General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
The Electoral Commission may soon have a lawsuit on its hand if its embattled Director of Finance, Dr. Joseph Kwaku Asamoah, is not reinstated following the directive to proceed on leave after the loss of some GHc480,000 from the EC’s Staff Endowment Fund.
A letter to, dated July 13, 2017, from Dr. Asamoah’s lawyers to the EC Chairperson threatened legal action if this demand was not met.
The Economic and Organized Crime Office [EOCO] interrogated Dr. Asamoah and some other EC officials over their alleged involvement in the loss of the cash.
In a response to the directive to proceed on leave, Dr. Asamoah, in his defence, 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.
Citi News later sighted official correspondence between the Chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei and Dr. Asamaoh indicating that he was not at post when the GHc480,000 went missing from the Staff Endowment Fund.
‘Our client being used as a scapegoat’
Lawyers for Dr. Asamaoh have also compiled some evidence of their own and said they will resist any attempts to make their client the“scapegoat of any board room struggles to engulf the commission.”
“We are accordingly instructed to demand, which we thereby do, that you recall our client from the imposed leave to enable him continue his normal work as Director of Finance at the Commission. Should you fail to do so, we would be compelled to initiate legal proceedings against you to protect our client against any form of victimisation and injustice.”
The lawyers’ letter had attached to it documents asserting the innocence of Dr. Asamoah; including a letter from the previous Director of Finance, Samuel Yorke-Aidoo, a letter from the Controller and Accountant Generals Department to the Bank of Ghana dated February 18, 2017, and a draft EC audit report.
On July 10, Citi News sighted documents confirming that Dr. 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 November 21, 2014, after the commission wrote to its bankers to inform them.
The documents further revealed that the EC Boss, on February 5, 2016, 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.