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02.12.2007 General News

No salary for 103 swindled ‘staff’

One hundred and three employees of the Public Works Department (PWD) who fell victim to a sham employment scheme have been expelled from the department.

The victims whose dismissal followed the discovery that their appointment letters were fake, were said to have paid at least ¢2 million each before they were "recruited".

The story, which was corroborated by some senior officials of the department and the Greater Accra Regional Police, mentioned the brains behind the deal as Seth Ofori Asamoah, Assistant Personnel Officer of the PWD, and Desmond Tutu, a staff of the Town and Country Planning Department at Agona Swedru.

The two have appeared before the Accra Regional Tribunal, chaired by Mr Frank Manu. They have been granted bail in the sum of ¢120 million each with a surety to be justified and are to appear again later in December.

The Daily Graphic gathered that the affected people were issued with their letters in July 2007 and posted to their various stations across the country to begin their duties.

After working for more than five months, they received no salaries and when they enquired, they were told that they were not employees of the department because their names were not on the payroll of the PWD.

Baffled by the stance of the Department, the affected persons presented to the Department their appointment letters and, upon scrutiny, it was realised that the letters issued them were fake.

The Department then traced the signature of the person behind the deal and later discovered that it was a staff of the department who also engaged the services of his friend to perpetuate the crime.

Confirming the case, Chief Superintendent Boi-Bi-Boi, the Chief Crime Officer of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command, said Asamoah took advantage of the recruitment exercise going on at the Department to recruit his own people, after collecting an average of ¢2 million from each of them.

He said the Office of the Head of the Civil Service had given the green light to the Department to recruit more people to fill vacancies created by former employees who had gone on retirement.

Mr Boi-Bi-Boi said following concerns raised by some of the affected people, an investigation was undertaken and it was noticed that 103 of them were not on the staff list.

One of the victims, Mr Emmanuel Egyire, told the Daily Graphic that he and others were "posted" to the Wa office of the Department.

He said after working for five months without any salary, they complained and were made to return to Accra to see one Mr. J.O. Konney, the Chief Personnel Officer, who, upon scrutinizing their letters, noticed that their letters of appointment had been forged and quickly launched an investigation into the fraudulent act.