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I have personally had the opportunity to follow discussions concerning, serious forensic audit engagement between, the Economic And Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and some private audit firms coordinated by an Ad hoc committee sanctioned by the senior minister with reference number OSM/CCIFA/069/VOL.1. In the said committee report, I could see six state institutions with their breakdown of certain irregularities. Let it be known that,those irregularities captured absolute theft, fraud procurement violations and others which” borders” on criminality on the part of former officials of those state institutions under the NDC government.
The argument has now been shifted from the substance of the report to mere “red herring” just to divert attention from the issues raised in the report. As usual,people have started describing the move by this government to drag individuals on sharp stones of probity and accountability as “witch hunting”. Indeed if we have witches who are bent on sinking the Republic of Ghana through criminal dealings, definitely they ought to be hunted for the goodness of this country. Over the weekend, I monitored a press conference organised by the NDC general secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah on this exercise by the Nana Akufo Addo government. I must confess that,nothing sensible was said about what actually triggered the said useless press conference except the needless vitriolic attack on the board chair of the Ghana Audit service for reasons which were not linked to the subject matter.
Again, he raised certain legal contentions in respect of the mandate of the Auditor general as spelt out under article 187 of the supreme law of Ghana.His main contention was that,the Auditor General under the laws of Ghana is the only one clothed with the powers to do what has been done by those private firms. Where he failed to pay utmost attention to is the fact that, EOCO engaged the services of the private firms in an ongoing investigation which was triggered by the anti graft body as part of it mandates under section 3(a)(I) of EOCO Act,2010. What is wrong with EOCO engaging the services of experts in carrying out its respective mandate? Mr Asiedu Nketiah who alleged that,there was something fundamentally wrong with this exercise failed to tell his listeners the exact error. Corruption has been the bane of our progress as a country and so if there are efforts taken to weed out this canker, the effort should politicised just because those who did it belongs to a certain political party. I dont think any political party in Ghana was established for criminal purpose just to defend corrupt government appointee whether past or present.
Ghana Audit Service as we all know has the mandate to Audit all public institutions in this country. It is also instructive to note that, Audit Service do engage the services of private firms in the ordinary course of executing their constitutional mandate(s). It is therefore surprising that, People like Dr Velarie Sawyer who perhaps might have seen the danger associated with this report would act “quizzically” on the face of the report. Let it also be clear that, the Audit being conducted by the Ghana Audit Service is quite different from this particular Audit. Forensic Audit is part of criminal investigation where findings only goes to court for prosecution. It is done by experts whose findings are used as the basis for prosecution in court. Auditor General’s report as we have always been seeing goes to parliament where those indicted in the report are allowed to appear before public accounts committee of parliament for questions. At the end what happens?.
The claim that, this particular forensic Audit should have been done by the Ghana Audit Service can only be the assertion of the NDC. If there is something to dispute as far as the forensic Audit report is concerned, the issues raised in the report should be the target and not the method used. Dr Velarie Sawyer and co should give us a break.
The office of the Attorney general should act fast and build prosecutable dockets for those indicted in the report. Dr Velarie Sawyer who was a board member at the time Ghana gas decided to milk this country on the acquisition of air craft should start looking for” pampers” to wear before the day of reckoning comes.
Citizen vigilance for Justice