Two Assembly officials misappropriate GH₵88,165.00 Stool lands revenue

Officials of Sefwi Akontombra District Assembly takes the oath at the PAC hearing

Officials from the Sefwi Akontombra Assembly in the Western region are yet to retrieve GH₵88,165.00, originally collected as stool lands revenue.

The amount according to the Auditor-General’s report for 2015, has been diverted into private account and still remains unaccounted for.

According to the Auditor-General’s report for 2015, Patrick Rudolf Aparik, a former Coordinating Director at Sefwi Akontombra Assembly and his finance officer, Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, opened a private account at the Upper Amenfi Rural Bank and lodged GH₵88,165.00 Stool land revenue cheques received between June 9, 2014 and September 9, 2014.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee hearing in Takoradi on Wednesday, the District Finance Officer, Sylvester Adiku told updated the Committee on the current development of the matter.

“The matter has been reported to the police, even initially it was the BNI who started investigations on it, but later when we took over we were advised that the matter was before the Police, so we went to the Police to find out if it was true and the Commander confirmed, but since BNI was doing the investigations, they couldn’t also do the investigations alongside, but in the course of the year, we also invited the people involved together with the Police and the BNI.

As I said earlier, we have a minute of that meeting between the Assembly and the officials involved, but we are yet to get the money from them”.

On whether they have been able to retrieve some of the monies, Mr. Adiku stated that nothing has been accounted for.

The Auditors indicated that they uncovered the losses during their post audit verification of allocation made by the Western Regional Stool Lands Administrator’s office.

The Auditors recommended that management of the Assembly should report the matter to the law enforcement agencies especially the police for further investigation and recovery of the amount from the District Coordinating Director and District Finance Officer.
Action taken – management met former officers mentioned in relation to this subject.

The finance officer at the time explained that he accounted for the amount involved and that he handed over the Payment Vouchers and all other relevant documents to his successor. Management is yet to receive these documents for authentication.

Furthermore, the Auditor-General’s report for 2015 also cited a former officer at Suaman Assembly, Seidu Mahama, who failed to account for the Assembly’s share of Stool lands revenue of GH₵62,816.00 received between 6 December 2012 and 13 December 2013.
However, officials from Suaman Assembly failed to turn up for PAC hearing.

The two management issues involving the misappropriation of stool land revenue totaled GH₵150,981.00.