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23.11.2004 General News

UNDP angry - ¢50m Emezzled AT NMC

By Palaver

THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has refused to provide money for payment to cover 40 National Media Commission (NMC) monitors, recruited to monitor the current trend of media coverage of activities of political parties.

This follows the refusal of NMC management to take action against three of its personnel, alleged to have embezzled an amount of ¢50 million, in connection, with a monitoring operation.

Although the former Board of Directors initiated investigations into the matter, which resulted in some startling revelations, the present board is reported to be "sitting on the matter".

The UNDP has, therefore, taken a firm position not to release even a pesewa to the NMC, when the culprits, three in all, have not been sanctioned, depending upon the gravity of the case against the individuals.

The three include Joseph Bortey, Deputy Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration and Mr Alex Bannerman, Deputy Executive Secretary, who are still at post.

The third officer is on "transfer", because he had told Joy FM, in an interview, that it was Mr Bortey, who got him involved in the deal.

Not only that.

The chairman of the new Board, Mr Kussi Artansah, had himself, gone on air, on Joy FM again, to confirm the fraudulent deals in the NMC's Media Monitoring Accounts, and promised "to deal ruthlessly with the culprits".

But, that appears to be the end of the matter. And that accounts for the confusion, which had engulfed the operations of the NMC's Media Monitoring Team, even until this eleventh hour to the elections.

Meanwhile, attempts to get the NMC to give its version of the story, were met with "personal invitations" and "hold-on" appeals.

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