Ho traders tackle assembly over diverted cash

Traders at the Ho central market are gnashing their teeth in anger at the management of the Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA) for using funds meant for the construction of the market to pay for judgment debt.

They are therefore demanding an explanation why they should not hit the street to express their displeasure at what they termed misplaced priority.

A highly placed source at the corridors of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRGC) told this paper that the regional minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa, has been tasked to put pressure on the assembly to find money to replace what was used to pay Mr. Tommy Amematekpor as judgment debt, or else funds from the French Government will seize coming.

Speaking to your authoritative paper on the sidelines after their emergency meeting here in Ho, a trader, who pleaded anonymity for fear of intimidation and harassment,  said the management of the assembly diverted GH¢500,000 of the Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (FUMPP) fund to pay judgment debt to Mr. Amematekpor, a former special assistant to ex-president J.A. Kufuor.

She said due to such nonsensical act on the part of the assembly, the central market project and others, namely an abattoir and a landfill engineering site, have stalled, which is an embarrassment to them.

Ho Municipal Assembly was among four metropolitan assemblies, including Tamale, Sekondi/Takoradi and Kumasi metropolis, were to benefit from the GUMPP project, which was sponsored by the French government and was launched with fanfare at Ho in April, 2012.

The projects were to be completed within 18 months, but, at the time of filing this report, the three metropolitan assemblies had completed and handed over their project which is in use, but that of Ho Municipal Assembly is about 75 per cent complete due to negligence by management of the assembly.

Reports and facts gathered by this reporter indicated that the judgment debt came about as a result of stoppage of work on a parcel of government land located opposite the Ho Court Complex and behind Nigeria flat when the NPP was in government between 2001 and 2008 that he was putting up a structure but in 2009 when the NDC took over the government of the country the assembly had to stop work and demanded that permit be produced.

Mr. Amematekpor, not happy with this development, dragged the assembly to a Human Rights Court in Accra.

The assembly failed to appear in court and judgment was pronounced in his favour.

The assembly filed an appeal but again failed to show up in court and judgment again was delivered in Amematekpor’s favour, with all bank accounts and property of the assembly garnished.

It quickly, last month paid the judgment debt with GUMPP funds, an action which has made work on the project to stall.

According to the traders, if nothing is done quickly to solve the impasse, the government stands to lose assistance in any form from the French government.

When contacted, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Nelson Akorli, debunked the allegation, saying they are working hard to get the projects completed.

Source: Kokou Tsakpornu || therepublicnewsonline.com, Ho

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