General News of 2012-10-17

Nana Addo cited in US$2.244 million SSNIT scandal

The Herald's ongoing investigations into the inner workings of Social Security and National Insurance Trust's (SSNIT's) in management of workers' pension money, have landed on a US$ 2. 244 million workers' pension cash doled out to Databank Financial Service, a company owned by a cousin of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, for the famous “Obotan Garden of Eden” housing project.

A damning Forensic Report, prepared at the instance of the Kufuor government and submitted to the the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Nana Akufo-Addo, which recommended the criminal prosecution of his cousin Ken Ofori-Atta and five others was left untouched thus allowing the workers' US$ 2. 244 million pension money to go down the drain.

Databank Financial Service, which the Forensic Report heavily indicted for defrauding SSNIT, some years later, became the money bag for Nana Addo's 2008 election campaign, according to Arthur Kennedy's book, “Chasing The Elephant Into the Bush: The Politics of Complacency”.

The Herald's investigation began following a call by the pro-NPP group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), for the immediate freezing of the assets of Ibrahim Mahama, brother of President John Mahama and owner of Engineers and Planners Company (E&P), while investigations are conducted into a loan he contracted from Merchant Bank, in which SSNIT has a stake.

But The Herald's telephone calls to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), formerly the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), drew blank as officials there told this paper, there was no dossier on the US$ 2. 224 million “Obotan” scandal.

A top officer told The Herald that “no document or docket has been sighted” almost four years since the change of administration from that of Kufuor to Mills.

As the Herald combs around in search of a copy of the Forensic Report, which appears to have vanished into thin air, archival materials retrieved by the defunct “Gye Nyame Concord” owned by Mr. Alfred Ogbame, one of the numerous journalists, including Dominic Jale, formerly of the “Ghanaian Chronicle” who delved into the scam, quoting the auditors recommended the trial of the actors involved in the “Obotan” deal in their report on the financial audit of SSNIT.