Opinions Fri, 24 May 2013

Yank Off KPMG From Pink Sheet Audit!

Justice, they say, must not only be fair; it must be seen by all to be fair. The fear that these boxes containing the contested pink sheets could be compromised ought to have been handled in a very professional manner by the independent referee in a transparent and even-handed process that excludes any element of doubt.

The whole country is aware of important exhibits in the custody of our courts have been compromised in the past, when the NPP was in power. We all recall parcels of cocaine turning into baking powder before anyone could say, "Jack"!

"Ye nim NPP firi tete!" Thus the first thing that any independent referee mandated to audit such a sensitive matter ought to have ensured was the integrity of the materials under contention to the satisfaction of all contending parties.

As a peace-loving citizen of Ghana, it is my right to expect due diligence from a so-called reputable accounting firm charged to oversee such a high-risk exercise. And I insist on it in the name of peace and justice justice for all!

I find it extremely depressing that a "Senior Partner with KPMG, Joseph Winful, told XYZ News in an interview on Wednesday May 22, 2013,... that international accounting and auditing firm, KPMG, did not take an initial inventory of the number of boxes containing pink sheets (primary electoral records) in the custody of the Supreme Court’s Registry before it started auditing the sheets"!

In terms of doing first thing first, this fundamental omission to secure the boxes by ascertaining the number is an unconscionable disservice to God and country! How long would it take to count 24 or 31 boxes? What is the point in beginning an audit of pink sheets when there is no way of telling whether or not the number of boxes are growing by the day, or by night?

The admission by KPMG that they simply went ahead auditing the pink sheets without bothering a hoot about how many boxes were in the strong room is an indication that they are not up to the minimum standards of common sense, transparency and integrity expected of an independent referee!

In a case in which the NDC is contending that the pink sheets filed by the NPP are not up to even 9,000, with the NPP insisting that they had filed 11,842, it would be in the interest of justice if the accurate number claimed by the NPP turns up completely over-bloated.

KPMG ought to be removed from the counting. A much more competent body ought to be appointed to do the counting. The mechanism of control ought to be extended. The compromised boxes ought to be excluded. A new independent referee ought to have access to 2 or more samples of the evidence from the Judges to establish the facts beyond all reasonable and eternally lingering doubts!

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!
Columnist: Nana Akyea Mensah