Monday, July 30, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday July 30, 2018

Former Attorney General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, has insisted that she did not err in authorising the payment of GH¢51.2 million to National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, which the Supreme Court later found to have been fraudulently procured.

It was the payment of the controversial judgement debt during the Mills-Mahama NDC administration in 2010 which has earned the current opposition party the perpetual mantra of ‘create, loot and share’ in Ghana’s political lexicon.

Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who is seeking to become the next National Chairman of the main opposition party, the NDC, said even though the NDC government acted ‘erroneously wrong’ and made mistakes in the manner it handled the issue, which is still being battled in court, she had been cleared by the court of any wrongdoing for dubiously paying the GH¢51.2 million to the NDC businessman.

The Supreme Court in July 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the huge amount to the government following a suit filed by Betty’s successor, Martin Amidu, now the Special Prosecutor, but the order fell on deaf ears during the tenure of former President John Mahama.

Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, who is currently a Vice Chairperson of the opposition NDC, told ‘21 Minutes’ hosted by Ghanaweb’s Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng, aka KKB, that the Court of Appeal even gave her a clean bill of health when it held that she acted ‘professionally’ as AG in the circumstances leading to the authorization that got Mr. Woyome the money, which continues to spark heated political debate anytime the subject is raised.

“I don’t think my actions were triable but in the end, the Court of Appeal - three Appeal Court judges - gave a verdict on whether this money was procured fraudulently and my role in the matter came up and they all insisted Betty Mould-Iddrisu, as AG, acted professionally, she acted competently, she followed due diligence,” she said.

Interestingly, it was the same Betty who first filed the process to retrieve the money in court, claiming that she was misinformed in paying the dubious claims to Woyome.

She was subsequently yanked off to the Education Ministry before being booted out because of the embarrassing scandal.

She said the court also held that “she executed her official actions as a lawyer and as an AG. That was what you need. That was the kind of validation that quite frankly some of your media folks were making; making me even doubt myself. When you do the right thing you shouldn’t doubt yourself and I have managed to keep my sanity in the most difficult periods by knowing that at least I have done the right thing or tried to.”

She said even though her reputation was battered in the Woyome saga, she had “extreme loyalty” from her party, NDC.

"It is rather one of the hazards of politics; it's one of the hazards of putting yourself out there . . . Sometimes you can't see that they are sharpening the knives for you; sometimes also we were wrong in some of our actions, erroneously wrong not criminally wrong or fraudulently wrong but erroneously wrong. We are humans, we make mistakes," she said.

When the host asked her whether they usually discuss the matter when they meet, the former AG said, “Occasionally we meet. Occasionally we sit and talk and I would think so.”

The NDC Vice Chairperson said, “I wasn’t AG when he (Woyome) was paid the bulk of the money. For me, it wasn’t about money though it may seem in people’s eyes; it was about the principle of doing the right thing.”

“I am always glad. I always tell people that there is a God and He is a just God, especially if when you are a lawyer you can be cleared through the court system. I was not on trial. I was never put on trial.

No Regret 
Betty was said to have mounted pressure on the then Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor ,to pay the money to Woyome even though he had raised concerns about the payment, claiming the NDC financier had threatened to go to court.

She said she has no regrets in paying the money because she acted professionally.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu admitted that “we (NDC gov’t) were wrong in some of our actions but erroneously wrong and not criminally wrong. We are humans we make mistakes.”

“At a point I resigned as Education Minister because there was mesh of sagas engulfing some of my actions when I was AG. They made it untenable for me to continue.”

Asked whether she was asked to resign she said “I was not asked to resign” but later said “I won’t say yes or no.”
“It was agreed that I should step aside to enable me see the way forward in clearing out some of the sagas and I think I did that.”

“I am competent enough to take responsibility for my own action in certain context,” she added.


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday July 30, 2018

Former Consul General to Dubai, Daniel Osei, has fired former President John Dramani Mahama once again saying he cannot lead the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to win the 2020 presidential election because he has not changed from his old ways of doing things.

“He must stop or be stopped so our party can win again!” Mr. Osei who served under Mr. Mahama said in his latest article, and even described him as a “fraudulent variable” in the scheme of NDC affairs.

Fraudulent Variable
“From his moral turpitude to gross opulence and calculated maligning and treachery, and lack of vision, he’s hoping to return and in his own voice ‘teach people lessons.’ This fraudulent variable cannot be part of our calculus for victory,” he fired.

“It’s unfortunate we find ourselves as a party hijacked by this singular issue of Mahama’s return when any worthy political thinker can conclude it’s not good for the former president to contest again,” he insisted.

Not Changed
He disclosed, “I took a step back from my crusade to help advance the party’s chances at victory and listened to many people including all the flagbearer aspirants, members of our council of elders, and indeed many people from the former President’s camp. In my interactions with his people, I wanted to be convinced that if he were given the nod, he could lead us to victory.”

He lamented, however, that, “sadly, person after person from the former presidents camp, indicated the man has not changed.”
“We can’t win with this. The fact that Mahama had to apologize to so many people and caucuses in the first place, should raise eyebrows. Why did he offend so many people and treat so many people badly?

NPP Contrast
Contrasting what has transpired in the ruling party recently and what pertained in the NDC when they first won power, Mr. Osei posited “look at how Nana Addo rewarded Freddie Blay and his team, and juxtapose that to Mahama systemically and craftily removing Kwabena Agyei, Yaw Gyan etc and replacing them with Kofi Adams and co?”

“Indeed ‘the prince of darkness is a gentleman’ and only God knows how ruthless and scandalous he will be if he only had one term to govern.”

Money Machine
He observed that Ghanaians clearly demonstrated that they could not be influenced by money during the decision to remove the NDC from office on December 7, 2016, saying “Mahama was rejected because the electorate did not like him nor his governance. We lost because we had an uninspiring, self centered candidate who predictably failed us at the polls.”

“It’s not gonna be easy but it’s our only hope against the money machine. If all we needed to win is money; we will be in power still. If all we needed to win was a well known candidate, we should be in power still. Let us not conflate well known with popular nor well liked,” he explained.

Need For Change
Mr. Osei said “we must change that if we want to win 2020.  His many apologies were simply because his politics was self centered and the electorate rejected him because his governance was terrible. Winning the presidency is not a primary contest.”

He stressed that “the primariesis only a step in the process and if we get it wrong, we are done! To allow Mahama to steal the primaries with money will be suicidal for 2020.

Real Division
He maintained that Mr. Mahama “is the most divisive factor in NDC today!” adding “there are real serious divisions within the party today, and Mahama cannot heal it.”

“He simply lacks the leadership qualities for unification and his team is bankrupt of ideas. The flashy opulence and fake unity walk fanfare nonsense, is for the birds,” he fired, adding “power is not a birthright and unless we as a party, are ready to work for it, we cannot win.”

“I must confess, it’s tiring to keep drumming the same message home time and again, but it’s important to do what it takes to help give our party a chance and we can only do so if we take the hard decisions and embrace change so we can offer a more hopeful preposition to the electorate.

“The civilized thing for Mahama to do is quickly step aside but given his indecisive trait, we just might have to take that decision for him at the polls,” he said.

Sunday, July 29, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday July 28, 2018

Wife of departed former Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur yesterday exploded when she launched scathing attack on her husband’s enemies who pretended to be friends.

A tribute delivered by Matilda Amissah-Arthur to pay her last respects to her departed husband at his funeral in Accra yesterday set tongues wagging.

At the solemn ceremony held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), the former vice president’s widow took the distinguished audience by surprise when she launched a tirade on her husband’s ‘detractors’ in the course of reading her tribute.

Husband’s Detractors 
In what can be interpreted as shaming her husband’s detractors, Mrs. Amissah-Arthur appeared to express ‘surprise’ that such characters were there mourning the late vice president after treating him with scorn in government.

The attack, according to insiders, was directed at particularly the NDC apparatchiks, who did everything to frustrate him when he served as a vice president.

“Over the last few weeks, I have been amazed at the number of people who have come to show us love and I asked myself is this Ghana? Are all these people in Ghana? Because the maligning, the lies, the treachery, the wickedness, the deliberately (sic) changing things so that they could look better than others, the mischievousness… I ask myself is this Ghana? I ask myself is this my own husband that people have come to pay tribute to?”

False Accusations 
She fired: “And today, I ask the same question: did people really know my husband? Did they take time to know him better? The false accusations, the lies, the maligning, did they know him?”
“My dearest, me, your children- Kwesi, Maame Boatemaa, Yaw, Akyere; your grandchildren- Emily, Kwamena and Eliana- we knew you and we know you,” she said, adding “and we know you are a rare gem, and we treasure you and we are very proud of you.”

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur said “a thousand tears won’t bring you back. I know because I have cried. But I know you made your mark in this country and beyond. And you touched many lives and those who cared to know you, those who cared to give you time to prove yourself know what a rare gem you are. So I pray that your memory will impact and empower generations.”

She moved from the pulpit where the microphone was positioned and could be heard saying “as I celebrate my husband, I stand in front of the Lord today and with a song in my heart and an outstretched hands, I say to you Lord, to you be the glory!”

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur’s outburst appeared to have been done extempore because those portions are not contained in the beautifully prepared 135-page brochure of the late Vice President.

Immediately she launched into the tirade, the television cameras zoomed on former President John Mahama, who appeared to be wearing long a face at the time.

He was seen covering his face with a white handkerchief.

President Akufo-Addo, flanked by his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and top government officials, were at the conference centre to pay their last respects to the late former Vice President, aged 67.

Former Presidents; Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama, who reportedly flew in from Zimbabwe where he was on Commonwealth election duties, were also there to mourn Mr. Amissah-Arthur.

Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to which the deceased belonged, were there in their numbers so were other political parties, diplomats and religious leaders.

Many distinguished personalities were also in attendance.

The heads of security agencies, academia among others, were also not left out.

Glowing Tribute
Vice President Dr Bawumia, who read President Akufo-Addo’s tribute, said the late Vice President was “the definition of a gentleman. His character and disposition was a soothing balm in the tempestuous waters of Ghanaian adversarial politics.”

“He has imprinted his mark on the Ghanaian political landscape in a manner that requires telling for another generation.”

The Vice President said, “From the Economics Department of the University of Ghana and the Anambra State College of Education, to the consulting rooms of the World Bank, to the Ministry of Finance, to the Bank of Ghana and to the Jubilee House, you have traversed some of the most important institutions of our nation and we are grateful to the Almighty for bringing you our way.”

Former President Mahama, under whose tenure Mr. Amissah-Arthur served as Vice President, said his deputy never boasted about his accomplishments, saying “he was practical not rhetorical. He simply let his achievements and accomplishments speak for him.”

“It came as no surprise that as we all worked together, Ghana achieved the record of being the fastest growing economy in the world with inflation pegged at a single digit for one of the longest periods in our nation’s history. It is a record that has stood till this day.”

Former President Kufuor said “the late Vice President was obviously a person of distinction and true gentlemen. As far as I can recall, not once did Paa Kwesi talk without civility. He carried himself gracefully and with decorum in the affairs of state.”

Former President Rawlings, on his part said “despite the complex challenges he encountered as Vice President, he nevertheless was a man whose demeanour won him deserving respect and admiration. Paa Kwesi may have been an unsung hero, but he paid his full dues to Ghana with love and commitment.”

Thursday, July 26, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday July 26, 2018

The debate about the construction of additional graves as part of the burial arrangements for former President John Evans Atta Mills, who died on July 24, 2012, does not appear to go away.

The motive behind the construction of the nine graves as part of the former president’s funeral held on August 10, 2012, continues to engender heated debate.

The family had requested for the body to be buried in his hometown of Ekumfi Otuam but for political expediency, the previous Mahama administration decided to bury him close to the Osu Castle only to abandon the grave for animals to graze on. 

Ghanaians were taken aback in the initial stages of the sitting President’s death when then Mahama-led NDC administration inexplicably ordered the construction of nine graves right at the seat of government at Flagstaff House, now Jubilee House, when only an individual was going to be buried.

Public protest ensued and the government relocated the graves to a parcel of land close to the Independence Square along the Osu Castle Road, which is the former seat of government in Accra for the interment of the mortal remains of the former President Mills.

The NDC government christened the final resting place of Prof Mills, which had been beautifully decorated, as Asomdwee Park, and promised to use as presidential resting place.

Currently, the Asomdwee Park appears to have been abandoned, as the place has been taken over by weed.

The sorry state of the Asomdwe Park appears not to bother many people because some are of the cynical view that even the actual cause of death of the former President has been shrouded in secrecy by his own party people and the government he toiled to bring into office.

The debate about the nine graves has been rekindled since the untimely death of another NDC stalwart, former Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who is expected to be given a befitting state burial on Friday at the new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.

Many were of the view that the late Vice President was going to be buried at Asomdwe Park next to Atta Mills but his family preferred a different location.

Family Threat 
Meanwhile, the family of the late President has threatened to exhume the body of Prof Mills for reburial if the state refuses to maintain the Asomdwe Park.

According to them, they cannot continue to bear the responsibility of keeping the burial site of the former president clean.

Speaking to Okay FM yesterday, Family Head, Siisi Crentsil explained that the Asomdwe Park has become a subject of ridicule for the family.

The family of the late Vice President has been very proactive in the funeral arrangements of their beloved which is expected to get underway this morning.

A statement issued by Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, brother of the late Vice President, said recently that the body would be laid in state at the foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) for mourners to pay their last respects from 0800 hours to 1800 hours, but added that security personnel would not allow cameras at the scene.

The statement said on Friday, July 27, a burial service would be held in the auditorium of the AICC between the hours of 0900 hours and midday and said additional seating had been made at the forecourt of State House.

The service is expected to be beamed live both on radio and television.

The funeral cortege, according to the family, would go through some principal streets of Accra, particularly the John Evans Atta Mills High Street before the body is interred at the Military Cemetery followed by a funeral reception at the forecourt of State House from 1400 hours.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday July 25, 2018

Former President John Dramani Mahama has joined other members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in condemning President Akufo-Addo over the appointment of Jean Mensa as the new Electoral Commission (EC) Chairperson.

In what can be described as calculated efforts by the NDC to frustrate the President’s nomination, the former President appears to be leading the charge to reject the new EC boss.

Former President Mahama, who is currently in Zimbabwe on Election Observer Mission, took time of his busy schedule to tweet on social media that the appointment of Mrs. Mensa and three others to EC by President Akufo-Addo is ‘regrettable’ and threatens Ghana’s democracy.

“Current controversy surrounding removal of EC Chair and deputies and subsequent appointment of new commissioners is regrettable and carries a potential to erode Ghana’s democratic credentials,” he tweeted.

Mahama’s Logic 
Per the former President’s logic, President Akufo-Addo cannot nominate a new EC Boss because there is a case in court challenging her removal from office.

Interestingly, when the petition was filed to challenge the validity of the EC to declare him winner of the 2012 Presidential Election, Mr. Mahama continued to hold himself out as President in spite of the suit.

Smear Campaign 
Members of Parliament (MP) have been making wild allegations against Mrs Mensa since her nomination by the President, saying that she is in bed with the NPP.

MP for North Dayi in the Volta Region, Rockson Dafeamakpor, claimed on Joy FM that they have evidence that Mrs Mensa has been visiting President Akufo-Addo but could not prove it.

Allied Groups 
Some groups allied to the NDC led by People’s National Convention (PNC) Chairman, Bernard Mornah, have entered the fray, saying the President did not consult broadly.

But PNC General Secretary, Atik Mohammed has been extolling the virtues of Mrs. Mensa.

Mixed Reactions 
DAILY GUIDE understands that President Akufo-Addo did extensive consultations before settling on the IEA boss even though he is not bound by law.

President Akufo-Addo was said to have sought the advice of former EC Boss Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan and some former top officials of the commission.

However, the Progressive People Party (PPP) was adamant that the President did enough consultation.

Its National Secretary, Murtala Mohammed, said the appointment of the new EC officials would have “passed the litmus test of transparency, good governance and best practices if they were consulted.”

NPP’s Position 
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) said that it has nothing to say about the appointment of Mrs Mensa.

“Primarily (this position) is about competence, integrity and neutrality, and any of them who are kicking against it should prove that this criterion, the person does not have it. With such argument, then we’ll also be able to discuss the issues, but for someone to say: I have quarreled with the person one time or the other, or my organisation had difficulty with her organisation, so all individuals coming from that organisation should not hold public position, I don’t think is fair,” John Boadu, General Secretary of NPP told Class FM.

“We have no choice really. It’s the constitution of our country. We’ve lived with it for so many years since the inception of the fourth republican constitution and this is a process that has gone on with Afari Gyan…Charlotte Osei. Even with her, all the difficulties we had, we lived with them until they themselves quarreled and brought out issues that necessitated workers of the commission to petition the president. The president had to go through the process as prescribed by the constitution.”

Civil Society
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), in a statement, said the selection of Jean Mensa is the best thing because she understands the subject of elections.

Many civil society organizations, including the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), have urged the NDC to send any grievances they might have against the nomination of Mrs. Mensa and the rest to the Council of State.

Head of Advocacy and Policy Engagements at CDD, Kojo Asante, suggested to the NDC on Joy FM that “we should not take the opportunity that the Council of State offers us lightly. 
Constitutionally, that is the only body now that can put any restraint or checks on a discretion of the President.”

Prof Yaw Gyampo, Director for the Centre for European Studies at the University of Ghana, who has worked closely with Mrs. Mensa at the IEA for 14 years, said that the Minority was being petty on the issues.

 “Of course the NDC is saying that they are partisan and all that, I do not know, I’m very curious in knowing about their partisan connections that the NDC says they will expose, but as far as I am concerned, the issues that are being raised by the NDC against Jean Mensa is something that border on some petty issues.”


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday July 25, 2018

The Coordinator of the ‘Spio Garbrah Fan Club,’ the campaign wing of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential hopeful, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has returned fire once again insisting that the former minister is ‘lying’ about his ambitions to lead the party in 2020.

“All that he is doing is that he has formed a fundraising committee and is using it to make money under the guise of contesting as NDC flag bearer in 2020 even though he has said publicly that he is not contesting,” Isaac Kofi Ahimah, 63, said when he visited DAILY GUIDE  on Monday.

The Spio’s Coordinator said he had been ‘incensed’ by what he termed Spio-Garbrah’s attempt to disparage him in the media; in seeking to set the records straight.

Mr Spio-Garbrah’s team issued a statement over the weekend describing Mr. Ahimah, who was NDC’s Secretary in the Akwatia Constituency in the Eastern Region for 18 years, as a renegade who was caught frequently visiting the office of a leading member of a ‘rival’ campaign team, to solicit for money and accused him also of treachery.

According to Mr. Ahimah, those who signed the statement on behalf of Spio-Garbrah are not part of the Fan Club they formed to promote the presidential aspiration of the former Trade and Industry Minister and said that they were being ‘used.’

 “I know that boy called Robert Afulimi who claimed to be Campaign Spokesman for Spio-Garbrah. He works for one of Spio-Garbrah’s publication outlets,” he fired.

“We registered the Fan Club to support Spio-Garbrah. I have been with him for the last five years, and we have a ‘Forward Agenda’ council comprising sub-committee chairpersons and myself as the National Coordinator. He cannot singlehandedly suspend me as he has purported,” he stated.

 Mr. Ahimah said “what triggered the whole action was that the chairman of the communication sub-committee resigned and Spio-Garbrah, without recourse to council, appointed another person and when I raised issues about his approach he said he had suspended me.”

Mr. Ahimah said his only crime was that alongside Naziru (Spio’s aide), they had visited former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, and because of the visit, Spio-Garbrah accused him of collecting money from Mr. Debrah.

“He created the impression that there was a committee that investigated and suspended me. I am using your medium to say that there is no such committee. He is running a one-man show,” he charged.

He said he even facilitated a meeting for Mr Spio-Garbrah with former President Mahama through Mr. Debrah where the former minister allegedly reiterated that he was no longer interested in the NDC flagbearership once the ex-President wants to contest again.

Mr. Ahimah further claimed that the former minister’s track record as someone “who is capable of setting confusion in the party” is public knowledge, saying “look at how he treated Professor Mills. When he was not given any position in the government, did you see how he called them names? When President Mahama appointed him did you hear him criticize the President?”

He said “Spio-Garbrah started his presidential moves when NDC was in power but since the party’s defeat, there has not been a single organizational work in which he is fully involved, although he is raising funds.

“I’m challenging him to come out and deny if he has not formed a fundraising team that is going round to look for money for him. I am also challenging him to deny if he did not say in Aflao that he was withdrawing from the race to throw his weight behind ex-President Mahama.”

“I don’t want to engage in personality attacks as he has done to me in the statement he caused to be issued. He has called me names which cannot be true. He should know where I am coming from. He knows I know too much about what he has been doing behind the scenes as far as his presidential ambition is concerned.”

He added that “very soon we are going to hold a news conference and dissolve the fan club and go ahead to support the flag bearer that Spio said we should all support during the Aflao Unity Walk.”


By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday July 25, 2018

There is a simmering tension at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) following what some staff claim to be mounting judgement debts which they said is crippling   activities of the state-owned broadcaster.

A section of the staff are cynically claiming that some of the judgement debts were generated deliberately between some top officers of GBC and other private advertising companies and therefore, called for forensic audit of the company’s accounts.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that a section of the GBC staff is threatening to demonstrate if the Ministry of Information and the National Media Commission do not look into the matter.

Currently, there is a heated debate over how GBC came to owe a private firm called Buy Media a whopping GH¢ 8,450,000.00 through judgment debt as at December 2016.

The consent judgment obtained by Buy Media had been entered into during the time of Major Albert Don-Chebe (rtd), as the Director General of GBC and Mr. Kofi Asante as Board Chairman.

Information available in the 2016 Auditor General’s report shows that, GH¢ 8,450,000.00 debt that GBC agreed to pay to Buy Media through a consent judgement was done without the involvement of the Attorney General’s Department’.

Later when Kwame Akufo Anof-Ntow, currently on leave, took over from Major Don-Chebe and was honouring the court’s order to pay Buy Media, it was allegedly being done by cash not cheque as standard practice required.

There is another issue the staff are concerned about which if not well-handled could disrupt activities of the state broadcaster.

DAILY GUIDE learnt that the Acting Director-General, Augustus Yamson, is currently in the process of making payment to an 11-member Committee put together by Mr. Anof-Ntow to investigate how the Buy Media debt was incurred.

Initially, the committee, all made up of GBC staff, raised a bill of GH¢172,000 as sitting allowance but was later negotiated downwards to GH¢90,000.

However, a section of the GBC staff raised objection by questioning the propriety of the intended payment and subsequently petitioned the current Board of Directors.

They insisted that GBC, currently, is cash-strapped and lacks tools to work with and therefore want the board to consider more pressing financial commitments.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday July 19, 2018

The five-member committee set up by the Chief Justice that recommended the removal of the chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Charlotte Osei from office, has said that the sacked boss could not produce any evidence to prove that the new office building she requested from the previous Mahama administration was first discussed among other members of the commission.

There was no document to support allocation of the $30 million building said to be owned by Unibank to the EC except a backdated letter allegedly drafted by the deposed EC boss for the former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, to append his signature.

The $30 million building was said to have been acquired for the EC using the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) vehicle to pay for the building.

Unfortunately, no payment was made so the building reverts to its original owner despite the EC spending huge sums of money to partition and refurbish it.

However, she was able to produce evidence indicating that she formally informed the entire commission that then President John Mahama had given the EC a new building to serve as its headquarters even though the other commissioners insisted that there was nothing wrong with the current building they have been occupying for many years.

The five-member committee, chaired by Justice Anthony Alfred Benin, said after being allocated the building located at Ridge in Accra in 2016, the sacked EC Boss went ahead to breach procurement rules in the processes leading to the award of contracts to partition the building.

No Evidence 
The committee, whose membership also included Justices Samuel K. Marful-Sau and Justice Agnes Dordzie, both of the Court of Appeal, as well as Welbeck Abra-Appiah, a renowned banker and Rose Karikari-Anang, former Executive Secretary, Ghana Employers Association, said on Page 25 of the 54-page document that “there is no evidence before the committee that the decision for the new office block was first discussed with members of the commission as a body.”

Charlotte Osei justified the request to then President Mahama for a new EC office because she said Ghana had been elected to host the headquarters of the Association of African Election Authorities (AAEA) and on the day of making the request she had gone to the presidency with another member of the commission.

Contract & Consultancy 
The committee heard that after securing the building, the EC obtained three proposals from three contractors and three consultants and afterwards, Mrs. Charlotte Osei applied to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) for approval to procure the services through restricted tender on February 18, 2016, which was duly granted on February 29, 2016.

The estimated amount sought by the EC Boss for the contract, which was approved by the PPA, was GH¢98,100 and the authority specifically “requested the chairperson to seek the current approval from the Tender Review Board as per the value of the intended procurement activity after completion of the tendering process.”

Another Request 
According to the committee, on April 16, 2016, the EC Boss again wrote to the PPA for permission to use restricted tender for the procurement of works for the internal partitioning of the new office block and again listed three companies as the suppliers.

The committee said the EC boss’s letter had quoted GH¢3,410,268.25 as the estimated cost for the partitioning and the PPA, in a letter dated May 6, 2016, granted the request and in so doing even referred to the EC as Ghana Publishing Company Limited in an apparent error, adding “this letter specifically advised that the procurement activity should be done with the current approval of the appropriate Tender Review Board regarding the value of the activity after tendering process.”

However, the committee said on Page 27 that “evidence before the committee revealed that the two contracts for the partitioning of the new office block and the contract for the consultancy service were not put before the Entity Tender Committee as created by the Public Procurement Act and the internal procurement procedures of the EC.”

Beyond Threshold 
The contract for partitioning was estimated at GH¢3,410,263.25 but the sacked EC boss ended up awarding it to a private firm called Messrs Inocon at GH¢3,976,244.33.

Similarly, the contract for consultancy was estimated at GH¢98,100, but Mrs. Charlotte Osei ended up awarding it to a private firm called Messrs CPM Africa Ltd at GH¢209,443,75.

“Both contracts by their values were above the threshold of the chairperson so they should have been awarded on the approval of the Entity Tender Committee and the Entity Tender Review Panel,” the report said, adding “the evidence, however, is that the Evaluation Panel addressed its report to the Entity Tender Review Panel, and the chairperson alone without the involvement of the two deputies approved and awarded the said two contracts.”

Unlawful Contracts 
“The contract approved and awarded by the chairperson to Messrs Inocon Ltd for the partition works of the new office building was unlawful,” adding “again the contract awarded to Messrs CPM Africa Ltd to offer consultancy services for the partition works in the new office block was also unlawful, because the Entity Tender Committee and even the internally created Entity Tender Review Board to which the evaluation reports were referred to, never met to approve the said contracts.”

The committee said the sacked EC Boss in her own testimony had admitted under-cross examination that the Entity Tender Review Panel of the commission never met as a body to review the work of the Tender Evaluation Panel and another witness, who was brought by Mrs. Charlotte Osei also testified that she never saw a report of the Entity Tender Review Panel.

Specific Advice 
It further said much as it agreed with the contention of Mrs. Charlotte Osei that the PPA Act does not specifically require a report of the actual value of the contract awarded, at least the PPA specifically advised that the procurement activity should be carried out with the concurrent approval of the appropriate Tender Review Board.

“If all heads and entities are allowed to award contracts higher in value than what the estimated amount was agreed to be, without the involvement of the accredited procurement units within public bodies, then the Public Procurement Act would have to be suspended,” it noted.

The committee said the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Boss when he appeared before the panel even said that “the practice of awarding contracts above the estimated amount is not the best practice.”