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28.01.2013 Feature Article

The IRS must investigate Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III’s “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” and Messrs KODJO ABBAN & CO. (Chartered Surveyors) for possible tax evasion

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In my article published on Ghanaweb on 14th January, 2013, I called upon the Government of Ghana (GoG) to investigate as a matter of urgency payment of taxpayer's money to a possible “shell” association referred to as “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” chaired by Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III. The payments were started in 2010 and may finally lead to huge financial loss to the state of over GHc 15 million. Documents made available to the writer (see Attachments IA and IB, and II: http://www.spyghana.com/?p=311031) point to a possible association formed as a conduit to siphon 15% of over GHc 130 million, which is the “full and final settlement of compensation claims for compulsorily acquired lands flooded as a result of the construction of the Akosombo Hydro Electric Dam”.

The research carried out by this writer and documents made available to the writer (http://www.spyghana.com/?p=311031) clearly showed that GHc 1,237,721.00 was paid to the so-called “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” chaired by Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III as the 15% of the third tranche of the Flooded Lands Compensation payments made by GoG to the affected communities. The “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” chaired by Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna had the following objective

“..establish a reimbursable fund which shall be used to facilitate and procure an early, expeditious and timely release and payment by GoG of the agreed tranches of compensation. The fund shall be paid into and kept in a bank account”.

The question I posed at the time in the article was: since the GoG started paying the compensation in tranches (the first being made in 2009) before the so-called “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants,” chaired by Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III, was formed what “facilat[ing]” is required for the GoG to pay debt it owes these impoverished communities? I went further to point out that the “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” objective is akin to “facilitating” (euphemism of paying bribes to) employees of an insurance company to which one has paid their premiums in order for the company to pay what is due them for a loss of property that had been insured.

Furthermore, the documents made available to this writer (http://www.spyghana.com/?p=311031) also shows that 60% of the first tranche compensation payment was paid to Messrs KODJO ABBAN & CO., who were supposed to be chartered surveyors as consultation fee. The surveyor's fee alone based on the total compensation will amount to GHc 13,833,606.80 (which is over 138 billion old Ghana cedis). In addition, this writer's research revealed that the signature of one Nana Diawuo Bediako II, purportedly representing Pai Traditional area, one of the affected communities, on the Lands Valuation Board's Pay Voucher (for the payment to the so-called “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants,” chaired by Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III), was completely different from that on the letter written by JSA Corporate & Legal Consult to the Executive Secretary of Lands Valuation Board stating that 60% of the first tranche compensation payment be made to the Surveyor. This discrepancy thus compromises the integrity of these payments. This writer further questions an arrangement where 60% of the part payment of the compensation or even 10% of the total compensation from GoG amounting to approximately GHc 13.8 million (138 billion old Ghana cedis) should be paid to the Surveyor.

This now brings this writer to the following questions which should immediately involve the IRS:

1. Did Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III and his so-called “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” pay any taxes to the IRS on the GHc 1,237,721.00 paid to their “VL REIMBURSABLE FUND” as 15% of the third tranche of the Flooded Lands Compensation payments?

2. Did Messrs KODJO ABBAN & CO. (Chartered Surveyors) pay taxes to the IRS on their consultation fee constituting 60% of the first tranche payment of the compensation or other subsequent payments from the GoG?

It is the considered opinion of this writer that the IRS should get involved and investigate whether any tax laws were broken by the “Association of VR Flooded Lands Compensation Claimants” chaired by Krachiwura Nana Mprah Besemuna III), and the consulting surveyor Messrs KODJO ABBAN & CO. (Chartered Surveyors).

About the Author: The Author's interests are history of Ghana, economic history and political economy. He may be contacted at [email protected]

Michael Gyamerah
Michael Gyamerah, © 2013

The author has 6 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: MichaelGyamerah

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