General News of Wednesday, 19 September 2018
The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, has asked the Centre for National Affairs (CNA) to involve other state agencies to probe the Gh¢40 million cedis the group alleges was transferred from the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), to the presidency between August 2015 and January 2017.
In a response to a petition sent to the Office of the Special Prosecutor by the CNA, Mr Martin Amidu explained that looking at the magnitude of the issue, other state agencies should be informed to carry out the investigations, Mr Samuel Odame Lartey, Executive Director of CNA disclosed in a radio interview with Accra based Citi FM on Tuesday.
The mandate of the Special Prosecutor is such that, he has to work with other state agencies such as the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).
Mr Lartey, therefore rejected suggestions that the Special Prosecutor has refused to take up their petition and work on it.
Rather, he said the Special Prosecutor was asking that other state agencies should be involved because of the nature of the matter.
“He [Amidu] didn’t state in the letter that he wouldn’t investigate the matter, what he said was we have to, or other state agencies have to be involved in the investigations, specifically stating EOCO,” Mr Lartey said in the Citi FM interview.
The group calling itself the Centre for National Affairs, wants the Special Prosecutor to probe former President John Dramani Mahama and his then-Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah over the matter.
“We wish to stand on provisions in the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), Section 3(1a and 1b), which empowers your office to investigate and prosecute alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences under the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and any other relevant law involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector to call on your office to initiate an investigation into the said account” a portion of their letter said.
Executive Director of the Centre for National Affairs, Samuel Odame Lartey, alleged impropriety of the part of the two men, hence their demand for the probe.
They claimed the recipient’s account was Chief of Staff’s Sundries Account No. 1, with account number 1018631473188 at the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).
“Some GHc40.5 million was transferred into that particular account. Now what we want to do is try and understand why these amounts were transferred into this particular account and what the monies were used for,” Mr. Lartey said.
“I believe there should be more clarification and some documentation provided on these things to let Ghanaians know that indeed the monies that were entrusted to our politicians are used to serve the people,” he added.
According to a letter from the group, “letters covering the transfer suggests the transfer of funds is in respect of monies accrued from the security fees taken from Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) invoices to effect payment on cost of petroleum products supplied by GOIL.”
The group feels the account is unlawful “as there is no statutory approval with regards to the said account in the public domain,” the group argued, adding that “the reasons for payment from BOST to be made into the said account and the nature and manner by which these monies were used are not known to the public.”
They also said they have reason to believe other state agencies were directed under the previous government to make payments into the said account.
The reason for such directives to be made is also unknown to the populace of this nation, according to the petitioners.
BOST has consistently found itself in the news for the wrong reasons, deepening growing public perception of deep-seated corruption at that stage agency.
Over 600,000 litres of BOST’s contaminated fuel ‘evaporates’
The latest report about the company is the disappearance of about 600,000 litres of its contaminated fuel.
A five-member committee set up by the current Managing Director of BOST, George Mensah Oakley to take stock of five million litres of the off-spec product noticed the disappearance.
Edward Bawa petitions CHRAJ over BOST’s $3m payment to Springfield
Few weeks ago, NDC Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency, Edward Bawa, petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), to investigate what he calls the unlawful payment of some $3 million to Springfield Energy by top managers of the Bulk Oil Storage Transportation (BOST).
The MP had accused Managing Director of BOST, George Mensah Okley and his deputy, John Kojo Ankoful, of making the payment against the advice of BOST’s external lawyers.