A total of 10 staff of the Lands Commission have been interdicted for engaging in financial malfeasance.
They are part of 16 employees of the Commission, who are under investigation by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, for defrauding the Commission.
Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, James Dadson, said, the 16 employees were alleged to have worked with five other persons, to manipulate the Commission’s operating software, Enterprise Land Information System (ELIS).
“The moment we uncovered that something untoward had been done, the Commission’s policy on disciplinary measures is brought to the fore.
After thorough investigations have been exhausted, we found that the affected employees have misconducted themselves, hence the interdiction for further investigations. The CID and NIB are on board to elevate the investigations,” he added.
Mr Dadson explained that, the modus operandi of the 21-member group was to generate fake duty stamps and steal money the Commission was to pay to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
Although, he did not state the amount involved in the malpractice due to ongoing investigations, he said, the 16 employees were currently in court to face charges of stealing and money laundering.
The five other members of the group, who were not employees of the Lands Commission, he noted, were at large.
Jones Ofori-Boadu, Deputy Executive Secretary, said that, ELIS was an effective system that was developed in-house and has become part of the Commission’s processes and operation.
To avoid further manipulation of the system, he explained that, a third-party had been contracted to secure the software.
“In the interim, we have moved the platform to a firm to manage it for us so that would help us to put an end to some of these malpractices,” Mr Ofori-Boadu added.
The software, he said, would be changed to a proprietary open platform as part of the Land Reform Project which would soon be rolled out.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS