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Cecilia Dapaah saga: State institutions fear to stand in Akufo-Addo’s way – Gyampo

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Source: Onuaonline.com

 

Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana has said turn out of events regarding the Cecilia Abena Dapaah money laundering scandal is as a result of the respective state institutions’ fear of standing in the way of the President.

According to him, the President’s letter to the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources provides some form of prejudgement on the matter that seeks to vindicate Cecilia Dapaah, something none of the anti-corruption institutions probing the issue want to tamper with.

On the KeyPoints on TV3 Saturday, May 11, 2024, Prof. Gyampo said heads of the various institutions see the President as a “political King Kong”, for which reason they fear to undertake any action that would compromise his stance.

“…none of the state institutions want to stand in his way because he’s a political King Kong. Everybody fears him. Even heads of independent institutions that are quite required to accept their independence and power, they are afraid of him,” he told Alfred Ocansey.

Prof. Gyampo’s comments come on the back of a Right to Information (RTI) request by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) seeking the full KPMG audit report on the revenue mobilisation contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd (SML) which the Presidency rejected.

According to the Presidency, the report contains some sensitive information which cannot be disclosed to the public, something section 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the RTI Act makes provision for.

Based on the provision, the Presidency says it has the right to reject requests for information that is deemed crucial.

A Wednesday, May 08, 2024 statement addressed to the Executive Director of the MFWA, Sulemana Braimah and signed by the Chief Director to the Chief of Staff, H.M. Wood, the presidency indicated that the confidence nature of the report makes it impossible for it to be made public.

“Upon careful consideration and in accordance with sections 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) of the RTI Act, I regret to inform you that your request has been refused. Section 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i) states that information prepared for or submitted to the President or Vice President containing opinions, advice, deliberations, recommendations, minutes, or consultations, is exempt from disclosure and that disclosure of such information would compromise the integrity of the deliberative process by revealing the thought process, considerations, and influence on decision-making reserved for the highest offices of the land”

“The full KPMG Audit Report comprises opinions, advice, deliberations, and recommendations that are integral to the President’s deliberative process and, therefore, qualifies as exempt information under section 5 (1) (a) and (b) (i),” portions of the letter stated.

Background

KPMG, an auditing firm, has completed and presented its report on the contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd (SML) to President Akufo-Addo.

The President commissioned KPMG to audit the contract on January 2, 2024, with a deadline initially set for January 16, 2024, but later extended to February 23, 2024.

According to the audit findings, SML received a total of GH¢1,061,054,778.00 from 2018 to date while partially fulfilling its obligations. However, the report also noted that SML’s work had contributed to an increase in revenue in the downstream petroleum sector.

Contrary to the audit report’s claims, SML has disputed receiving GH¢1,061,054,778.00 for its contract with the GRA, arguing that KPMG cited the figure “without reference to the investments made and the taxes paid” during the review period.

In response to the report, Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), stated that the foundation had submitted a Right to Information (RTI) request to the presidency for the full KPMG Audit Report.

Meanwhile, the President, upon acceptance of the former minister’s resignation indicated that he was confident the woman was going to be vindicated.

 

 

 

Source: www.onuaonline.com

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