NDC criticises private investigation of state agencies

BY: Sebastian Syme
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah (left), General Secretary of the NDC, with some leaders of the party addressing the press conference in Accra
Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah (left), General Secretary of the NDC, with some leaders of the party addressing the press conference in Accra

The government has been accused of expending $6.8 million to finance illegitimate private audit firms to investigate some state agencies, with the intention to disturb former appointees of the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

The party questioned the rationale for the parallel investigations when state agencies such as the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) were the lawfully mandated bodies to carry out such investigations.

Fake report

Addressing a news conference at the NDC Headquarters in Accra yesterday to debunk what it described as fake audit reports being circulated by the government against former NDC appointees, the General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said a certain Cabinet document purporting to emanate from a Cabinet Committee had been published widely in a number of pro-government media.

He said the intention of the government in circulating such a report was to tarnish the hard-won reputation of ex-appointees of the former administration and, by extension, the NDC.

“We also note that the Cabinet document lists certain private firms that are supposed to have audited the state agencies in question. We have credible information that these private firms were not legally engaged, since they were not officially authorised by the Auditor General to conduct these audits,” Mr Nketia stated.

He remarked that under the 1992 Constitution, it was only the Auditor General who was authorised to carry out audits of state agencies and where, for some good reason, such audits had to be carried out by private firms, the Auditor General’s consent had to be sought.

Flanked by other leading members of the NDC, Mr Nketia submitted that the NDC had from some of its former appointees that while they had been or were being subjected to EOCO investigations and submitted themselves regularly to the organisation, they had also received letters from some private firms to answer the same questions they had already answered at EOCO.

“What is the justification for these parallel investigations? What is the justification for the misuse of our taxpayers’ monies? What is the justification for paying huge amounts to private firms to do exactly what the state agencies are in the process of doing when these state agencies are under resourced? Who are the real and ultimate beneficiaries of these huge payments?  These questions must be answered by President Akufo-Addo’s government and must be answered now,” the NDC kingpin demanded.

Don’t co-operate

Mr Nketia urged the former appointees under investigations to immediately cease to cooperate with any other body other than the legally mandated ones of the state.