Director of Finance replies Ras Mubarak on corruption allegations
In a counter response, the Director of Finance, Aminu Abdulai has explained allegations he levelled against the acting National Coordinator of National Youth Authority (NYA) Ras Mubarak after the coordinator described as "baseless, slanderous and laughable", allegations of corruption levelled against him.
I am very surprised Mr. Ras Mubarak is complaining about this issue being discussed in the media. In any case didn't he know that his desperate attempt to replace the signature of a Director of Finance with that of an accounts officer at Bank of Ghana through the Controller & Accountant General's Department could be intercepted by the media? Or didn't he know that when he put his actions on the NYA platform for all our staff across the country to read could equally be intercepted by the media? I was only responding to calls from the media for what he himself putout.
I did not want the issues of Mr. Ras Mubarak's criminal conduct of breaking into my office and changing the lock to be diverted as he did in his statement to myjoyonline.com. But l will respond briefly and return back to the main issues.
He claims in his statement to myjoyonline.com that I was sacked because of “indiscipline and various acts of misconduct” but failed to indicate specifically what those acts of indiscipline and misconduct were. I will soon help him with those specifics.
Let me first of all quote some relevant portions of our financial laws before I provide some specific orders he gave that were contrary to our laws and for which my advice to him led to queries for indiscipline and misconduct.
Section 60 of the Financial Administration Act (Act 654) clearly tells us that “the responsibility of the Auditor-General to examine and certify public accounts or to audit other government accounts, does not relieve an officer responsible for keeping or rendering accounts, from the duty to comply with and to ensure the compliance of subordinate staff with the provisions of this or any other enactment or with any Regulations or directions issued.”
Section 6 of the Financial Administration Regulations (L.I. 1802) states that “Public officers shall conduct government financial business according to the laws of Ghana and any instructions given in accordance with these Regulations. ”
For him, so far as he remains the Ag. National Coordinator, his orders supersedes that of the state. He doesn't have any regard for our financial laws. Don't just refer any of his orders to an infringement of any of our laws; your query will follow immediately.
But let me correct him that the queries I received from him were not just two. They were several. In fact almost everybody at the NYA office (including some Deputy National Coordinators) has received a query from him and his special Deputy, Alhaji Nabila Mohammed.
I was seconded from the Controller and Account General's Department (CAGD) in April 2014 to the NYA as the Director of Finance. Whiles I was going through some documents to understand my new environment, I identified a major risk.
This was the appointment of Alhaji Nabila Mohammed as Deputy National Coordinator in charge of Finance & Administration by Mr. Ras Mubarak and making him a key signatory to NYA accounts. For what purpose? Your guesses might be right.
According to Section 9 (2) of the National Youth Council Act, 1974 (NRCD241) “the Deputy National Coordinators shall be public officers and shall be appointed by the Commissioner (that is, the Minister) on such terms and conditions as he may determine.”
The national Youth Authority has four (4) Deputy National Coordinators (DNCs). Three of the DNCs were lawfully appointed by a Minister of Youth & Sports. Alhaji Nabila Mohammed Was unlawfully appointed by Mr. Ras Mubarak immediately His Excellency the President appointed him (Mr. Ras Mubarak). Alhaji Nabila Mohammed was not appointed by Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah.
The very first query I received from Mr. Ras Mubarak was for pointing out to him that the appointing authority for Deputy National Coordinators is the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports in accordance with NRCD 241. For good corporate governance and stronger control environment, I advised him to rescind this appointment or obtain confirmation from the then Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports because he (Mr. Ras Mubarak) doesn't have the power to appoint a Deputy National Coordinator. Hitherto, Alhaji Nabila Mohammed was one of the secretaries and non-management member of NYA. This is one of what he refers to as indiscipline and misconduct on my part.
Alhaji Nabila Mohammed as Deputy National Coordinator in charge of Finance & Administration is a walking illegality at National Youth Authority and his continuous stay in that position is an affront to rule of law in Ghana. Since this incident, Alhaji Nabila Mohammed has been chasing for my flesh but I will never leave it until this mess is cleaned up at NYA.
The second query I received was for my insistence to write to the Hon. Minister of Finance on the non-tax revenue NYA generates. NYA has never accounted for her non-tax revenue (NTR). NYA generates non-tax revenue from the whole of the Agbogbloshie land area, Azumah Nelson sports stadium (funerals, games & religious activities) and other facilities across the ten regions.
I had to employ a strategy to outwit him before he signed the letter to the Hon. Minister of Finance because he wasn't prepared for any change. I drafted the letter as if I was only asking for permission to spend but I was indeed reporting the issue. Expectedly, the reply from the Hon. Minister of Finance demanded for accountability before any permission could be given.
Mr. Ras Mubarak and Alhaji Nabila then resorted to direct cash collections from our tenants at Agbogbloshie. I cautioned some of the tenants to be careful because those actions were not being recorded and this resulted in Imperial Transport Services to write to us and finally paid GHC 56,000.00 into our account with Bank of Ghana. NYA has over one thousand tenants on the Agbogbloshie land area alone.
The third query I received was for my insistence to pay a garage company that repaired Mr. Prince-Derrik Adjei's official vehicle (DNC for Programs). The vehicle was involved in an accident. Mr. Ras Mubarak signed the works order for the company to repair the vehicle. The vehicle was inspected and received after the repairs. When it was time for payment he ordered me not to pay simply because Mr. Prince-Derrik Adjei questioned his authority to reshuffle him from Deputy National Coordinator for Programs to Deputy National Coordinator for Research. Mr. Ras Mubarak took the Memo from me and wrote on it “approval cancelled.”
In Mr. Prince-Derrik Adjei's quest to find out why he cancelled his own approval, Mr. Ras Mubarak told him he was an “indiscipline person” and that resulted in an open heated confrontation at our car park between them. I and other staff members intervened to whisk Mr. Prince-Derrik Adjei away. The company later went to court but the Ministry of Youth & Sports has since intervened and has ordered for the payment to be made. Mr. Prince-Derrik Adjei has now been seconded to the YES Fund secretariat as Deputy National Coordinator.
My Fourth Query came because I sacked some young boys including Mr. Ras Mubarak's younger brother and some girls from our Boardroom one Saturday when I met them having fun. In fact, he initially made the security to lock me up in the office building for almost two (2) hours on that Saturday. In fact, the leader of the boys was his younger brother who even spoke Dagbani with me. This was at the time that we were experiencing a lot of fire outbreaks at public offices in the country and every risk analyst will identify some danger there. It was Mr. John Amankwaa Manu, DNC for Education & Training, who finally called the security to open the main door to the office building. The office block is a self-contained type with one main door. Access to the main door gives access to everything. My colleagues at the office prevailed on me not to report this criminal act to the then Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports and subsequently to the Police for his arrest.
These are some of what he refers to as indiscipline and misconduct on my part. I leave this to the judgment of the general public.
Mr. Ras Mubarak questioned why I did not use “official public service channels” to address my grievances. I don't know whether his criminal acts of breaking into my office on the 17 th of October, 2014 (whiles I was on an official assignment in Kumasi with other five (5) Directors of the National Youth Authority) and subsequently changing the door locks are part of official public service channels to address his grievances?
However, let me assure him that I have already used the official public service channels to address his misconduct. I have since written to the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports (under whom I'm currently working) and copies to the Controller & Accountant General (My employer) and the Auditor General. I have also reported his criminal conduct of breaking into my office and replacing the locks to the Kaneshie Police on 20 th October, 2014. The police have since taken pictures of his misconduct and the critical confessions from his special Deputy – Alhaji Nabila Mohammed and the estate officer, who brought the carpenter to break the locks. The police are waiting for his return to seek a court order to open my office for us to take inventory.
Mr. Ras Mubarak accused me of not meeting “critical deadlines leading to some of our external partners writing to formally complain.” Assuming without admitting, how could a financial report be prepared when the Finance Director's office has been barricaded by him at the same time that the Finance Director was away in Kumasi on the last program of the financial report he will be presenting to the external partners?
But just to educate him. The focal persons from our programs department are the links between the National Youth Authority and our external partners. They organize the programs and submit their reports periodically. So if a deadline is not met it is the focal person to ask not the Finance Director. I only ensure that we secure funds from the external partners, ensure proper disbursements and prepare the financial reports ready for auditors.
According to Mr. Ras Mubarak, he only wrote “formally to the Bank of Ghana notifying them that the said officer was no longer with the NYA and that any cheque bearing his signature should be dishonored.” This is a lie because the document he wrote on 17 th October, 2014 was to transfer only GHC 234,900.00 to the Institutes out of the GHC 450,000.00 given to them so as to misappropriate GHC 215,100.00. The Bank of Ghana has since transferred the GHC 234,900.00 to the Institutes confirming my story. What is he going to do with the GHC 215,100.00 in the accounts when our institutes owe their suppliers for four terms since 2013? Even the whole of the GHC 450,000.00 can pay for only one-and-half terms.
Mr. Ras Mubarak sought to deceive the general public by referring to a payment voucher which reads as “Being released of funds to National Youth Authority as Feeding Grant of the eleven Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes (YLSTI) ” as impress (instead of imprest; lets forgive him) which he wants to distribute to our Regional and District offices for their administrative expenses. If this is not misappropriation, what is it?
He doesn't see me as his financial adviser but a cashier because he ignored my advice to either go for a counter warrant from the Ministry of Youth & Sports (MOYS) or sign a disclaimer I had prepared for him.
In any case, we received our warrant of GHC 690,000.00 from the Controller & Accountant General's Department just in August. However, he and Alhaji Nabila Mohammed have been borrowing to undertake their activities and all the advice from me felt on death ears. Everybody knows that you have to spend according to your warrant and not your budget. He ordered me to hold on with the processing of the warrant for them to change it to reflect their borrowed activities. Up-to-date the warrant is still with them. So when they saw real cash for the Institutes, they thought it was money for the 'boys' to 'chop'.
Let me forgive Mr. Ras Mubarak for questioning my understanding of what misappropriation is because when I was busily lecturing his colleagues in Public Sector Accounting, Business Finance, Financial Reporting and Auditing to understand what misappropriation is, he was jumping from one radio station to another openly insulting a sitting President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Professor Fiifi Atta Mills (May his humble soul rest in perfect peace). I am sure his presence in my class would have helped him to also understand the difference between impress and imprest.
This is not even surprising because if he could do this to a sitting President, who am I a Director of Finance if he breaks my office, changes the locks and subsequently executes what I was preventing him to do.
It is my greatest wish that the Controller & Accountant General will not recall me from the National Youth Authority because of this incident so that I can help to streamline the financials at that Place if not Mr. Ras Mubarak and Alhaji Nabila Mohammed will wreck NYA. They are seriously looking for a 'weaker' person to manipulate. That is why they have quickly switched on to use an accounts officer in place of the Director of finance.
Let me take this opportunity to wish Mr. Ras Mubarak success in his parliamentary ambition as he is now moving from Accra to contest the Kumbungu seat in the Northern Region. My humble advice to him is not to insult or break doors at Kunbungu if he wants to win. At least the Accra episode should guide him.