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Ex-UPSA auditor’s allegations against Vice-Chancellor challenged

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Michael Quaye - the ex-aufitor at UPSA
Michael Quaye - the ex-aufitor at UPSA

A petition by a former internal auditor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) asking the President and the UPSA Governing Council to launch a probe into corruption allegations, including willfully causing financial loss to the state, employment fraud and abuse of office by the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof. Abednego Okoe Feehi Amartey has been described as a deliberate attempt by the ex-auditor to tarnish the image of the university and its Vice-Chancellor (VC).

The ex-auditor, Michael Quaye is alleging that the VC, Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, spent close to GH¢2 million to acquire the state-of-the-art brand new V8 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle and an E-Class Mercedes Benz for his personal use when he assumed office in January 2017 and that at the time of purchase, the University had enough vehicles for use.

However, official documents from the UPSA shows “The cost of the V8 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle and E-Class Mercedes Benz is not ¢2,000,000 as alleged.

Rather, the V8 Toyota Land Cruiser cost GH¢486,000, while the E-Class Mercedes Benz cost GH¢514,000.

The total cost of the two vehicles purchased by the University is GH¢1,000,000.

The two vehicles are part of the conditions of service for the VC as the previous VC, Professor Joshua Alabi, was assigned similar vehicles, V8 Toyota Land Cruiser and E-Class Mercedes Benz as part of his conditions of service and that the models and make were the same, and that the Conditions of Service for the Vice-Chancellor has not changed, not to talk of being made worse off.

The process to acquire the vehicles, according to documents in the university started in 2016 and was captured in the budget statement for that year, whereas Prof Abednego Okoe Feehi Amartey became Vice-Chancellor in 2017 and therefore could not have initiated the process for the purchase of the vehicles.

The previous Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joshua Alabi initiated the process, and perhaps due to the fact that he took home the E-Class Mercedes Benz assigned to him as part of his exit package, he also took home the V8 Toyota Land Cruiser assigned to the office with the explanation that he was due for retirement in two years’ time (i.e. 2018) and therefore was entitled to use the official V8 Toyota Land Cruiser until he officially left the service of the university.

The former internal auditor of the UPSA, Mr Michael Quaye reportedly domiciled in the USA in his petition published by the Daily Heritage and republished by Ghanaweb said he wants the President to set up an external independent committee to investigate these acts and a possible removal from office of the Vice Chancellor.

His allegations against the VC, Prof Amartey on alleged infractions, expenses, recruitments fraud and procurement breaches are issues which have already gone before the Governing Council of the UPSA.

Graphic Online understands the Governing Council considered the allegations being speculated by Michael Quaye and concluded it had no basis before arriving at its recent decision to re-appoint Prof Amartey for another four-year tenure.

At a special meeting of the Council of the University held on Monday, August 3, 2020, members unanimously approved a second term for the Vice-Chancellor, from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2024.

Read also: UPSA Vice-Chancellor Prof Okoe Amartey re-appointed to second term


PHOTO: Prof Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey - current VC of UPSA

Allegations

On the allegations that the current VC, in January 2017, used tax payer’s money to acquire the furniture and household items for his house, it has been explained in the conditions of service document for the Vice-Chancellor of the UPSA dated 16th January 2015, “As a former Vice-Chancellor you are allowed to purchase household furniture purchased by the University in your residence,” and on that strength, Professor Joshua Alabi, was allowed to purchase all the household furnishings in his house (including the office furnishing) which were all provided by the University. It is therefore strange that Mr. Michael Quaye claims furnishing a Vice-Chancellor’s residence is a fraudulent activity.

Checks also has revealed that the current VC has lived in his personal residence since 2008 and still resides there and has, refused to move to a plush mansion at Trassaco Valley which the University in 2016 had tried to rent for him as the incoming Vice-Chancellor.

The reason Management gave for the Trassaco rent at the time, was that a Vice-Chancellor needed a more spacious and plush mansion to live in since he would be welcoming guests.

If Prof. Amartey had taken that offer, the University would have paid $100,000 for two years.

Rather, Professor Amartey renovated his house at his own expense and not the university’s.

This is captured in the university’s official minutes.

Also on the allegation that about 90% of all procurement activities in January to October 2017 were then procured for his residence and personal comfort, it has been explained that the university’s expenditure for the year 2017 was ¢158 million and that the total expenditure on the furnishings for the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor's residence was ¢246,000.

Plus external auditors have audited the University’s accounts twice (2018 and 2019) and the records are there for all to see.

On the allegation of fraud in recruitment, those mentioned in the allegation were employed as Assistant Lecturers and they have their letters of appointment signed by the then Vice- Chancellor, Professor Joshua Alabi.

credit: Crusading Guide newspaper