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01.04.2004 General News

Dodoo shouted at Ex-Accountant for a cheque - Witness

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Accra, April 1, GNA - Mr Ebenezer Badger, a Former Employee of the Civil Service, on Thursday told an Accra Fast Track Court (FTC) trying the Former Head of the Service, Robert Dodoo, that he heard the accused person shouting at the former Accountant, Mr Eugene Ofosu Amponsah.

Mr Badger said this was because Mr Amponsah had refused to release a cheque to Mr William Kofi Partey of Electovator Engineering Company Limited (EEC).

Mrs Penelope-Ann Mamattah, Principal State Attorney, was leading Mr Badger, Fourth Prosecution Witness, in his evidence-in-chief at the FTC, in a case in which Dodoo had been charged with wilfully causing financial loss of 70.8 million cedis to the State. He has denied the offence and has been admitted to self-recognisance bail.

Witness explained to the court presided over by Mrs Avril Anim-Yeboah that the former Accountant refused to release the cheque, because the Contractor, at that moment was not prepared to issue a receipt to cover the value of the money. Mr Barger said the Accountant released the cheque to the contractor the following day, upon a firm assurance to issue a receipt to cover payment.

Speaking under cross-examination by Mr T.N. Nelson Coffie, Leading Counsel for Dodoo, Witness said; "the top brass of the Civil Service was concerned that the lift was not supplied, while the money was paid". When asked if he suspected any criminal motive, Witness replied that he suspected foul play, since the Contractor collected the money and was not supplying the lift.

Mr Barger said though he kept records on issues pertaining to contracts, he did not see any contract concerning the lift. Witness admitted that Dodoo was strict, hence people feared to approach him to advise him against acting contrary to Civil Service rules and regulations. Mr G.F. Gardiner and Mr Bruce Acquaye Thompson are the other members of the legal team for the accused.

Mrs Mamattah had told the Court that that sometime in 1994, Dodoo was the Head of the Civil Service until 2001, and that in 1992 the Greater Accra Regional Tender Board awarded a 600 million cedis contract to M/S Charkson Construction Company, for the building of a two-storey block as an annex to the main office. She said shortly after the accused had assumed office, he was instrumental in the award of a contract for the provision of a lift for the office of the Head of the Civil Service annex building. She said the former Head of the Civil Service signed a letter requesting the Minister of Finance to release a cash of 70.8 million cedis to Mr William Kofi Partey of Electovator Engineering Company Limited (EEC), who the Prosecution described as a personal friend of Dodoo.

The Principal State Attorney said the Ghana Supply Commission (GSC) then put the award on tender and the EEC emerged as the winner, and that immediately after the award of the contract, the accused endorsed the contract and took a personal and active part in pursuing the release of the funds for the lift. She said the former Head of the Civil Service caused the transfer of the Principal Budget Officer of the Ministry of Finance who stood in the way of an early release of the funds. "Eventually after a lot of pressure the amount of 70.8 million cedis was approved and paid on the strength of the letter written and signed by Dodoo", she said.

The Principal State Attorney stated that the contractor on receipt of the money, failed to undertake the job, saying "up to date no lift has been supplied by him. An audit inspection revealed this loss of 70.8 million cedis to the state".

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