MPS DOUBLE SALARY BOUNCES BACK
It has emerged that the case involving former ministers and appointees in the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government who were caught in the alleged double salary scandal, has not been dropped.
DAILY GUIDE sources say a docket is being worked on once again following concerns that the privileged in society, particularly politicians, are committing offences with impunity.
The police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) prepared the initial docket and forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department for advice.
However, the office of the Special Prosecutor which was headed by former Attorney General Martin A.B.K. Amidu, took over the case to do the prosecution but the process was not completed until he resigned late last year.
The AG’s Department is said to have recently resumed working on the establishment of a prima facie case against the ex-appointees and then swing into action.
The double salary issue was first revealed by NPP MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong in early 2018.
The whole scandal was triggered following an audit of the payroll data from the office of the President as well as another review at the Parliamentary Service Board from 2012 through 2016.
The audit reports showed that certain former appointees doubling as MPs, who at various points also served as ministers or deputy ministers received double salaries at least once a month or throughout the four-year tenure under review.
The CID in 2018 said the double salaries saga “is contrary to Section 124 (1) of the Criminal and other Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) as amended in 2012 (Act 849). Section 124 relates to the offence of stealing.”
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) tried to water down the issue by claiming that it was salary ‘top-up’ but investigations revealed that most of the affected appointees were taking two different pay slips from different organs of state (executive and legislature) at the same time using different bank accounts.
The monthly pay slips were coming from the Parliamentary Service Board (PSB) and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) which was designated as Office of the President respectively.
List of Ministers
When the police commenced investigations, most of the ex-ministers cited honoured the invitation of the police to explain issues to them.
For instance, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MP for Ellembelle who doubled as former Minister of Energy and Petroleum; Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, then MP for Kpone Katamanso who was the former Greater Accra Regional Minister, as well as former Minister of State in charge of Social and Allied Institutions, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, who is MP for Ada East, were interrogated by the CID.
Also, a certain Bashir Fuseini Alhassan, MP for Sagnerigu and former Deputy Minister, Northern Region, was also at the CID Headquarters to write a statement before being admitted to bail as well as then Second Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Eric Opoku, who is NDC MP for Asunafo South and former Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister.
Inusah Fuseini, then MP for Tamale Central and Minister of Roads and Highways; Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, a former Minister of Transport and then MP for Ketu South; Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, a former Minister of State at the Presidency and MP for Wa Central; and Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, a former Central Regional Minister and former MP for Mfantseman West, were also asked questions by the police over the alleged scandal.
Three others including Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, former Minister of Youth and Sports who doubles MP for Odododiodioo; and Alhassan Azong, former Minister of State in charge of Public Sector Reforms and former People’s National Convention MP for Builsa South as well as Dr. Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President John Mahama and NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, were also at the CID Headquarters to give an account on the case.
Per the list provided in 2018, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu whose name reportedly popped up in the list with employee number 712534 and the net salary was around GH¢8099.37, is not known to have visited the police to give a statement.
For Alhassan Azong, his employee number was 712536 and was purportedly taking a monthly net salary of about GH¢8160.07 lodged into his account at Bolgatanga whilst Fifi Fiavi Kwetey with employee number 713809 was receiving a monthly salary of around GH¢8160.07 into his account at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra.
Eric Opoku with employee number 713977 was allegedly taking about GH¢8160.07 monthly at his account in one of the troubled banks in Accra whilst Abdul-Rashid Hassan Pelpuo was 714107 and the net salary was reportedly around GH¢8160.07 lodged at a bank at Kwame Nkrumah Circle while Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah with employee number 714197 was purportedly receiving around GH¢8386.87 monthly drawing at a distressed bank on the Spintex Road.
Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye with employee number 725100 was allegedly receiving a monthly salary of about GH¢7594.49 into his bank at Ring Road Central, Accra while Mark Owen Woyongo a former Defence Minister who reportedly detected the anomaly at a point and alerted the authorities had the employee number 71521 and was taking around GH¢8861.25 monthly lodged into his bank at Adabraka.
Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah with employee number 920242 allegedly received about GH¢8160.07 at a bank at Dansoman Branch while Aquinas Tawiah Quansah with employee number 830211 was reportedly taking around GH¢7594.49 into his bank at University of Cape Coast.
Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, a leading member of the NDC at the time, appealed to the President to take the alleged stealing case from the CID, saying that the case was purely an employer-employee relationship.