General News of 2014-04-08

SADA cited for alleged malfeasance in unapproved trips

After months of investigation into the operations of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Joy News has uncovered alleged financial malfeasance of various degrees.
SADA was created to coordinate development to bridge the gap between the north and the south.
But its operations have been bedevilled by alleged corruption, improper award of contracts among others.
In yet another edition of Joy FM's investigative series titled the "Sad SADA Story", Manasseh Azure Awuni reports of wasteful travels and its related financial malfeasance.
According to him, in 2012 management of the SADA organized a trip for three officials to Turkey on behalf of some district assemblies.
The CEO, Gilbert Seidu Iddi, a Minister of State at the Presidency Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed and Mahama Shaibu, an executive assistant at SADA. The trip cost SADA some GH¢ 226,000.
The trip, according to SADA management, was meant to facilitate sister city relationships on behalf of some district assemblies.
An audit report states that the trip did not fall within SADA’s mandate and did not bring any benefit to the authority.
The report also says the ¢226,000 spent on the trip was not approved by the SADA board.
The report recommends that Mr. Gilbert Iddi should be surcharged with the amount.
Joy News checks also revealed that Chronum Investment Limited, the company paid over 84,000 cedis to organize the trip is not a travel or tour agency. It deals in ICT services, real estate development and oil explorations among others.
Another such unapproved expenditure, according to the audit report, was a trip to Birmingham and Berlin.
Management of SADA paid about GH¢70,000 to Kasmed Seed company to organize the trip.
Joy News checks at the Registrar Generals Department again reveal that this company too does not deal in travel and tour. It is into sale of seeds, construction of turfs and agro business.
The audit report also reveals that SADA could not account for about 14,000 US dollars when it sponsored three officials to the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations.
SADA CEO, Gilbert Iddi, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed and SADA Board Chairman, Alhassan Andani embarked on the trip.
Mr. Andani has denied that the trip was to the UN General Assembly as stated in the audit report.
He told Joy News SADA had a meeting in New York at the time the UN General Assembly was in session.
He, however, admitted there were issues with the receipts and they were being dealt with.