Regional News Thu, 8 May 2003

GES Employee's Fraudulent Deals Exposed

Offinso-Ash. -- The District Directorate of Education at Offinso in Ashanti has launched a full- scale investigation into the fraudulent activities of a thieving accounts officer, Mr. Gyimah, at the office.

The newly appointed District Director of Education, Madam Christiana Boateng, who assumed office barely a month ago had no option but to investigate the malfeasance, following the denial of allegations of malfeasance leveled against the officer.

Mad. Boateng's probe follows a formal report by one Joseph Gyasi, a teacher of the Naamon Methodist School, now on study leave at the University College of Education at Winneba.

Teacher Gyasi told this reporter that he returned from school last December and decided to check his credit balance in order to withdraw some few cedis in preparation for the next semester only to see his account was in red.

A statement of account showed that some deductions had been made from his account unknowingly for a ?3 million loans "he" had contracted from UTRAK Systems (Ghana) Ltd.

Gyasi then went to the District Education office to collect his pay slip to be double sure of what was happening to his account.

Conscious of his fraudulent activities, Gyimah reportedly frustrated Gyasi by delaying the release of the pay slip. When it was finally released Gyasi's fears were confirmed.

His account was depleted with deductions from his salary for a loan he knew nothing about.

The poor teacher followed it up to the Asafo market office of UTRAK where Gyimah was named as the one who used Gyasi's name and particulars to raise a loan.

UTRAK officials reportedly disclosed that Gyasi was the accounts officer's fourth victim in their files.

On confronting Gyimah with the hard facts, he admitted the fraudulent transaction and pleaded to be forgiven as he was prepared to refund the money. Gyimah has mentioned the former District Director of Education, now on retirement, as privy to the transactions.

When the case came up for settlement by Mr. E.K. Kodua, the senior House master of the Offinso Training College, at his residence Gyimah agreed to pay the ?3 million with an interest of ?1, 050,000 amounting to ?4, 050,000.

On March 16, this year Gyimah in the company of another accounts officer of the Education Directorate paid the principal sum of ?3 million to Kodua.

He is also said to have paid a total of ?770, 000 in two installments of ?270, 000 and ?500, 000 to Kodua with ?280, 000 still outstanding.

Teacher Gyasi complains that the thieving accounts officer has ignored several demands to pay the outstanding, hence the formal report to the District Director of Education. Gyasi also intends lodging an official complaint with the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) for action against the accounts officer.

Chronicle independent investigations into Gyimah's background indicated that dubious transactions were part of him. A female teacher (name with held) of the Naamon L/A JSS had once fallen victim to Gyimah's loan deals.

Enquiries at UTRAK also revealed that Gyimah used pictures of people and different names of teachers not known in the area. Some are either deceased or on study leave, as in the case of Gyasi.

Chronicle has also gathered that Gyimah, a former employee of a popular educational institution in Kumasi, was transferred to Offinso for his involvement in rampant fraudulent cases there.

Source: Ghanaian Chronicle