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02.12.2008 Elections

Wahala for another NDC MP

By Zam R. Samin Takoradi - Ghanaian Chronicle
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CREDIBLE information reaching The Chronicle in Takoradi indicates that the police would soon be investigating the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Amenfi Central in the Western Region, Mr. George Kofi Arthur, for allegedly swindling the District Directorate of Education off undisclosed sums of money. The MP is reported to have applied for funds from the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), to embark upon a number of projects in his constituency, and was given the go ahead to source the funds. He later wrote to the District Directorate of Education that he had completed the projects in six communities, and that the money should be released to him, to which the GES obliged. The Chronicle gathered that when auditors went there last week to audit the accounts of the GETFund, it was discovered that the MP had not initiated a single project in the communities he claimed to have benefited from the project, save for a few blocks that were sighted. It was further gathered that Nkraikrom, which he mentioned as one of the communities that benefited from the project, did not exist. The Amenfi West District Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Ms.Vida Odoom, who was peeved with the turn of events, quickly called the MP from his campaign trail for questioning, which lasted several hours at Asankragwa, the district capital. When The Chronicle contacted the Project Officer of the GES in the District, Mr. Kojo Ntiakoh Appiah, he confirmed being part of the investigation team that visited Nkraikrom, one of the communities, to ascertain the facts of the matter. He also confirmed that, indeed, there was no project at the site as indicated by the MP. Mr. Ntiakoh, who is also Chairman of the Social Services Committee of the District Assembly, also confirmed the questioning of the MP by his outfit. The MP is alleged to have deceived the District Director of the GES that he had constructed some schools and raised some canopies for sheds in some of the schools, including Nkraikrom, a community which is located in the Amenfi West constituency, and not Amenfi Central, as he claimed. Appiah would however not mention the amount involved. When Ms. Vida Odoom was also contacted by this reporter, she confirmed the story. She, however, laughed when this reporter asked her whether indeed the MP was detained in her office for nearly nine hours. Asked about the figure involved, the Director would not tell, she prefered seeing this reporter before commenting officially on the subject. When the District Chief Executive for Amenfi West, Mr. Alberto Takyi, was contacted, he said he had also heard the news involving the conduct of the MP, but would not comment on the matter, because his outfit had not been officially informed by any of the stakeholders involved. When asked about the action the assembly would take, should the matter come to his notice, he said the assembly would refer the matter to the Works Committee to investigate, and their report and recommendations would be considered as such by the assembly. When the MP was contacted, he fumbled for nearly two minutes, without commenting. “Erm, erm, erm, I don't have anything to say.” Asked by this reporter why he would not comment, he replied, “I am not interested in commenting.” Pressed further by this reporter to defend why he was detained for nearly nine hours, he said, “I don't know anything.” When he was finally asked whether he was guilty or innocent of the act, he became confused and said, “I am not the one you are talking to, you are talking to maybe another person,” forgotting that he had earlier answered some questions.

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