The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the government is scheming to get the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo removed.
Addressing a press conference in Accra Monday morning [November 25, 2019], the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said this was because of Mr Domelevo’s stance against that of the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo in relation to some payments made to a private firm, Kroll and Associates, which the government, through the Finance Ministry, paid US$1 million.
The Auditor-General is of the view that Kroll was paid for no work done, and has therefore asked that the evidence of actual work done by the private firm should be provided.
"He [Domelevo] is being met with resistance and machinations," Mr Asiedu Nketiah said.
"The attention of the NDC has been drawn to some sinister machinations by the Akufo-Addo government to remove the Auditor General from office."
"Mr. Dumelovo’s crime is that he has dared to take the fight against corruption to the highest levels of the thieving Akufo-Addo government and is insisting on doing the right things in accordance with Ghanaian law," Mr Asiedu Nketiah said.
He insisted that the initiation of investigations into procurement breaches at the Auditor-General's Office by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) was part of the elaborate plan to get him removed.
"The Economic and Organised Crime Office, acting almost certainly at the behest of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, has extended a clandestine invitation to the Auditor-General, ostensibly as part of investigations into a petition filed by an NPP hatchet man acting in concert with agents of the Akufo-Addo government."
"What is being presented as a routine investigation into allegations of wrongdoing is in fact an attempt to gag the Auditor-General and subsequently remove him from office because of his uncompromising stance in the fight against corruption. Put more accurately, this EOCO investigation is designed as retribution against Mr Domelovo because he has been on the tail of Yaw Osafo Maafo over the latter’s involvement in the massive corruption scandal under which US$1 million was paid to Kroll Associates, a UK company for no work done," he added
The Auditor-General, in a letter dated September 24, 2019, addressed to the Senior Minister, outlined reasons why the Senior Minister’s payment to Kroll Associates was to be disallowed and have him surcharged for the amount of Gh¢4,869,421.87 the equivalent of US$1,031,460.50 being payment to Kroll Associates for a contract awarded in September 2017 with the effective date of February 13, 2017, the NDC's General Secretary added.
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Mr Asiedu Nketiah said "as part of elaborate and larger plot to remove" Mr Domelevo, the NDC has information that the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) offshoots "would in the coming days petition President Akufo-Addo for the removal of the Auditor-General, instead of the prosecution of real culprits, Mr Osafo Maafo."
"President Akufo-Addo would in-turn be all too happy to act and ask the Auditor-General to step aside. That is the plot ahead of us unless we speak, the object is to release pressure on Osafo Maafo and prevent Domelevo from doing further work on the Kroll and Associates and surcharge Mr Osafo Maafo.
The on government September 26, 2017 signed a contract with Kroll Associates for some professional services. The contract was signed on behalf of the government by Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister. The contract was to take effect from February 2017.
This particular contract, according to the NDC "was curiously awarded to Kroll Associates based on an expression of interest by the company."
"Based on the expression of interest, the contract was eventually awarded on sole sourcing basis without prior approval from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) contrary to the dictates of the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) as amended," the NDC said.
"Following the letter from the Auditor General demanding proof of approval from PPA failure of which the Senior Minister stands liable for surcharge, the Office of the Senior Minister has released some documents purporting to show PPA approval for the contract," Mr Asiedu Nketiah added.
A letter dated November 14, 2017 and addressed to the Minister for National Security, showed sole sourcing approval by the PPA. This purported approval went to the National Security Council Secretariat and not the Senior Minister. "We must note that the Senior Minister, Mr Osafo Marfo, is not a member of the National Security Council Secretariat," the NDC said.
According to the NDC, the sole sourcing approval by PPA conveyed to the National Security Council Secretariat was done and communicated on the 14th November, 2017. Note that the contract to Kroll was awarded on 26th of September, 2017 with a retroactive effective date of 13th February, 2017. This simply reveals that the Kroll Associate contract awarded by the Senior Minister, did not receive prior approval from the PPA.
"This is in clear violation of the Public Procurement Act, which calls for the immediate prosecution of all involved including the Senior Minister."
"Following the Auditor-General’s intensified steps to reclaim the illegal payment from the Senior Minister, certain back door machinations are being engineered to have him removed," the NDC General Secretary said.
Read the full press statement attached below