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18.06.2005 General News

'Ugly Justice' At Energy Commission

Public Agenda

Insiders at the energy commission have disclosed to this newspaper that one month after some aggrieved staff caused the removal of mr. Kofi asante as the executive secretary of the Commission, the organisation is sinking deeper into acrimony.

The insiders have hinted that name calling and harassment of some staff have combined to give birth to a 'new set of aggrieved workers' at the once peaceful environment.

"All over the organisation tension is on the rise", say the insiders who wanted to remain anonymous for now. In a petition being prepared for submission to President Kufuor and leaked to Public Agenda, the workers alleged that the gang of four, (Isaac Tagoe, Petroleum Division, Francis Gbeddy, Power Division, Irene Nyantekyi-Owusu, Principal Programme officer and Cheslove Abeasi) have turned their guns on anyone who was in the good books of Kofi Asante.

"In the name of the interim management Committee, some staff have been ordered to proceed on forced leave, others transferred to units where their skills will be under utilised, while the rest have had their probation, which they had satisfactorily served extended", say the insiders.

The 'new aggrieved workers' revealed that the Ag Chief of the Inspectorate Division , John Adu who has vast experience in inspectorate work has been reduced to a mere clerk following the hasty abolition of the inspectorate contrary to Act 52 of the Energy Commission Law, which provides for an inspectorate division.

Mr. Tagoe is alleged to have arrogated to himself the position of a Chief Inspector and requested for an amount in excess of 20 million cedis to undertake inspection and monitoring duties which had already been completed within the Greater Accra Region John Adu and his team.

Besides, Miss Dela Quarshie, who was appointed recently as assistance legal officer to understudy Kofi Asante has had her probation extended. The new aggrieved workers say Kofi Asante had some months back confirmed Dela's appointment before what the workers called the 'coup of 4th May' that sent him packing. Dela is not alone, Eric Sam, an accounting officer has also had his probation extended, according to the aggrieved staff.

The workers also disclosed that the very reasons for which Kofi Asante was accused and thrown out are still prevalent, if not worse. A memo dated May 23, 2005 authorised the redistribution of a fleet of land cruisers and pajeros with more fuel allocation for the use. (See copy of memo)

According to the 'new aggrieved' workers all these are happening under the nose of the Acting Executive Secretary, Dr. A.K. Ofosu Ahenkora, who also doubles as a director of a non-governmental organization, Energy Foundation. In their view, Dr. Ahenkora appears too busy with his substantive duties as the director of Energy Foundation and does not have his feet on the accelerator.

The Energy Commission is a statutory corporate body established by under the Energy Commission Act 541 of 1997. It is required to advise the government on all energy to ensure that all reasonable demands for energy in Ghana are met. But over the past few weeks, the commission was caught in a bitter power struggle when some staff leaked unsubstantiated allegations against the former Executive Secretary, Kofi Asante and the board Chairman, Dasebre Osei Bonsu to the press. Fears that with Asante out of the way the National Strategic Energy Plan (2005-2025), will be left to gather dust are being confirmed as the workers struggle for turf power and influence.