PRESS STATEMENT RESPONSE TO NPP PRESS STATEMENT ON FAKE AUDITS CONDUCTED BY EDWARD DUA AGYEMAN AND SENIOR MINISTER OSAFO MARFO
On October 2, 2018, the NDC held a Press Conference advising its ex-appointees not to subject themselves to the illegal, tainted audits of Edward Dua Agyeman and Senior Minister Osafo Marfo.
On October 3, 2018, the NPP held a Press Conference in an attempt to respond to the issues raised in the NDC Press Conference. To divert attention from the dilute and porous responses raised, Yaw Buaben Asamoa resorted to throwing anemic, wobbly and flaccid punches that only caused him to increase the gaseousness in his belly.
We wish to address points, which he stated as facts but which are actually far from factual.
1. Yaw Buaben Asamoa said:
“In 2017, the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), in pursuit of its mandate under section 3 (a) of the EOCO Act of 2010, (Act 804), and in accordance with section 14 (3) of Act 804, engaged experts to conduct preliminary audits and advice EOCO on reports of corruption and malpractices in some state organizations.” This is a lie!
It is important to note that despite requests by some ex appointees who have been subjected to the illegal parallel investigations, EOCO has been reluctant to attach cover letters to these private audit reports indicating that the audits have been commissioned by EOCO.
This is because EOCO never commissioned these illegal audits. In fact, EOCO is under siege from Edward Dua Agyeman and Senior Minister Osafo Marfo to legitimise their illegal audit reports.
Section 14 (3) of the Economic and Organised Crime Office Act, 2010 (Act 804) provides that EOCO may engage the services of advisers on the recommendation of the Board.
We hereby request for documentation showing that the Board of EOCO recommended that EOCO engage the services of the private firms in question. We call on the Chairman of the EOCO Board, to show the nation evidence that EOCO did indeed engage the services of these private firms.
Worldwide Investments Limited is one of these private firms. Its registration documents at the Registrar Generals Department lists the objects of the company as ”Electrical contractors, trading in general goods, import and export trade, commercial farming, construction of buildings & roads, civil engineering works, mineral prospecting and mining, real estate developers, transport owners (bulk & haulage)”.
Note that this does not include accounting or auditing. Neither does it include forensic investigation. This means that Worldwide Investments Ltd. is not authorized by its own registration objects to conduct audits or forensic investigations.
SWQ Consults is another private firm on the list. This firm has not been re-registered at the Registrar Generals Department as required by law. It is therefore not in good standing as a company in the records of the Registrar General.
We hereby call on EOCO Board to let the nation know if they recommended the engagement of the private firms listed in Dua Agyeman’s so-called Cabinet Committee letter, including the above two (Worldwide & SWQ), to audit the public agencies in question. If they indeed made such recommendations, they should provide the dates on which these recommendations were made, the processes that were followed, and the amounts paid to these private firms.
2. Yaw Buaben Asamoa said:
“The Government did not spend $6.8 Million USD on the audits as has been deliberately and falsely put out. The UNDP only provided technical assistance to the office coordinating the audits. This is in line with section 3(f) of the EOCO Act. The technical support from the UNDP is part of their anti-corruption support and governance project and costs less than a $100,000.00.”
Is Yaw Buaben Asamoa telling us that ‘Government’ the same as the ‘UNDP’? The NPP is setting its own question and answering it. The NPP is pretending that the NDC has said that the $6.8m was paid to the private firms by the UNDP. No! These are the words we used: “The NDC has gathered from the document in question that the UNDP Office in Ghana has been funding or is being requested to fund Dua-Agyeman’s so-called “Cabinet Committee” to carry out these dubious audits.
We wish to draw the attention of the UNDP to the fact that Dua-Agyeman does not have the integrity of character to undertake such an assignment. We therefore urge the UNDP to conduct a research into the background of the character called Edward Dua- Agyeman and it will be amazed at what it will uncover.
The reputation of Edward Dua-Agyeman as a trickster and a hatchet man precedes him … ”
Our position has always been clear – that the UNDP was/is funding Dua Agyeman’s so- called Cabinet Committee. That does not necessarily mean that the UNDP is the one paying the private firms for services rendered. Our call is on Government to account for the monies paid to the private firms. Buaben Asamoa should not move into trickster mode by shifting the responsibility onto the UNDP.
Indeed, in Dua Agyeman’s cabinet letter, he had indicated that the UNDP’s ‘one year financial and technical support to facilitate the work of the committee’ would end on December 31, 2018. It does not take a genius to figure out that the UNDP’s support was to facilitate the work of the Cabinet Committee.
The problem, however, is that this was the same committee for which Dua Agyeman signed a letter as Secretary when he was neither a member of Cabinet or the Secretary to Cabinet. This was the same committee that had illegally engaged private firms to conduct audits for which it had no mandate. The point, is therefore, is ‘how can the UNDP fund the running of offices of which the occupants have been proven to have no integrity to occupy?’
3. Yaw Buabeng Asamoa said:
“We do not intend to go down the path of contestation about the role of the Auditor General, an invitation unnecessarily flagged. It is unnecessary because neither the constitution nor the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) is a barrier to
the conduct of forensic investigations by agencies clothed with investigatory and or prosecutorial powers.” We wish to draw to his attention and that of his NPP Government, that the mandate to audit in the public sector is the exclusive prerogative of the Auditor General (article 187 (2), (3), & (5) of 1992 Constitution). The Auditor General, if he deems it necessary, can engage private audit firms to assist him in his work. This engagement of private audit firms cannot be done by the Audit Service or Audit Board. It is the Auditor General’s decision.
The Audit Service and the Audit Service Board have no mandate to audit nor to authorise audits.
Section 8 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) provides that the Board may engage the services of such consultants and other experts as it may consider necessary for the efficient discharge of the duties of the Audit Service. This clause refers to services other than auditing.
It is important to note also that in exercising its powers under section 8 of Act 584 to engage consultants and experts for services other than auditing, the Audit Service is subject to Public Procurement Act 663. In other words, in choosing the consultants and experts, the Audit Service must act in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.
4. Yaw Buabeng Asamoa said:
“Please note that the institutions involved are paying for the forensic audits.”
The NPP says that the private firms contracted are being paid by the government agencies, which they audited. We would like to know
a. How much are they being paid or have they been paid?
b. What procurement processes were used?
Elsewhere in the same statement, Yaw Buabeng Asamoa indicated that EOCO acquired the services of these private firms. The question therefore is ‘did EOCO procure the services of these firms, while the Government agencies in question paid for the services of the firms?’
If so, why should the agencies use their hard-earned monies to pay for private audits when we have Auditor General, EOCO, CID, CHRAJ, Attorney General, Special Prosecutor and others, legally mandated to carry out such investigations?
Where a government agency is 100% owned by Government, its funds are Government funds, so it is still a dissipation of state funds.
5. Yaw Buabeng Asamoa said:
“The reports had been channeled through the cabinet ad-hoc committee on investigations.”
§ What necessitated a situation where a Cabinet Committee had to takes control over EOCO’s core mandate?
§ Why would EOCO channel its reports through the Cabinet ad-hoc committee on investigations?
§ Where were the reports being channeled to?
These are serious questions that must be answered.
6. Yaw Buaben Asamoa said:
“Respondents should be eager to provide answers to the substantive findings in the audit reports in order to clear their names and reputations rather than seek to hide behind a public relations exercise designed to obfuscate issues and avoid accountability.”
For those who do not have hoods over their heads or who have not buried their heads in sand, it is trite knowledge that the NDC ex appointees have been cooperating with EOCO since January 2017. Even ex appointees who were overseas, flew back into the country purposely to respond to EOCO summons, once they became aware of such summons.
However, we are in a democratic nation, not a Banana Republic. Thus, it is only proper to refuse to subject oneself to illegal processes. This is in line with the 1992 Constitution and the laws of our land. Indeed, our national anthem urges us from our days of independence to present day, to resist oppressor’s rule.
Fellow Ghanaians, let us not sit back and watch Nana Akufo-Addo’s Government turn our nation into a banana republic. Let us not sit back and allow the wanton disregard of rules and processes, and the rule of law in this nation.
Edward Dua Agyeman is a man completely lacking in integrity. He is a trickster and a hatchet man. President Akufo Addo must call him to order. The UNDP must stop funding him to conduct illegal and tainted audits.
The hooliganism and recklessness must stop now! The dynastic reign of the tyrannical oppressor must end now, as we send an unequivocal message to the powers that be that ‘Enough is Enough’.
Before I sign off, let me state that the Ghana Air Force helicopters purchased by Ghana Gas for the surveillance and monitoring of the Western oil and gas enclave (and for other purposes like maritime security, anti-piracy operations, rig-bound medical and casualty evacuation, search and rescue operations, aerial photography, riot control and traffic management, disaster management, anti-sea-bound narcotic interdiction operations), have been used in the last one year and nine months of Akufo-Addo’s rule to convey the following to various destinations:
§ President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo § Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia
§ Ministers of State
§ Other Government officials
Johnson Asiedu-Nketia General Secretary
National Democratic Congress October 04, 2018