17 January 2017

Assembly blows GHC72,000 on security men who work for themselves

The Managing Director of SG-Lodge Hotel, located at Odumase-Krobo in the Eastern region, Mr. Sas George, has exposed massive corruption at the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly.

Mr. George, who is also the MD of Carlo Printing Press in Accra, blew the lid over the leadership of the “rotten Assembly”, when he dragged the Assembly to an Odumase-Krobo Circuit Court over the Assembly’s failure to pay hotel bills.

Also joined in the suit were the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr. J. F. K. Acolatse and Mr. Eric Hini, the Municipal Coordinator.

They failed to pay an amount of GHc26, 547 being the total cost of hotel accommodation and food services offered to 13 truck drivers at the request of the Assembly.

According to the plaintiff, between the periods of April 13, 2015 and July 1, 2016, SG Lodge Hotel rented accommodation and food services to the 13 truck drivers.

It was contained in the summons that, the plaintiff accordingly served copies of the aforementioned SG Lodge debit note with numbers 00340, 000341 and 000342 respectively on the defendants for payment since July 9, 2016.

The plaintiff, however, contended that, the demeanor of the defendants showed that they were not prepared to pay, hence the call on the court.

Available information indicates that the out-going MCE has asked the Assembly not to file any defense to the writ.

Instead, he wants the manager to have a friendly arrangement to pay the said amount, since the Assembly has no case.

Investigations conducted by The Chronicle revealed that the people who lodged in the hotel were not drivers, but national security operatives-turned-contractors, who came to work on the roads of the municipality.

It was revealed that the perceived national security operatives stormed the admired municipality, somewhere December 15, 2015 under the pretext of working on their road, with the Assembly asking them to lodge at the hotel for about two months.

Apart from two roads that were reshaped in the middle belt of the Assembly, the ‘contractors’ neither constructed nor reshaped any road within the municipality. Rather, they were weaning and selling sand, with the making weekly payments of GHc 9000 to them, over the two months’ period that they stayed.

The outgoing MCE of the area, Mr. J.F.K. Acolatse, the Municipal Finance Officer, Mr. Thomas Dzwbu and Mr. Nathan Narh Caeser, the Municipal Engineer gasped for breath when this reporter reached them on phone for reactions.

There was accusation and counter-accusations among the three leading figures of the Assembly in a mini meeting last Friday at the office of the out-going MCE.

In his explanation, the out-going MCE said he was about to go on leave when the national security personnel arrived and so he asked the engineer to take over responsibilities of operations, a claim that was confirmed by the Engineer.

Unfortunately, he said, he did not request for any report on the operations of the national security contractors when he resumed work.

The Engineer, on his part, said he received pieces of information that the national security operatives were engaged in sand winning and selling sands, as well as using the heavy duty machines for commercial purposes, but when he asked them, they denied the allegation.

When this reporter further asked him if he could mention the number of roads that they (national security operatives) had worked on, he had this to say: “I can’t mention but they work on some roads at the middle belt.”

He gave a shocking response when further asked why he could not mention the number of roads worked on: “I asked my assistant to monitor their activities so I was not directly in charge. There was only verbal report from my assistant so I can’t give you the number of roads worked on”.

But the Municipal Finance Officer denied flatly the GHC 9000 per week given to the operatives. But when asked to quote the amount, he said “he who alleges should prove”, pointing to the reporter.

When pushed further, he disclosed that the Assembly gave GHc60 to four people each, but not 13 as mentioned and also disagreed with the amount mentioned by the plaintiff, adding that, the figure is outrageous.

He however, couldn’t state how much the Assembly owes the Hotel but only to say “we did not ask them to take food at the hotel since we were giving them per diem.”

But the out-going MCE admitted that, the Assembly owes the hotel and called on the leadership of the Assembly to invite the manager of the hotel to agree in principles on how to pay the amount.

Source: The Chronicle

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