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PAC orders arrest of 2 for suspected perjury

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday ordered the arrest of two persons, who appeared before it, for suspected perjury.

Isaac Akowuah and James Essilfie, a former and current District Finance Officers of the Sefwi Akontombra District Assembly respectively, at the time of filling this report, were being held at the Parliament Police Station.

The arrest comes on the back of threats by the Chairman of the Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, to order the arrest of anyone who would peddle falsehood before the Committee.

“We will begin to bring the police here. So that whoever comes before us to lie, the police picks you up and locks you for 24 hours,” Mr Avedzi said at the Committee sitting in Accra, January 15, when he suspected officials of the Ga South Assembly of shielding their Chief Executive, who failed to appear before the committee, but attended the Results Fair.

The assembly could not account for 62 payments vouchers covering a GH¢126,596.76 expenditure in 2016 during auditing and could not account for same when they appeared before the Committee, last Friday.

The Committee asked officials of the Assembly to return to the Committee yesterday with the former District Finance Officer and the payment vouchers covering the spending.

The Assembly, which could not account for the payment vouchers for the past three years was able to locate seven of the 62 vouchers before they appeared yesterday.

According to them, the seven vouchers accounted for GH¢120, 000 of the GH¢126,576 expenditure.

On the remaining 55 payment vouchers, which they still could not locate, the two men told the 25-man Committee, accounted for the GH¢6,596.76 difference. 

Their submission was repudiated by the Deputy Auditor-General, Odame Agyekum, who argued that the vouchers differed from the provisional documents presented to the team during the audit.

“Since 2016 when this issue cropped up, we have done consistent follow-ups for the vouchers.

“Even at the latter stages of last year, the same response was that they could not locate the vouchers so as to when they located them, we don’t know. The district auditor is yet to see it for the first time,” he said.

Of all the 62 vouchers, Mr Odame said, the minimum was GH¢125. “The rest are all above GH¢500” he added.

“We have gone through all the vouchers. Of the nine vouchers, eight are not part of what was provided during audit. The only one too, the date on it has been altered,” Mr Odame said. 

He said the audit recorded GH¢5000 as expenditure for the purchase of building materials and not the GH¢7, 365 quoted on the voucher presented yesterday for the purpose of cost for monitoring CHPS compound.

“So Mr Chairman, none of the vouchers is part of issues under consideration,” he stressed.

Mr Avedzi asked the police to lock the two up for further investigations and prosecution.

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