“I recommend a forensic audit into the financial mess at Trade Fair” – Hon. Avedzi

Photo Credit: Ghanamma.com

The Chairman for the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Mr. James Klutse Avedzi, has recommended a forensic audit into some stolen Payment Vouchers at the Ghana Trade Fair Company.

Mr. Avedzi indicated that the circumstances under which the Payment Vouchers, amounting to GH349,094 were stolen from the accounts office of the Company, is surprising.
It was revealed at the Committee that the former Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ebenezer Okpoti Koney, was instructed by the Board of the Trade Fair Company in a management letter, to provide unaccounted Payment Vouchers to the Board.
A week after the directive by the Board of the Company, the office of the accountant of the Company was burgled and Payments Vouchers of GH349,094 were stolen.
The incident of burglary was reported to the La District Police Command for investigations and report was submitted to the Company.
However, when the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Trade Fair Company was asked whether there would be possible trace of the Payment Vouchers by a team of investigators from the police, he stated that there would not be any positive outcome in the search of the missing Payment Vouchers.
The Committee thereafter, informed the former CEO that he orchestrated the the plan of breaking into the office of the accountant and stealing the Payment Vouchers, to cover evidence of misappropriation.
In his response to the allegation by the Committee, Dr. Okpoti Koney indicated that he was joking and did not intend to state on record that the Payment Vouchers would not be found.
Testimony by the former internal auditor of the Company
The former internal auditor of the Trade Fair Company, in his testimony to the Public Accounts Committee pointed out that he deliberately resigned from the Company due to constant misappropriation of funds under the former CEO.
He stated that there were lots of financial infractions by the Company and unpaid debts were piling up, which was of great concern to him.
He added that the infraction of misappropriation of funds covered a period of about ten years, and that the Company was almost financially bankrupt.
“The misappropriation and unaccounted Payments Voucher were too much. I wrote in my audit report but nothing was done about it. I was frustrated about the developments. This made me uncomfortable and I had no option, than to resign as an internal auditor of the Company”, he lamented.
Meanwhile, the current CEO of Trade Fair Company, Dr. Agnes Adu, told the Committee that the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) is investigating the former CEO of the Company for misappropriation of funds.
This is the third time the Ghana Trade Fair Company has appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on the same issue of stolen Payment Vouchers.
However, the narrative has not changed and may not change at any moment since the Company has been directed again by the Committee to reappear, to deal with some unresolved issues in the 2016 Auditors-General’s report.
Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


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