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06.12.2010 Politics

Betty Dragged To Court Over missing $20,000

By Daily Guide
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The name of Hon. Muntaka Mubarak is set to pop up again as two whistleblowers, Albert Anthony Ampong and Adim Odoom, drag the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu to court, challenging the ongoing Civil Service Council investigations into the alleged disbursement of the sum of $20,000.

The Minister is being sued in her capacity as a nominal defendant and government's chief legal adviser as contained in Article 88 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.

The aforementioned persons are being invited by the fact-finding committee set up by the council probing the disbursement, an invitation which the two find an infringement on their human rights and therefore unlawful.

Adim Odoom and Albert Anthony Ampong, former Principal Accountant and Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports respectively, are of the view that ongoing investigations to which they are being invited would not be fair.

They are therefore seeking the intervention of the High Court, Human Rights Division, to order a prohibition directed at the government and the Civil Service Council from proceeding with the purported investigations.

Mr. Odoom blew the lid over acts of malfeasance in the Ministry of Youth and Sports when Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak was the Minister.

One of the issues raised was the disbursement and loss of an amount of $20,000 as a result of which the National Security apparatus was ordered to probe it.

President Mills, on 25th June, 2009, ordered the interdiction of the two persons, directing further that the Head of Civil Service apply appropriate sanctions against them over what was considered 'conduct unbecoming of civil servants.'

Following the interdiction, the two proceeded to an Accra Fast Track High Court with two separate actions, challenging the orders of the President, actions which resulted in their recall from interdiction and the restoration of their outstanding salaries and regular entitlements.

The Civil Service Council, in a fresh action dated 31st March 2010, sought to interdict them once more and an indication to conduct a probe into the disbursement and the loss of the said amount of money.

The Civil Service action was quashed by a court ruling on 8th November 2010, describing the action as unlawful and slapped a restraining order on the Civil Service from instituting disciplinary proceedings against them on the basis of the unlawful interdiction.

The Civil Service Council invited them to appear before a fact-finding committee for the purpose of probing what it described as the same subject matter 'of the alleged disbursement and loss of same $20,000.'

The basis for their fear that the Civil Service Council fact-finding committee would not be fair to them, should they appear before it, lies in the fact that in two separate letters dated 23rd June, 2010, they were explicitly told that 'it has concluded that we indeed have a case to answer' in the matter of the alleged disbursement and loss of $20,000.

The Civil Service Council, Mr. Odoom stated, informed him that he 'failed to account for the said amount of $20,000 given to me for onward delivery to Hon. Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, ex-Minister of Youth and Sports.'

The Civil Service Council is also said to have told the ex-Principal Accountant that he released the sum of $10,000, being government's funds which, according to it, appears to have been lost.

The two added, 'The constitution of the so-called fact-finding committee by the Civil Service Council is only a ploy to ruin our unblemished career in the Civil Service by reaching the same conclusions of wrongdoing reached by government's National Security Council, the Civil Service Council and the Attorney-General.'

Ex-Youth and Sports Minister Muntaka Mubarak was alleged to have misappropriated state funds and used fictitious means to acquire a visa for a lady with whom he undertook foreign official trips, allegations made by Mr. Odoom, one of the plaintiffs in the current suit.

The ex-Sports Minister, who is also the MP for the Asawase constituency in Kumasi, was given a clean bill of health by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative which noted that the lady in question was not the girlfriend of the gentleman.

By A.R. Gomda

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