The Board of the Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) is to set up a committee to probe a series of alleged financial impropriety against the Managing Director of the company, Mr Bennet Aboagye.
The committee will also investigate an alleged $1-million blackmail of Mr Aboagye by the Security Coordinator of the company, Mr Fusseini Lawal Laah.
The Board Chairman of the MMT, Mr Ahmed Arthur, told the Daily Graphic that the committee would have up to two weeks to submit its report.
Mr Lawal had alleged that he had an audio recording of a conversation in which the managing director and others colluded to dupe the company through the procurement of 300 buses.
Among a series of allegations, Mr Lawal threatened to leak the damming audio conversation if Mr Aboagye did part with $1 million.
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Mr Aboagye then informed a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Amoako Tuffuor, who agreed to negotiate with the security coordinator to beat down the price in exchange for the recordings.
After a series of negotiations, Mr Lawal agreed on GH¢40,000, which was paid in instalments in exchange for the audio.
Series of allegations
Checks by the Daily Graphic indicate that the security coordinator had, among others, alleged in a petition to the Office of the Special Prosecutor that the managing director and others were involved in procurement malpractices in the award of a contract for the purchase of the buses by Ankai Company of China.
Mr Lawal stated that the MD and the board chairman had engaged in several financial malpractices and breached several procurement laws in the acquisition of some 300 buses since taking over the company over a year ago.
He also alleged that Mr Aboagye and Dr Amoako-Tuffuor had attempted to bribe him with GHc40,000 when he confronted them with his evidence.
But Mr Arthur, when contacted by the Daily Graphic, said he got to know of the audio recording and the subsequent extortion attempt by the security coordinator last week and immediately convened an emergency meeting of the board to discuss those issues.
“We invited all the parties to the meeting and the security coordinator confirmed he had an audio recording in which the managing director breached the procurement processes and hand-picked a Chinese company to supply 300 buses,” he said.
The board chairman said a committee would be inaugurated later this week to probe the allegations of breaches of the procurement processes by the MD, his personal assistant and the entire executive team of the company.
Other terms of reference of the committee would be to authenticate the audio recording and investigate other financial malpractices by the MD and any other person or persons connected with the deal.
MD to step aside
But the Daily Graphic can understand from other sources that Mr Aboagye will be asked to step aside pending the investigations.
A board memo sighted by the Daily Graphic indicated that Mr Aboagye has strongly dismissed the allegations of corruption and fraud levelled against him by Mr Lawal.
Mr Aboagye, in his response, confirmed paying GH¢40,000 to Lawal but stated that the amount was to trap Lawal to retrieve the supposed recording from him, as advised by the Police CID.
“I consulted my lawyer who advised me to contact the BNI with a request to sweep my office,” he said in the board memo.
Mr Aboagye claimed that he was being blackmailed by Lawal.
According to him, Lawal had bugged his office with a recording device and threatened to release some recorded conversations involving him (Aboagye) to the public if he was not paid GH¢1 million.