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03.03.2009 Politics

'I won't resign' - Mohammed Mumuni

'I won't resign' - Mohammed Mumuni

Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, has rejected calls for his resignation and made it clear that he will remain in office and fight his case in court.

He told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the judgement of the High Court, which dismissed his writ for libel against the Daily Guide newspaper, was premature.

He said the court erred because at the time it pronounced judgement there was an application pending in the court for a rectification of the record of proceedings which was found to be fundamentally flawed.

"In any case, the judgement does not hold that the so-called adverse findings in the purported audit report against me are true. The import of the judgement is to say that the newspaper did not manufacture the story complained of but that it was lifted from the audit report," he said,

Responding to calls for him to resign following last Friday's court ruling against his defamation suit, Alhaji Mumuni said he had instructed his lawyers to appeal against the judgement and also take steps to set it aside.

He recalled that although Messrs Baffour Awuah & Associate3, a private firm of chartered accountants, purportedly published a report titled: Final Report - Forensic Audit of National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), in Seprember2004, at no point was he made aware that he was the subject matter of that audit inspection.

He denied the claim by the auditors that he had been written to and invited to attend an audit inspection, explaining that that claim had been investigated in Parliament by a former Speaker of Parliament, the late Peter Ala Adjetey, who had declared that no such letter had been received by or in the Office of the Speaker.

A copy of Mr Ala Adjetey's memorandum to Alhaji Mumuni, dated July 14, 2004 and which was made available to the Daily Graphic, stated, inter alia, "investigations conducted so far have failed to disclose that Messrs Baffour Awua.h & Associates either dispatched a letter to you, dated December 19, 2003 through the Rt Hon Speaker, or that such a letter was received by or in the Office of the Rt Hon Speaker. That is all that I can say in response to your request".

Alhaji Mumuni said Mr Ala Adjetey's memo was in response to his memo dated May 21, 2004 to find out whether the auditors had sent a letter through the Speaker inviting him (Alhaji Mumuni) for the audit.

The minister said he had never sighted any Auditor-General's Report signed or authenticated by him or on his behalf that had purportedly made adverse findings against him, adding, "And, indeed, to the best of my knowledge and belief, no such Auditor-General's report exists in fact."

He referred to the Sixth Report of the Appointments Committee which was laid before Parliament on February 20, 2009 which was debated and adopted.

Alhaji Mumuni said the Appointments Committee noted in paragraph two of page four of its report that "the said audit report has not been laid before Parliament, as required by law, and, therefore, its authenticity cannot be verified".

The committee, he said, quoted Section 23 (I) of the Audit Service Act, 2000, Act 584, which states, "The Auditor-General shall publish the report on the public accounts and the statement of foreign exchange receipts and payments by the Bank of Ghana as soon as the reports have been presented to the Speaker to be laid before Parliament."

The committee, in its observations on Alhaji Mumuni, noted that it "observed that from the background checks on the nominee, the nominee has not been served with any audit query by the auditors, contrary to standard audit practice".

The committee further observed that "the said Auditor-General's report, even though allegedly presented to the Auditor-General, is not yet in the name of the Auditor-General".