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Prosecution for misappropriation of Covid funds

Staff of 3 state institutions to be prosecuted for misappropriating Covid funds
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The Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Dr Eric Oduro Osae, has revealed that staff of three state institutions will soon be prosecuted for misappropriating Covid-19 funds.

According to him, the Agency is collaborating with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to fast track the processes for the prosecution.

Dr Oduro Osae was speaking at the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition public forum on the accountability gap in Covid-19 responses of Ghana.

He said in 2021, they started receiving internal audit reports from the internal auditors as far as the Covid-19 expenditure audit is concerned.

“We started reviewing them in 2021 and some of the expenditure areas were revealing. Areas where we have challenges we do a follow up. A team is sent to the field to go and validate.

“Those we think have criminal consequences, we would work with EOCO to prosecute them. I’m not allowed to indicate what we are doing or the level of prosecution but I can assure you that at the moment, we are working with EOCO to prosecute three institutions,” he disclosed.

The Minority in Parliament has filed a Private Member’s motion for an inquiry into the expenditure made by the government during the Covid-19 period.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu; the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka and Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson filed a motion to Alban Bagbin, asking for a bipartisan probe into the ¢8.1 billion expenditure by government.

That motion was admitted.

However, the First Deputy Speaker, who subsequently presided over proceedings in the House in the Speaker’s absence, dismissed the motion.

Currently, the Minority is readying to challenge the dismissal of their motion.

Explaining the Majority’s stance against the motion, Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, stated that the auditing of the Covid expenditure should be left to the appropriate state agencies to deal with.

On Wednesday, February 23, Speaker Alban Bagbin expressed dissatisfaction with his deputy, Joesph Osei-Owusu, for dismissing the motion and described the act as illegal and unconstitutional.

Prior to this, the Minority had petitioned the Auditor General to probe government expenditure on food, water and other relief packages that were supplied to Ghanaians during the lockdown period.

But Mr Osei-Owusu has justified his action as lawful, adding that the Speaker’s communication to the House regarding his conduct is unfair to him.

Source: myjoyonline

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