Even before the much-touted Office of the Special Prosecutor of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government comes into being, Today can confirm that the Criminal Investigative Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra will, in the coming weeks, be inviting some appointees of former President John Dramani Mahama for interrogation.
The invitation, Today gathered, follows the involvement of these past appointees in alleged financial irregularities that occurred during their tenure in their respective portfolios.
It would be recalled that in our Monday edition, July 24, 2017 with the banner headline: “Mahama Ministers Hot…As names of former appointees under investigations pop up,” Today mentioned some appointees of the erstwhile Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government whose transactions were being audited by the NPP’s economic management team led by Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Few days after that publication, three key members of the past administration in the persons of former Minister of Power and his Deputy, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, and John Jinapor, respectively, had their houses raided by some officers from the CID headquarters in Accra, and subsequently invited by the police over their involvement in the Ameri Power deal.
Our further investigations showed that others also lined up to face the CID in the coming weeks over their roles in some transactions which allegedly caused the state to lose huge sums of money were former Chairperson of National Service Secretariat (NSS) who is believed to be a relative of former President Dramani Mahama, Gifty Mahama Biyira, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metro Mass Transit Limited, John Noble Appiah, former CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Alex Mould, former Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, and former Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly(KMA), Kojo Bonsu.
Others were former CEO of National Communications Authority (NCA), William Tevie, former MCE of Ejisu Municipal Assembly, Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh, former Board Chairman of Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Prof. Joshua Alabi, former Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, former Minister of Energy, Dr. Joe Oteng Adjei, former Minister for Roads and Highways, Joe Kwashie Gidisu, former Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, former boss of National Service Secretariat (NSS), Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, and former CEO, Ghana Standard Authority (GSA).
According to our sources within the government economic management team, investigations into transactions of the aforementioned appointees of former President Dramani Mahama had been completed, hence the need for the police CID to take over.
Further checks by Today at the CID headquarters also confirmed that the police have received names of former appointees whose investigations had been completed.
For instance, the former chairperson of NSS, Gifty Mahama Bayira, will be quizzed on how she supervised the alleged payment of 7.9 million Ghana Cedis to non-existent service personnel.
Madam Bayira, Today further gathered, used her tribal, ethnic, marriage and family ties with some political heavyweights in the erstwhile Mahama administration to exert her authority on the activities of the NSS.
Madam Biyira was alleged to have influenced the appointment of the former NSS Director, Alhaji Imoro Alhassan, whose inaction(s) caused the secretariat to lose huge sums of money.
In the case of the former COCOBOD Board chair, Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Today understands his offence was his involvement in the alleged financial irregularities which occurred during the tenure of the former CEO of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni.
Mr. Ohene Agyekum, who was Ghana’s former Ambassador to the United States and former Ashanti Regional Minister, was appointed Board Chairman of COCOBOD in January 2014, and was alleged to have benefited from many corruption scandals that hit COCOBOD.
For the former CEO of GNPC, Alex Mould, according to our sources at the CID, he will have to explain why he over exposed the financial situation of GNPC by providing a guarantee for major projects such as the 225 MW KarPower Barge and the contracting of Quantum Power to provide a regasification plant on the east of Tema.
It would be recalled that GNPC in 2015 provided a hundred million dollars (US$100 million) guarantee to the owners of the KarPower barge in an effort to help solve the power generation shortfall that the country was experiencing.
Few months after that big deal, Alex Mould again pumped five hundred and fifty million (US$550 m) into the construction and operation of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage, regasification and delivery facilities, leaving tongues wagging, questioning why GNPC was paying for the fuel used to power the plants of the KarPower barge.
In the case of the former MCE of KMA, Kojo Bonsu, our source at the police CID headquarters said it was not different from his colleagues
He is expected to prove how he spent $4.4m on the Rattray Park project and the construction of the State Experimental School at Danyame all in Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, including other judgment debts he incurred during his tenure, leaving KMA bankrupt.
The CID, according to our investigations, will also find out from the former NCA Boss, William Tevie, how he got himself involved in the alleged withdrawal of $4 million from the accounts of the NCA by its former officials who were mostly appointees of ex-President Dramani Mahama.
Officials of the NCA, it would be recalled, reportedly contracted an Israeli company, NSO Group Technology Limited, to supply listening equipment at the cost of $6 million to enable National Security monitor conversations of persons suspected to be engaged in terror activities.
A local agent, Infraloks Development Limited, was also charging $2 million to facilitate the transaction, bringing the total sum to $8 million.
Another case of corruption, which allegedly took place under the previous Dramani Mahama administration, was the alleged $1.2 million scandal that hit the former Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Dr. George Crentsil.
According to our investigations, he is also among the names on the list of the CID for probe.
He was alleged to have collected $1.2 million kickback from a contractor undertaking construction work for the Authority.
The former MD of MMTL, John Noble Appiah, our source said, will not escape the full rigours of the law as his name is among those to be invited by the police CID.
He was alleged to have caused procurement irregularities between July 2013 and June 2014.
He is also reported to have spent over 33 million Ghana cedis without approval of the MMTL board.
A letter dated 29 September, 2014, and signed by the then Board Chairman, Osabarima Ansah Sasraku, sighted upon by Today, alleged that Mr. Appiah defied the board’s directive and awarded a contract for the supply of 400 tyres valued at GH¢604,800 to Allied Home Stores, and instead handed the deal to Rana Motors.
The board also alleged that while the MD awarded the contract to Rana Motors on 22 July, 2014, he communicated to the board on 22 August, 2016 that he was continuing negotiations with Allied Home Stores on the contract.
Story: Atta Kwaku Boad
Today Newspaper (Ghana)