Some 74 persons including current and former Members of Parliament, are to cough up a total of about GHc700, 000 outstanding debt they failed to pay to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture as far back as 2013.
Some of those indicted include Tamale Central legislator, Inusah A.B. Fuseini, MP for Salaga, Alhaji Ibrahim Dey Abubakari, former MP for Savelugu, Mary Salfu Boforo, former MP for Gomoa East, Ekow Panyin Okyere-Eduamoah and former Tamale North MP, Alhaji Abukari Sumani.
The Auditor-General’s Department published the list in the Ghanaian Times Newspaper today, Tuesday, and threatened to surcharge all those indicted.
The indicted persons per the publication owed outstanding balances ranging from GHc1, 000 to GHc30, 000. “In exercise of the powers conferred on the Auditor-General by Article 187 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the Auditor-General duly conducted an audit of the accounts and other related records of the Agricultural Mechanization Services Centre (AMSEC), of MOFA for the period ending December 2013.”
“That during the said audit, it emerged that you, the under listed persons contrary to the terms of the purchase agreement you entered into with Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) for agricultural machinery/equipment, have failed or refused to pay the outstanding balances on the said purchase agreements with MOFA. You are required to provide evidence of payments of the amounts indicated against your names and or show cause why the Auditor-General should not surcharge you with the loss,” the Auditor General added in the publication signed on his behalf by Head of Quality Assurance, Monitoring & Evaluation at the Auditor-General’s department, Mr. Abednego Agorhom.
He said those indicted have 14 days to give their response as to why they should not be surcharged.
“Your response should reach the Auditor-General not later than 14 days from the day of publication of this notice,” the publication added.
62 firms surcharged by Auditor General to cough up nearly Ghc9m
The Auditor-General announced in 2017 that it would surcharge some 62 organisations for receiving payments from the state without any documentation as proof.
The surcharge certificates totaling GHc8, 886,791.9101742 cover the period between December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2015.
The companies, mostly private organisations, also include some state institutions and staff of some government agencies.
Auditor-General’s revival story
The Auditor-General’s department has been very active in recent times after it was dragged to the Supreme Court by pressure group, Occupy Ghana.
OccupyGhana had argued that the Auditor-General had the right to go after public officials and institutions who cause the state to lose huge sums of monies in financial irregularities and misappropriation.
Occupy Ghana had explained that it sued the Auditor General for refusing to surcharge persons who are said to have misappropriated state monies to the tune of over GHc40 billion.
The Supreme Court on June 14, 2017, ordered the Auditor-General to, with immediate effect, begin surcharging persons found to have misappropriated monies belonging to the state.
The seven-member panel of justices presided over by incoming Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo, at the time did not give reasons for their judgment but indicated that they will make available the full details of the decision later.
Give me power to prosecute – Auditor-General to AG
The Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo, on February 5, 2018, said he has applied to the Attorney General to grant him powers to prosecute persons indicted in the Auditor General’s report.
Addressing journalists Mr. Domelevo said “…if a fiat is given by the Attorney General to Audit Service just like it has been given to the police and others to prosecute…which I have actually applied for, you will see me in action.”