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Labianca saga: Akufo-Addo removes Col. Damoah as GRA Customs Commissioner

Col Damoah11 Colonel (Rtd.) Kwadwo Damoah has been relieved of his duties as Customs Commissioner

Mon, 29 Aug 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Colonel (Rtd.) Kwadwo Damoah, to hand over his duties to an acting Deputy Commissioner.

According to a statement signed by the Executive Secretary to the president, Nana Bediatuo Asante, the decision comes following the expiration of Col. Damoah's contract in October 2021.

He is expected to hand over to Deputy Commissioner, Seidu Iddrisu Iddisah who will act in the role pending a substantive appointment made by the President

"Following the expiration of your contract of service as Commissioner (Customs Division) of the Ghana Revenue Authority on 13th October 2021, the President of the Republic has directed that effective Friday, 26th August, 2022, you hand over your duties and office to the acting Deputy Commissioner (Preventive Service), Mr. Siedu Iddrisu Iddisah, who will act as the Commissioner (Customs Division) pending the President’s substantive appointment.

"The President thanks you for your service to the State and wishes you well in your future endeavours," the statement read.

Background

Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (rtd)'s dismissal comes at a time he is being investigated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, for his role in corruption-related acts involving Labianca Company Limited.

A finding from the Office of the Special Prosecutor dated August 3, 2022, and titled: “Report of Investigation into Alleged Commission of Corruption and Corruption Related Offences involving Labianca Group of Companies and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority” indicated among other things that the frozen foods company owner used her position to evade taxes.

Initially, while reacting to the report, the customs boss said any attempts by the Special Prosecutor to bring him down will not work.

“Three days ago a report purported to be coming from the Office of the Special Prosecutor trying to indict the Deputy Commissioner of Operations and myself [but] anybody who has read that report very well will know the basis of that,” he said while addressing some Senior Customs officers at a retreat in Kumasi.

“And luckily for Me, God is always on my side, before that report came that person had made a comment to some people who had come to tell me [that] he [Special Prosecutor] was going to publish that will discredit me…and I sent people to go and tell him that he is a small boy and I am older than him, I have lived a meaningful life and if he attempts to destroy me it won’t be easy for him. People have tried and I have survived and this one too I will survive it,” Col Damoah added.

However, in a recent interview, he said he will work with the OSP to assist with their investigations, adding that the Special Prosecutor has the right to investigate.

“I have been cooperating fully with the OSP. I responded to an OSP invitation on February 16 this year in connection with the Labianca issue. Currently, the office has asked us to produce all documents related to the granting of discounts by September 30.

“Additionally, the OSP has directed that we produce documents on auctions by the same September 30. We are gathering all the documents in order to meet the deadline given,” he added.

Aside from the Labianca saga, Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (rtd), is also being investigated for corruption and corruption-related offences in the auction of vehicles and goods by the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

In a statement announcing this development, the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, said the investigation would cover the auction sale of cars and goods by Customs between July and August 2022.

“The Office of the Special Prosecutor has commenced investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in respect of auction sales of vehicles and other goods by the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority between 1 July 2016 and 15 August 2022,” the statement said.

MA/FNOQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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