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07.10.2004 General News

Serious Fraud Office is corrupt - Prof.

By Chronicle

Prof. kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle-Bu, has accused the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of being corrupt.

According to the heart surgeon, during the SFO investigations into the allegation of diversion of materials against Albert Nettey, he (Prof. Frimpong-Boateng) was informed that the engineer had sold a parcel of land and used the proceeds to bribe the SFO to influence the outcome of the investigations.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng who said this during the newspaper review program on Adom Fm, a Tema-based Fm radio station last Thursday morning, was reacting to The Chronicle's story which had implicated a member of his management in contract award fraud.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng was being questioned by the host of the newspaper review program Lawyer Frimpong Manso on why he rejected the SFO's findings that cleared the engineer of the allegations of diversion of building materials even though he could not substantiate the allegations when asked to do so.

According to CEO of Korle- Bu, he has another report by another state institution that has indicted the engineer and claimed that during the SFO's investigations he and some senior officials of the hospital who were in sensitive positions to furnish the SFO with some information were never contacted.

“When the investigations was ongoing, I heard that this Nettey, had sold a parcel of land to bribe the SFO but I did not say anything,” he told Lawyer Frimpong Manso.

The renowned heart surgeon was referring to a BNI report which allegedly indicted Nettey, a serious clash of reputations which casts a deep slur on the reputation of these lawfully constituted and recongised security bodies which has sent many Ghanaians with no powerful tribal chiefs or political chieftains into jails.

Independently, The Chronicle can confirm that the SFO did contact some top officers of Korle Bu before writing their reports, which cleared the engineer who is said to be a patron of the NPP.

Those contacted include Agyeman-Gyawu, Ag. Head of administration and Abroso, Head of Maintenance Electrical Division, Herman Dusu, Chief Accountant, Dr. Holdbrook-Smith, former Chief Executive of the hospital and also Prof. Frimpong-Boateng himself during the investigations.

In July 24, 2002, few weeks after his appointment as chief executive of the hospital Prof. Frimpong-Boateng wrote to Albert Nettey, the civil works engineer of the hospital to proceed on leave to allow the SFO and BNI conduct investigations into an allegation of diversion of materials against him.

The main allegation against the engineer was that he had diverted building materials worth ¢100 million.

These materials which were meant for the hospital's on-going projects were allegedly diverted and used by the engineer for the construction of a private clinic for Dr. Holdbrook-Smith, private residences for Dr. Annan, the current Director of the Medical Affairs of the hospital and Nettey, administrator of the hospital.

After months of intensive investigations and inspection of sites and speaking to a number of people, the SFO dismissed the allegation to the chagrin of Frimpong-Boateng whose appointment as Chief Executive was confirmed by the President, and some say with a little whisper into the ears by the Asantehene.

Serious allegations of proven corruption have been set aside by the intervention of Chiefs including clear abuses of state funds by companies like DATABANK.

The credibility of the SFO is now further assailed by this latest charge by Frimpong Boateng.

It would be recalled that when the SFO after its investigations cleared the engineer of any wrongdoing and discussed its findings with the management and the board of the hospital but Prof. Frimpong-Boateng unilaterally rejected the findings and also wrote to the fraud office that his administration did not commission it to investigate the engineer even though he had used that investigation to send the engineer on leave.

For well over two years now, the engineer is staying home doing nothing but is being paid at the end of every month which insiders have described as a drain on public funds, which is similar to causing financial loss to the state.

Besides, after the rejection of the SFO's report, Prof. Frimpong- Boateng, has since set up another committee headed by Dr. Charles Peterson to look into the allegations against the engineer again.

When Nettey was reached for his comment, he appealed to Prof. Frimpong-Boateng to concentrate on his work and leave him alone.

“I don't want to open my mouth but if what your paper reported about some people in Pro. Frimpong-Boateng's management team for awarding contract to herself is anything to go by then God help Korle-Bu,” adding that people should remove the log in their eyes first before accusing innocent people.

During the interview with the Adom FM, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, told the host of the program that The Chronicle reporter who exposed the deal in his administration must be asked to go back to JSS because he was not a good journalist.

“We asked him to provide evidence to us but he refused and decided to put the story in print, he is not a good journalist,” he said.

He also told listeners that Korle-Bu was big and as a result it could take ten years to detect corruption in the hospital.

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