The Auditor-General Daniel Yao Domelevo has demanded an immediate stop to investigations being carried-out on him and the Ghana Audit Service for alleged procurement infraction by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).
He further demanded for an unqualified apology for himself and the
staff within five working days from the date of EOCO receiving the letter.
In a letter dated November 18, 2019 to the Acting Executive Director of EOCO in Accra, he argued, that EOCO does not have the mandate to investigate any breaches under the public procurement Act in the purchase of some vehicles by the Service in 2018.
“In fact, I am advised that the relevant provision in Act 959
which amended Act 804 is section 80 and therein, your office’s mandate to
investigate corruption and corruption related offenses, which has been defined
to include procurement breaches, has been taken away. Thus, this power your
office purports to exercise now has been effectively taken away by the
amendment contained in section 79 of Act 959,” he stated.
He explained that “this clearly means that your office does not
have the jurisdiction to investigate corruption related offences which has been
defined in Act 959 to include breaches of the Public Procurement Act.”
“It is quite bizarre and unfathomable why your office would purport to be investigating procurement breaches when and in fact it does not have any legal authority to do so unless there is any hidden or ill motives behind your actions,” Mr Domelevo queried.
Although he and staff of the Ghana Audit Service were ready to
submit themselves to investigations, he said they would not cooperate with EOCO
as it lacks legal authority to continue further investigations into any the
alleged procurement breach.
“I am by this letter asking you and your office to immediately stop the illegal and unlawful investigation of the alleged procurement breach and render an unqualified apology to me and Staff of the Ghana Audit Service within five working days from the date of receiving this letter,” he demanded.
Unless and until EOCO was able to show clearly where it was deriving its mandate and jurisdiction in the matter was coming from, Mr. Domelevo noted that “any continued or further investigation by your office after the receipt of this letter will be fiercely contested.”
Mr Domelevo, a Deputy Auditor-General, Finance and Administration, Roberta Assiamah-Appiah, and the Audit Service Board are currently being investigated by EOCO for alleged breach of the public procurement Act to procure some vehicles for the conduct and delivery of audit activities.
This followed a petition by a private citizen to EOCO which alleged that the accused had breached the Procurement Law, Act 663 in the purchasing of vehicles worth almost GH¢6.2 million.
The petitioner asked EOCO to determine whether proper procedures were followed by the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) in procuring them, and recommend appropriate sanctions in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, Act 663 where necessary.
On November 14 this year, Mr Domelevo honoured an invitation by EOCO, where he was cautioned and granted bail for further investigations into the allegation.
BY TIMES REPORTER