke-Aidoo, requesting an official response to what she termed the misapplication of proceeds from the staff endowment fund. Specific portions of the letter read;
“Following a review of the Staff Endowment Fund, it has come to our notice that about Five Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (Ghc500,000) was not transferred into the Endowment Fund. Available records at the Commission do not indicate the use of the funds and the reasons why the said amount were not credited to the endowment fund. There have also been recent agitations by the staff Union on the alleged misapplication of the funds. Consequently, at a meeting between the Commission and the Staff Unions on 3rd February, 2016, it was decided that we request a written response from you on this matter as these events occurred during your tenure as Director of Finance. We further note that your handing over notes on retirement did not address this issue.”
In an 18th February 2016, response, Mr. Yorke-Aidoo disclosed that;
“The whole matter relating to the inability to transfer funds into the endowment funds, from my own perspective has to do with the financial crisis the Commission suffered during the period 2012 to 2014”.
He added: “I am amazed and appalled that this history or story could neither be narrated by any of the officials concerned who are all in the Commission currently nor could be ascertained from documents of financial transactions all available in the Commission but should require a report from me as former director of Finance to reinforce an existing perception and an unfortunate impression that I spearheaded the misapplication of funds in the Commission”.
Following this response, the Commission’s Deputy Chairperson in charge of Finance and Administration, Georgina Opoku Amankwa, herself caught up in the EOCO investigations, charged the now Finance Director, Dr. Asamoah to cause an investigation into the expenditure. This was contained in a 14th March 2016 Memo, portions of which read;
“Please cause an investigation into this to ascertain what specific budget lines the monies were used for and how such approvals were given.”
Subsequently, Dr. Kweku Asamoah recommended that Madam Charlotte Osei direct an internal audit into the alleged loss.
Our Sources at the EOCO say that Dr. Joseph Kweku Asamoah, met with the EOCO investigative team about two weeks ago.
Citi News understands the investigative team wondered why and how he is implicated in the alleged loss of the nearly five hundred thousand Cedis.
The embittered Finance Director has however proceeded on leave even though there were reports last week that he said would not leave.