I’m not corrupt – GMA boss

Mr Kwame Owusu (right) addressing the meda,With him are officials of GMA

Mr Kwame Owusu (right) addressing the meda,With him are officials of GMA

Embattled Director General (DG) of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr. Kwame Owusu says he is not corrupt and was ready to provide accurate documentation on all projects undertaken by his outfit since his assumption of office.

Making his first official comment on allegations that the Authority under his watch had expended about GHȼ135,125 on food and drinks for an end-of-year-party, the DG insisted that, “I am not corrupt and have never stolen government money.”

He was speaking to journalists in Accra yesterday on the back of recent social media assertions of corruption at the Authority compelling the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah to direct investigations into the claims on Monday.

Maverick musician and government sympathiser, Kwame A-Plus, had alleged on social media that he had a document which showed a request by the Director of Administration, for the payment of GHȼ10,652 to Luxe Suites Hotel for the cost of food and drinks for eight people at a stakeholder meeting.

He had also claimed that, an amount of GHȼ135,125 was also expended by the Authority in one night on food, drinks and music, for an end-of-year dinner party on December 22, 2017.

Though the GMA had in a statement described the publications as misleading and “a misrepresentation of facts,” the matter had not died down compelling the Minister to direct the Board of the Authority to investigate the allegations and report to him for necessary action.

In a point by point explanation to set the records straight, the DG who was flanked by staff and management of the Authority with piles of documents to prove his ‘innocence’ at the news conference refuted all allegations levelled against him.

According to him, under no circumstance did the Authority sanction the payment of such an amount for food for eight people as alleged but rather the amount covered food supplied over a period of series of meetings held by the Authority.

“The amounts quoted by my opponents and other allegations about me is mischievous and just a targeted attempt to bring people down. We are ready to submit ourselves to the investigative committee to prove whether we have falsified the records or not,” he stated.

Defending his integrity, Mr. Owusu said his style of leadership had seen the Authority undergo massive infrastructural and systemic transformation resulting in it raising about GH¢ 99.2 million in revenue for the state in 2017.

“For the first time in the history of the GMA, we are going to pay about GH¢8million dividend to government,” he stated.

The DG showed a screen shot of messages sent to him personally to blackmail him, failure of which he would be booted out of office, accusing the musician (A-Plus) and his cohorts of being behind the extortion agenda.

“Those thieves were responsible for the fire outbreak at the Finance department because we had audited records from 2009 to 2017 and for obscure reasons, arsonists razed it down,” he alleged.

Mr. Owusu disclosed plans of taking legal action against the musician and other media outlets that had jumped unto the allegations without verifying the truth of the matter.

“I have instructed my lawyers to press charges against him and other major media stations who followed the crusade to hang me,” he said to cheers of some staff clad in branded t-shirts which read, “I stand with Kwame Owusu; A-plus is an extortionist; Ghanaians must stop A-plus.”

By Abigail Annoh

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