Rot at AOB District: A call for probe into matter

Rot at AOB District: Residents call for probe into matter

INVESTIGATIONS by Today have revealed a massive rot and high profile corrupt practices in the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa (AOB) District Assembly in the Central Region, which needs to be investigated by the country’s anti-corruption institutions to bring the perpetrators to book.

According to our findings, some concerned citizens including constituency executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Assembly members in the district uncovered the fraudulent acts.
Residents in the district raised eyebrows over a move by the Assembly to allocate an extra GH¢80,000 from an initial contract sum of GH¢160,000 allocated from the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) to build an ultra-modern kindergarten unit classroom block at the Brama Jamra community.

Impeachable sources close to the Assembly told this paper that many of the residents cannot understand why the Assembly will charge an additional GH¢80,000 for the project since the Gold Key Properties, an Accra-based real estates developing company, has made full payment of the total cost of the project.

The sources disclosed that after the collapse of the Brama Jamra KG classroom block, which killed six (6) pupils somewhere, last year, the company, as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), moved to construct an ultra-modern unit classroom block.

The facility was named after Gold Key Properties (GKP).
But, instead of the Assembly giving credit to the company for solely funding the project, sources stated that, the Assembly maintained in its records that it financed the Brama Jamra KG project with the initial contract fee of GH¢160,000 with an additional charge of GH¢80,000 from the District Assembly Common Fund to complete the project.
The anger of the citizens, according to our sources, stems from the fact that the contract money, which was paid to the Assembly by the company for the execution of the project, was completely missing in the projects finance records book of the Assembly.

This worrying development, the sources told Today, has created uneasy calm in the district, compelling aggrieved citizens with the tacit support of owners of the company to immediately demand the whereabouts of the total cost of money expended on the project by the company.
They also revealed the move by the Assembly to pay GH¢12,000, representing 10% of the contract sum from funds of the company to one Mr Jonathan without any work done.

Meanwhile, interacting with scores of residents of Brama Jamara last Tuesday, who had come to Accra, they disclosed to Today that after the collapse of the “killer” KG classroom block at Brama Jamra somewhere last year, the Assembly started the construction of the project to the window level.

The residents noted that when the project reached lintel level, the company came in to take the full financial cost of the project, making it to re-cost the contract sum of GH¢160,000 allocated for the project.
They went on to add that the company also repaid all the money, which had been spent on the project to lintel level to the Assembly.
“However, we want to put it on records that the company continued from that level and completed the project with its own money and even commissioned it for use by the pupils.

“But our information from some honest and trusted Assembly members within our district revealed that the Assembly was still rendering accounts to the Assembly members of spending a whopping GH¢160,000.00 with additional extra cost of GH¢80,000 from its District Assembly Common Fund to build a KG classroom block for Brama Jamra community, said the resident.

Fuming with anger, the residents called on state anti-corruption institutions such as the Economic and Organise Crime Office (EOCO), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the newly established Special Prosecutor Office to immediately commence investigations into the alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices against the Assembly.

According to them, the alleged fraud and corrupt practices of the Assembly, if not investigated, have the potential to dent the image of the Assembly, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ghana in general.
They pointed out that the alleged fraud and corrupt practices of the Assembly came to light when the Director-in-Charge of CSR Initiatives of the company was interviewed on Joy FM, a radio station in Accra on February 1, 2018 by host, Mr. Roland Walker.

“The Director of CSR Initiatives of the company alleged that this criminal conduct of the Assembly necessitated his outfit’s stance to reject the current request made by the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District Assembly, Mr. Isaac Addo, to the company to also fund the construction of a Junior High School (JHS) classroom block at Brama Jamra.

When contacted to react to the issues yesterday, Engineer for the Asikuma Odoben Brakwa District Assembly, Mr. Andrew Yankey, on behalf of his District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Isaac Addo, denied all the allegations levelled against the Assembly by the citizens of the area.
He admitted the partnership agreement between the company and Assembly with the monetary term of GH¢120,000 to help complete the project.

But, Mr Nyamekye was quick to state that when the Assembly awarded the contract to the Amo Mensah Construction Company, the contractor had done 70 per cent of the work on the project before Gold Key Properties Company came in with an agreement of allocating GH¢120,00 to help complete it.

“So l want to make it clear to the general public that the company was not the only one which paid all the contract sum of GH¢160,000 as it was being indicated by some residents in the area. Even out of the GH¢120,000 money agreement we have with the company, it paid GH¢114,000, leaving an amount of GH¢6,000 to be paid to the Amo Mensah Construction Company,” Mr. Yankey further explained.

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