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15.06.2004 Regional News

Probe uncovers financial deals at OTC

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Offinso (Ash), June 15, GNA - A committee of enquiry appointed to probe the financial administration of the Offinso Training College (OTC) has uncovered a number of irregularities and fraudulent deals involving the Principal, Mr Kwame Twumasi-Ankrah.

It has consequently recommended his immediate removal from the College to defuse growing tension and anger among both students and staff.

Also to be transferred is the Bursar, who the Committee described as "dishonest and not worthy of trust".

The Offinso District Chief Executive, Mr Joseph Yaw Oduro ordered the probe following agitations by the students.

The Five-Member Committee in its Report, a copy of which was made available to the Ghana News Agency, stated that Mr Twumasi-Ankrah apart from his open admission of unlawful collection of utility fees already absorbed by the Government from students could not account for development levies accumulated since 1999.

It said maintenance; library, science and vocational skills fees charged on students were also not properly utilised. The Report said the Committee found out that although the teacher trainees were made to pay 21,000 cedis each towards on-campus teaching practice, no such activity was organised by the College.

It also made damning revelation of the misappropriation of monies realised from the renting out of the OTC campus to religious bodies, organisations and institutions during holidays.

In the year 2002 and January 2003 for example, Mr Twumasi-Ankrah, the R Report said, personally negotiated and collected a total of 11.1 million cedis from the Assemblies of God, Christ Apostolic Church, Scripture Union and the Adventist Youth Fellowship when he gave out the College premises to them for their activities but could not explain how the money was spent.

It said in the event of destruction of the OTC property by such outsiders, the cost was passed on to the students. The Report highlighted the dubious sale of a bus bought for the College by the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the mysterious disappearance of proceeds from the sale.

The said bus, which was bought at 11.6 million cedis and then repaired at 10 million cedis to bring the total cost to 21.1 million cedis, was sold for 10 million cedis and even with this the money could not be traced.

The Committee was chaired by Mr Kwame Effa, Chairman of the District Assembly's Economic Development Sub-Committee and the members were a Chief Inspector of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, the District Officer of the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI), District Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), a representative of the District Education Office and the District Budget Analyst.

Meanwhile, the District Chief Executive told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the Report had been forwarded to the appropriate authorities for action. 15 June 04

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