President John Dramani Mahama has ordered a probe into the alleged misappropriation of GH¢600,000 by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Bolgatanga, Mr. Edward Ayagle Ayiriba.
Subsequent to the order, a five-member Committee of inquiry has been set up by the Upper East Regional Minister to delve into the allegation.
Chaired by Mr. David Adeenze-Kangah, a former Deputy Commissioner of the Electoral Commission and now Member of Council of State, the committee has two weeks to grill the MCE on the misappropriation and present its report to President Mahama, through the Upper East Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru.
The setting up of the committee followed a petition addressed to President Mahama through the Regional Minister by a group calling itself “Concerned Youth”, demanding the immediate removal of the MCE from office, over what they described as mismanagement and corruption.
According to the group, an amount of GH¢600,000, which was realised as special revenue from sub-leases of the assembly, and an exercise carried out by a development control task force in March to July, this year, could not be properly accounted for.
Since his assumption of office, following the dramatic dismissal of the then MCE, Mr. Epsona Ayamga in the second year of the late President Mills' regime, Mr. Ayiriba has not known peace, as his own party's rank and file have openly criticised him for poor performance and misappropriation of the assembly's funds.
Even though he sharply denied the GH¢600,000 allegation when it was first raised by some assembly members, his denial and explanation seems not to have gone done well with the youth, who are now calling for his dismissal.
Inaugurating the committee of inquiry last week, Alhaji Limuna regretted that no single day passed by without him receiving complaints from party people and activists massing up at his office to lodge complaints against the alleged misconduct of the Mr. Ayagle.
He said similar allegations were often raised against the MCE on local radio stations in Bolgatanga, a phenomenon he was not happy with, and hoped the committee of inquiry would do diligent work to unravel the truth or otherwise of the allegations.
The Adeenze-Kangah Committee has Mr. Atampoya Daniel Awinbe, an Auditor, as Secretary, Mrs. Stella Yembilah, an Educationist, Mr. Alex Asamoah Frimppong, Regional Crime Officer of the Ghana Police Service, and Mr. William Akwasi Appiah.
As part of its terms of reference, the committee has been tasked to investigate the origin and credibility or otherwise of the actors of the petition, and examine the merits and demerits of the allegations, and make appropriate recommendations thereon.
While charging the MCE and the assembly officials to cooperate effectively with the committee to carry out its mandate, Alhaji Limuna also tasked the committee to do independent work.
Though Mr. David Adeenze-Kangah admitted that the task of the committee was huge, he promised they would dig deep into their terms of reference to ensure the truth is brought out in their recommendations.