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General News Tue, 19 Nov 2019

Withdraw, apologise to Domelevo – Azeem to EOCO

Anti-graft campaigner, Vitus Azeem, has urged the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to apologise to the auditor general Danielo Domelevo for initiating investigations against him.

“I think that there are two things, one, EOCO should quickly withdraw from it and render the apology and refer the matter to the Office of Special Prosecutor. Just say our attention has been drawn to the fact that we shouldn’t have started this investigation so please we are just referring it to you. But if EOCO insists then the Auditor-General will also evoke his right and the law that you have no right to do this and I’m not going to subject myself to this,” he told Starr News Monday.

Mr. Domelevo in a statement asked the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to stop investigating his office over procurement breaches since it has no jurisdiction to conduct such probes.

The Auditor-General has been accused of corruption by a private citizen who lodged a complaint with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

The petition stated that the Audit Service had allegedly breached the Procurement Law, Act 663 in the procurement of vehicles worth almost GH¢6.2 million.

But in his defence, Mr Domelovo argued that he was not directly involved in the said procurement of cars and so cannot be held accountable.

“A careful reading of your enabling law, the Economic and Organised Crime Act, 2010 (Act 804) as amended by the Office of Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act959) and from discussions with my lawyers, I am of the firm belief that your office does not have the mandate to investigate any breaches under the public procurement Act.

“In fact, I am advised that the relevant provision in Act 959 which amended Act 804 in section 80 and therein, your office’s mandate to investigate corruption and corruption-related offences, which has been defined to include procurement breaches has been taken away.

“Thus, this power your office purports to exercise now has been effectively taken away by the amendment contained in section 79 of Act 959. This clearly means that your office does not have the jurisdiction to investigate corruption-related offences which has been defined in Act 959 to include breaches of the Public Procurement Act.

“It is quite bizarre and unfathomable why your office would purport to be investigating procurement breaches.

Mr Domelovo added that his office will not cooperate with the EOCO if it continues with its unlawful investigations into procurement breaches.

Source: starrfm.com.gh
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