THE Managing Director of the Ghana Railway Company (GRC), Mr. Rufus Quaye and the Financial Controller (FC), Mr. Christian Barnes have accused each other over the missing GH¢ 285,000 from the accounts of the company.
Another GH¢ 400,000 which got missing earlier before the MD assumed office is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Sekondi.
Government has already set up a seven-member committee to investigate the alleged malfeasance at the GRC. When the Committee investigating the allegations of financial malpractices, chaired by Hon. Albert Kwaku Obbin, Member of Parliament (MP) for Prestea Huni-Valley and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Transportation queried the two –MD and FC over the unaccounted money, the two blatantly denied knowledge of it.
The FC, who was the first to appear before the committee admitted that he cashed the said amount, but said he was acting upon the instructions of the MD. He had reported this claim in his earlier correspondence to the committee.
When the MD, who is currently on leave was first invited by the committee to respond to the allegation, he vehemently denied knowledge but when the cheques were shown to him, he could not defend it.
He allegedly told the committee that he cashed the money and gave it to government officials who were on assignment at the company. The cheques were issued and paid by both Ghana Commercial Bank and the Standard Chartered Bank. The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Albert Kwaku Obbin has refused to comment on the matter when asked by reporters at the last sitting of the committee in Takoradi, last Friday.
His reason was that since the committee would come out at the end of its investigations, there was no need for him to jump the gun.
Meanwhile, the Committee has dismissed application by Mr. Rufus Quaye that he wants his lawyers to represent him at the committee sitting.
The dismissal follow reasons giving by the committee that since the former MD had appeared twelve times on the committee sitting, the committee did not see reason in allowing his lawyers to represent him. Hon. Albert Kwaku Obbin disclosed this to Journalists to end the committee sitting in Takoradi.
When Chronicle contacted Mr. Rufus Quaye on phone, he said the amount involved is GH¢65,000 and not GH¢285,000 as being alleged. He said the amount was part of the imprest he has been signing for officials and that the money did not go into his personal pocket.
He said, currently there is a controversy surrounding GH¢12,000 of the amount because the FC was not retiring the imprest as he should be doing.
According to Rufus Quaye, when he assumed office as acting MD, he discovered that GH¢400,000 had gone missing from the accounts of the company.
He said because he was alarmed about this he decided to report the matter to the Serious Fraud Office in Sekondi, which is still investigating the case.
Quaye alleged that his decision to report the matter to the SFO did not go down well with some of the people involved, and therefore, they made all sorts of allegations against him. He was hopeful that at the end of the day he would be cleared.
The Financial Director, Mr. Christian Barnes, however, refused to make any comment when this reporter contacted him. According to him, since he had already appeared before the committee, where he gave his evidence, there was no need to speak to the press over the issue.