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23.08.2005 Crime & Punishment

Committee probing Ansa-Asare sits

GNA
Accra, Aug. 23, GNA - The Ministerial Committee of Inquiry set up to investigate multiple allegations of corruption and abuse of power against Kwaku Ansa-Asare, Director of the Ghana School of Law, on Tuesday resumed sitting.
The Ghana Legal Council has adopted the Committee, which halted its sittings following a petition by Mr Ansa-Asare challenging the status of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General, Mr Ayikoi Otoo in establishing a Ministerial Committee to probe allegations against him. Mr Maxwell Opoku Agyemang, a Senior Lecturer at the Ghana School of Law (GSL) told the Committee that one fraudulent practice of Mr Ansa-Asare was his opening of an account with the International Commercial Bank in the name of the GSL to siphon money belonging to the GSL.
He said many withdrawals had been made from this account citing that in March of 2004 an amount of 1.2 billion cedis was deposited into the account but within a few days, 800 million cedis cash was taken out of it.
Mr Agyemang said the right place to keep any money that belonged to Government subvented organization was the Bank of Ghana, since procedures for withdrawing such money ensured transparency and accountability.
Proving his case further, he alleged that on 10th May 2005 an amount of 30,000 pounds sterling was paid into the account of a company called Sweet and Maxwell Limited where the Director claimed to have bought law books.
He said Mr Asare authorised the transfer of 850,million cedis of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund for the purchase of books for the GLS on December 29, 2004.
He said a memo from GSL's Registrar by name Mrs Linda Doku, requested Read Wide, a company dealing in books, to supply the GSL with books worth 850 million cedis upon which Read Wide tendered a letter in which it agreed to supply the books.
"Read Wide is owned by Mr Ansa-Asare, his wife and child," he said, adding that the amount from the HIPC fund was received on December 29 2004.
He said through such illegal transactions all of which he had evidence, Mr Ansa-Asare had to account for monies running into billions of cedis to the GSL.
Amongst several other examples, Mr Agyemang alleged that a daughter of Mr Ansa-Asare had been admitted at the GSL outside the laid down procedures.
He said apart from the fact that she had not been called to any Bar which was a pre-requisite for the course she offered, she did not submit any application, had no certificate, never paid any school fees and also never had a file being opened for her to prove her stay and academic performance there.
Mr Agyemang alleged that Mr Ansa-Asare's bullying tactics included asking people to proceed on leave as well as asking others to "go home" in order to silence them when they attempted to protest. Sitting continues on Wednesday. 23 Aug. 05


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