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26.03.2008 Crime & Punishment

Man Arrested Over School Food

By Daily Guide

OFFICIALS OF National Security are interrogating one Richard Aidoo for allegedly extorting moneys from some caterers of the National School Feeding Programme under the pretext of influencing the 'big' men.

Mr. Aidoo, who was dismissed as the National Monitor of the programme for allegedly indulging in some malpractices was arrested by the security officials when his conduct was reported by Dr. Amoako Tuffuor, the Executive Chairman on receipt of series of allegations against the former Monitor.

Also at National Security offices was Madam Esther Benhin, one of the caterers who made the allegation of extortion against Mr. Aidoo, to assist in investigation.

Dr. Amoako told DAILY GUIDE that he had a report that Mr. Aidoo was collecting kickbacks in the sum of GH¢800 every 10 days from some caterers including Madam Benhin “under the pretext of giving to Nananom which I was definitely not among”.

According to him, Mr. Aidoo after collecting the money assured the women of series of businesses the programme would be 'pushing' to them.

Mr. Aidoo's nefarious activity was said to be bothering the women, who reported the matter to Mr. Sam Kessie, the Office Manager of the Feeding Programme. Mr Kessie subsequently reported the matter to his boss.

Dr. Amoako quickly informed National Security who then placed Mr. Aidoo under surveillance and after some time had him apprehended.

Some of the complaints lodged by Dr. Amoako with National Security to help in the investigation of Mr. Aidoo included the missing records on the School Feeding Programme, and allegation of forging of Dr. Amoako's signature on some documents.

Other allegations were that Mr. Aidoo falsely inserted some names in the official caterers' register.

Dr. Amoako therefore urged security officials to help investigate Mr. Aidoo for other malpractices during and after his period as the National Monitor of the programme.

Madam Benhin alleged that she made Mr. Aidoo sign for all the moneys he collected from her as proof of her case.

The National School Feeding Programme has come under serious scrutiny after series of allegations were made against some officials for trying to sabotage the programme.

Dr. Amoako told DAILY GUIDE that he treats the programme like God's own business and therefore attaches serious commitment to it.

He however noted that it was not everyone in the programme who had the same mind set, and that some people were therefore resorting to some 'hanky-panky' deals with the programme.

Dr. Amoako stated that he was not going to leave the programme for it to be destroyed by saboteurs, and that he was going to take the war to the doorsteps of such people.

He appealed to all those who might have suffered from the nefarious activities of people like Mr. Aidoo to inform his office or the police for such people to be apprehended.

Dr. Amoako thanked the media for their support and called for more collaboration to ensure the success and sustenance of the programme.

He described the programme as one of the best legacies President John Agyekum Kufuor was leaving behind for the people of Ghana, particularly school children.

By Wisdom Peter Awuku

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