Auditor General Cited For Contempt

Daniel Domelevo

Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo and four others
have initiated a contempt application against the Auditor General, Daniel
Domelevo, for his refusal to file a response to their appeal against his decision
to surcharge them.

According to the application filed before an
Accra High Court, the Auditor General’s refusal to file the required documents
and reply to their notice and grounds of appeal within the mandatory stipulated
time dictated by the rules of the High Court constitutes contempt of the court
where the appeal was filed.

The application is, therefore, seeking an order
committing Mr. Domelevo to prison or in the alternative impose any other
punishment that the court may deem just and proper.

It also wants consequential orders including
the setting aside of Mr. Domelevo’s “impugned” decision against them as well as
any other orders the court may deem fit.

Senior Minister Osafo-Maafo and the four
officials from the Ministry of Finance, namely Michael Ayesu, Abraham Kofi
Tawiah, Eva Asselba Mends, and Patrick Nomo have appealed against the decision
of the Auditor General to surcharge them over the Kroll Associate
investigation.

According to an appeal filed before an Accra
High Court, the Senior Minister and the other appellants are insisting that the
Auditor General acted “unreasonably, capriciously and maliciously” towards them
in blatant violation of his duty as a public officer when he refused to inspect
and study the evidence of work done by Kroll Associates UK Limited as requested
by him (Osafo-Maafo).

The appeal is also challenging the
investigations carried out by Mr. Domelevo as the Senior Minister suggested
that the Auditor General does not have the powers to investigate and make
findings of breaches of the procurement law.

Genesis

The Auditor General has claimed that the Mr.
Osafo-Maafo and the Finance Ministry have colluded to pay UK firm, Kroll and
Associates Limited, $1 million for no evidence of work done.

The UK firm in 2017 was contracted by the
Senior Minister to recover assets from identified wrongdoers, among others.

According to the Senor Minister, the firm had
done the work it was contracted to do and that there was enough evidence of
work done.

But the Auditor General later claimed that
after audit, there was no evidence of work done by Kroll and Associates Limited
and yet huge sums of money were paid to the company.

He subsequently imposed a disallowance and
surcharge on the Senior Minister and four others involved in the contract.

Appeal
Not satisfied with the decision of the Auditor
General to disallow and surcharge him and four others, the appellants filed an
appeal against the decision before an Accra High Court.

They are insisting that the determination by the Auditor General that the payment of GH¢4,869,421.87 without approval from Parliament and the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and thus offended Article 181 of the Constitution violates the appellants rights of hearing as same did not form part of either the audit observations issued to the Ministry of Finance or the final report of the Auditor General laid before Parliament.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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