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07.07.2003 Regional News

Embezzlement of stool royalties by Krontihene of Bekwai

By GNA
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Bekwai (Ash), July 7, GNA- An audit inquiry into the Asante Bekwai paramount stool account has uncovered an alleged embezzlement of 20.2 million cedis and other acts of financial malfeasance by Nana Asiedu Okofo II, Krontihene of Bekwai. An audit report by the Ashanti Regional office of the Audit Service covered 1992-1999 at the request of the Bekwai Traditional Council. The 25-page report indicated that Nana Okofo allegedly embezzled the mineral and forestry royalties paid by the Administrator of Stool Lands to the Bekwai stool between November 1996 and May 1999 when he held himself as the Omanhene. It, therefore, recommended that the chief be made to refund the amount.

The report noted that advances of eight million cedis granted by the office of the Stool Lands Commission to the Bekwai Traditional Council between 1997 and 1999 could not be properly accounted for. The report said another 12 million cedis meant for the construction of a palace for the Queenmother could not be accounted for. The report queried the propriety of the withdrawal of 65.9 million cedis from the Bekwai Stool Account Number Three and its subsequent use on recurrent expenditure. According to the report the certificate of holding of 106 shares of the Ashanti Goldfields Company (AGC) valued at two million cedis said to have been purchased by the Council on April 5, 1994, could not be traced. The report again said there were some irregularities in the contract award of the 43 million cedis Bekwai street lights project by the Krontihene, the Akyeamehene and the Twafohene and called for a technical review of the contract. Meanwhile, the traditional council at its meeting held at Bekwai at the weekend, unanimously agreed to refer the audit report to the police for the necessary action.

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