General News of 2014-08-27

'Corrupt' DCE sacked after Audit Service exposé

THE DISTRICT Chief Executive (DCE) for Banda in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Alex Bonsu, who has been accused by an audit report conducted by the Ghana Audit Service of indulging in corrupt practices, including inflation of contract sums and the abuse of the Disability Fund, has finally been booted out of office by President Mahama.

A terse statement released by the government last week announcing the dismissal of the DCE, also named Mr. Jacob Boateng, an accountant and Assembly Member for the Dorbor Electoral Area in the Banda District, as having been nominated by the President to take over from Mr. Bonsu, in accordance with Article 243(1) of the 1992 Constitution, and section 20 of the Local Government Act, Act 462 of 1993.

The Chronicle had carried several reports about the alleged corrupt activities involving the dismissed DCE. In one of such reports, The Chronicle quoted an audit report, which accused Mr. Alex Bonsu of inflating contract sums and the mismanagement of the Disability Fund.

The paper again reported recently that the Member of Parliament (MP) for Banda and Deputy Majority Chief Whip, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, had bemoaned the state of corruption in the Banda District Assembly.

The Member of Parliament (MP), who was touring some communities in his constituency to explain what has been going on in Parliament to the people, could not hide his frustration at the rate at which the resources of the new district were being dissipated.

“As a Member of the Legislature, I have the responsibility to ensure that the executive arm of government makes judicious use of the resources of this country, and will, therefore, not hide any corrupt element anywhere,” the MP told the people. Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim said corruption had no political colours, and that no matter who is involved, it must be exposed.

He noted that it was not those who shield corruption who are lovers of the party (NDC) and government, but those who come out to expose corrupt activities like what was going on in the Banda District Assembly, led by the District Chief Executive, Alex Bonsu.

He said since the creation of the new district, not even a single project had been completed by the District Assembly, though the district had received over GH¢2.1 million from the government. “The corruption at the District Assembly is not about me, Ahmed, and the District Chief Executive, Mr. Alex Bonsu, or any personality for that matter, but it is at the heart of the development of the district, and the people of Banda,” the MP said.

Ahmed said ever since the matter of financial malfeasance was exposed by external auditors at the Assembly, he had never gone public with any of the issues, but felt obliged to do so now. The MP said an audit carried out at the Assembly had uncovered a series of corruption, including inflation of contract sums on boreholes, ghost contracts, and the misappropriation of the Disability Fund.

The Member of Parliament added that the District Chief Executive had admitted in various meetings, including those with the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, of his involvement in these corrupt activities. Mr. Alex Bonsu told The Chronicle at the time that he would not comment on the allegation, and that he had been advised by a minister not to make any public comments.

The MP, however, told his constituents that all those in higher authority who are supposed to know about the massive corruption in the assembly had been briefed, and that he was waiting for their response. But, before the authorities could respond, as expected by the MP, some youth in the area, who were apparently not satisfied with the continued stay in office of the DCE, ambushed and subjected him to severe beatings.

Mr. Alex Bonsu was reportedly on his way from Nsawkaw in the Tain District to his office at Banda Ahenkro, when the unidentified youth attacked him. They also smashed the windscreen of his official Nissan Patrol car. Still not satisfied with the punishment they meted out to the DCE, the youth proceeded to the offices of Banda District Assembly and vandalised Alex Bonsu’s office.

Meanwhile, a youth leader from the District, Mr. Adama Haruna, who was very vocal on the calls on the President to dismiss the DCE, had, in an interview with The Chronicle, expressed appreciation to the President for listening to the people. He promised that the District Assembly would soon meet to discuss how to retrieve the money allegedly misappropriated by the DCE.

Mr. James Donkor, a youth from the area, said the district was created to facilitate the development of the area, and that anybody who works against such an agenda, should not be tolerated.

He said the level of corruption perpetuated by the former DCE should not be tolerated in any civilised and development-oriented society. He urged the government to show other appointees the exit, to ensure the speedy development of the country.

Source: The Chronicle
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