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03.08.2005 General News

GIJ SRC president embezzles ¢28,648,000


The immediate past SRC President of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Imoro Awudu Abu, nephew of minority spokesman on foreign affairs, Mr. John Mahama, is alleged to have embezzled an amount of ¢28,648,000 from the school's coffers during his tenure as SRC President from August 27, 2004 to July 11, 2005.

As at press time on Tuesday, fresh information stumbled upon by the heritage indicates that the former student's leader was making strenuous efforts to sneak out to the United Kingdom.

On Monday July 25, 2005, personnel from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Osu Police Station acted on a complaint lodged by Raymond Ablorh, present vice president of the GIJ-SRC on the alleged malfeasance involving Mr. Awudu Abu.

The CID personnel stormed the campus, where apparently Mr. Awudu Abu was writing his final paper for the semester. They (CID) asked Mr. Awudu Abu to gently join them, but he resisted the arrest.

According to reports the CID called in police reinforcement, which were on guard duties at the British High Commission to drag the students' leader to the police station where he was put behind bars at the Osu Police Station.

On hearing the incident, the Director of the Institute, David Newton, drove to the Osu police station to bail the young leader to the tune of ¢ 30 million.

Abu, who has failed to submit an account of his stewardship was described by some of his colleges as an autocratic leader, is alleged to have condoned and connived with an unidentified Accountant of the Institute, in the misappropriation of monies.

The financial statement dated July 22, 2005 prepared by the Accountant and intercepted by the Heritage indicated that, Mr. Rockson issued a Pay Voucher (P.V No.191) to only one function: 'Annual National Congress,' at the cost of ¢7 million which was an over- declaration by Mr. Awudu Abu.

The Congress, which was in two parts, included the Ghana Union of Professional Students (GUPS) Congress and the National Union of Ghana (NUGS) congress.

The budget for both congresses was supposed to have announced to 4 million cedis with the breakdown being I million cedis for the former and 3 million cedis for the latter.

How ever, the SRC President, according to the financial statement prepared by the Accountant and available to this paper, an amount of ¢3 million had vanished after Awudu Abu had declared 2 million cedis for the GUPS congress and 5 million cedis for the NUGS congress on August 27, 2004.

According to some students The Heritage spoke yesterday, there was no 'Akwaaba' (welcome) Night celebrations', which normally heralds the admission of fresh students.

Mean while, the financial statement the Accountant prepared indicates that on February 10, 2005, Mr. Rockson transferred the 4 million cedis to the SRC President.

The fiscal statement, which was signed and copied to the Director and the SRC President further, indicates that the SRC asked the Accountant to append his signature to ¢1.5 million for what was termed as ' Constitutional Review' on the Statements of Accounts, which never took place.

The documentary evidence this paper has laid hands on indicates Mr. Awudu Abu collected an amount of ¢2.5 million from the Accountant to pay for dues the Institute owed its affiliate bodies, the NUGS and GUPS.

On March 9, 2005 Mr. Awudu Abu asked the Accountant to dole out an amount of 1 million cedis to organize fun games between GIJ and the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI). How ever, this paper is reliably informed that one MrHenry Nii Dottey Waston, a then level 400 student's single handedly footed the bill for the function.

When contacted Mr Waston confirmed footing the bill saying “I used my own money in the organization of the fun games because it was at the eleventh hour that the SRC president showed signs of bankruptcy,” he said.

Abu mysteriously could not account for some ¢4,848,000 doe some items listed in the financial statement viz Funeral attendance (May 5, 2005) Payment for ballot boxes (May 26,2005), Pre-Xmas Jams (December 20, 2004) and Electoral Commission report (May 4,2005) amounting to the figure quoted above.

Mr Ablorh said Awudu Abu was to hand over his document to the incoming executives by June 30, 2005 but to date he has not done so.

Director of the institute, David Newton said the Station officer at the Osu police station has sent some CID men to investigate the matter.

He said he personally asked the CID if he had an arrest warrant after he told Awudu Abu to accompany him.

But the investigator said he did not have any arrest warrant which compelled the director to ensure that Awudu Abu did not leave the four walls of the institute.