The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Asikuma-Odubeng-Brakwa constituency, Hon. P.C. Appiah-Ofori, has praised the efforts of ex-president Rawlings in the fight against corruption, but condemned Mr J.A. Kufuor for 'shirking has responsibility' and for his loud silence over allegations of corruption in his government.
The MP said this in a telephone interview with The Insight last week. "Mr J.A. Kufuor does not look into allegations of corruption brought before him; he is shirking his responsibility as a President," Mr Appiah-Ofori observed.
Comparing ex-President Rawlings's regime with the Kufuor government, the MP observed that Rawlings acted so "swiftly" when it came to matters of corruption, but "Kufuor," he said "shirks his responsibility and does not want allegations to be investigated."
Hon. Appiah-Ofori cited some instances to corroborate his assertion. According to him, in august, 1981, when he assumed office as the Chief Accountant of Bibiani Wood Complex, he discovered that the then Managing Director (MD) of the company was involved in some underhand dealings. "This MD was involved in under-invoicing of exports of wood products and over-voicing of imports of raw materials for agricultural implements," the MP revealed.
He disclosed that the modus operandi of the MD was that he (MD) would collect land pro-forma invoices from foreign suppliers and would complete the pro-forma invoices here with amounts of his choice." He explained that, if, for example, a consignment was worth 10,000 pounds sterling, the MD would make it 100,000 pounds.
According to the MP, due to the licensed regime that was in place, a letter of credit would be established and the money would be transferred to the external suppliers and, on reaching there, the difference between the actual value and the figure given by the MD was paid into his foreign account. Hon. Appiah-Ofori further explained that the MD was "quoting high price products as low price products and the difference again was paid into his account."
According to him, the government had lost huge sums of money, running into several millions of cedis. He said this thing continued and when Rawlings staged the coup, "I compiled all those figures and then reported to Rawlings, who incidentally referred the matter to the National investigation Committee (NIC) for investigations." "This was investigated and the allegations were confirmed."
He explained that the decision of the Rawlings government was that the MD should "repatriate all the sums of money" he had kept abroad and pay the State reparation of ¢2 million at the time, "in addition to losing his position." "This was complied with and all the sums of money were returned to Ghana," the MP disclosed.