12.12.2007 Education

Former PRESEC bursar waits in prison

By Daily Graphic
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An Accra Circuit Court has remanded the immediate past Bursar of the Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School (PRESEC), Legon, Mr Gyeni Sampong, for allegedly stealing more than GH¢200,000 (¢2 billion) belonging to the school.

Mr Sampong, who is facing one count of stealing public property will appear again on December 18, 2007, by which time investigations into the matter might have been completed.
His plea was not taken.

According to the facts of the case, as nar¬rated to the court by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Abichab Boye, the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service (GES) made a report to the Greater Accra Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and Mr Sampong was arrested.

After preliminary investigations, he was charged and arraigned.

The prosecutor said in a hand-written letter to the Audit Report Implementation Committee (ARIC) of the GES, Mr Sampong accepted the findings of an audit team which he had up till then rejected and promised to refund the money.

The letter, he said, was co-signed by Mr Joseph Jecty Asare, the Immediate Past Headmaster, as a witness, and the former bursar proposed to pay the money in instalments, starting with a ¢70 million down payment at the end of November. After that, he was to pay ¢10 million every month.

He said following allegations of impropriety against the bursar, the GES set up a committee of inquiry to probe the affairs of the school.

After preliminary investigations, the committee, which was chaired by Mr Charles Antwi Konadu, a Deputy Chief Internal Auditor of the GES, recommended, among others, that the school's accounts be audited from the 2002/2003 academic year to August 2006.

Other recommendations of the committee, which was commissioned by the then Director of Education for the Greater Accra Region, Mrs Akosua Adu, included the transfer of the bursar and the redeployment of the headmaster.

DSP Boye said the audit report on the accounts of the school was completed and inaugurated on December 27, 2006 by Mr J. M. Quao, the Chief Internal Auditor of the GES.

The report, he said, concluded that "the bursar succeeded in wilfully suppressing revenue to the tune of ¢2,030,942,525.00, resulting in cash flow problems in the school".

It, therefore, recommended that the amount be retrieved in full from the bursar and paid to the school's bank account and appropriate disciplinary action taken against Mr Sampong.

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