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27.02.2009 Politics

MP’s ex-gratia awards paid out

By New Crusading Guide
MP’s ex-gratia awards paid out

Investigations conducted by The New Crusading Guide have revealed that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) actually directed the transfer of an amount of GH 14,871,954.00 to the office of Parliament's P.E. Account No. 01256601120-10 being the Ex-Gratia Awards and Resettlement Grants due members of the Legislature of the Republic of Ghana.

The sum covered the period 2005 to 2008 as instructed by the office of the Controller and Accountant General in a Bank Transfer Advice (BTA) dated January 21, 2009.

The paper notes that investigations have further revealed that upon the strength of the BTA and the Warrant issued to the Office of Parliament, the latter accordingly and legitimately took steps to pay the Ex-Gratia Awards and the Resettlement Grants to the Members of Parliament.

The BTAs of January 20, 2009 and January 21, 2009 were both signed by Deputy Controller and Accountant-General, Grace Adzroe and were addressed to (BoG) and the subsequent payment of the Ex-Gratia monies into the personal accounts of Members of Parliament, our investigations showed, transpired before the letters of reversal of the transfer from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) and the Controller and Accountant General (Mr. Christian Sottie) both dated February 4, 2009, were issued and addressed to the Director, Banking Department, Bank of Ghana.

A highly-placed source at the Bog who spoke to The New Crusading Guide on condition of strict confidentiality, indicated that the 'reversal letters' were written and delivered to the Bog 14 CLEAR WORKING DAYS after the January 21, 2009 Bank Transfer Advice (BTA) from the Controller and Accountant-General's Office/Department.

“There had been no controversy, no sign Presidential displeasure; no Minestirial directive to stop the processing and transfer and no indication from the CAGGD for BoG not to execute the BTA of January 21, 2009, and so how could anyone have expected the Bog to sit idle over the BTA for 14 clear working day's without doing anything about it”, he queried.

He underscored that the subsequent presidential directive and initiatives from the MoFEP and the CAGD all came too late and could not have cured the 'mischief' since “it was futile seeking to lock the stable when the horses had already bolted.”

Our unofficial parliamentary sources expressed similar sentiments and indicated that the February 4, 2009 letter issued by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), to the Controller and Accountant-General, to direct the BoG to reverse the payment of the Ex-Gratia Awards and Resettlement Grants, was of no effect because, “It came at a time when some of the Members of Parliament had already accessed the money from their personal accounts.”

“We (Office of Parliament) did absolutely nothing wrong. We paid out the monies on the strength of the January 21, 2009 BTA and the Warrant issued to the Office of Parliament”, added our unofficial parliamentary sources who also said it was about time the Government displayed some transparency, honesty and candour about the Ex-Gratia saga.

“It is about time a full disclosure is made to the public. Government should let the public know the details and not pretend a presidential/ministerial/CAGD directive froze the transfer of the Ex-Gratia for the Members of Parliament. The facts must come out and let the nation face the challenge squarely, instead of this 'hide and seek' approach which only sustains the politics of unbridled populism”, they quipped.

Meanwhile, official enquiries by The New Crusading Guide at the Bank of Ghana (BoG), office of Parliament and the Controller and Accountant-General's Department in the last few days produced a mixed bag of evasiveness, refusal to comment on specific questions, non disclosure and outright back-passing.

Source: New Crusading Guide