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Monday, 13 July 2009

Ghana:Mubarak resigns Over Corruption Allegations, Mills accepts


Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed former Sports Minister
Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed former Sports Minister
Embattled Sports Minister Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed has resigned. The following is a government statement on his resignation and President Mills' acceptance.

GOVERNMENT STATEMENT ON THE NATIONAL SECURITY REPORT ON INVESTIGATIONS INTO ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS AND THE OFFER OF THE MINISTER TO RESIGN FROM OFFICE

Investigations by National Security into the allegations against Hon. Muntaka Mubarak, Minister of Youth and Sports, have been completed and a report submitted to the President.

The following could not be established:


* The Minister collected US$2,000.00 imprest for the finals of the 1st CHAN tournament in Abidjan.

* The Minister collected US$10,000.00 for landing rights for the aircraft which took the government delegation to the CHAN finals in Abidjan.

* The Minister personally arranged for accommodation and feeding of the Black Star players in Kenya and Sudan.

* The Minister was paid GHC15,200.00 as refund for meat and food items

* The Minister’s wife was allocated VW Passat No. GT 1351 Z.

* The Minister demanded immediate payment of or was paid GHC1,000. per match for the services of a Mallam.

* The Minister requested or collected GHC12,000 for gifts for the Minister’s constituency on his last trip to Kumasi.

* The Minister allocated to himself or was allocated five (5) official vehicles.

The following were established:

* The Minister collected a per diem allowance of GHC2,000 for the Ghana-Benin match. This amount was authorized by the Chief Director, Mr. Albert Anthony Ampong, but the Minister had no knowledge of what his per diem for the travel was supposed to be.

* Ms. Edith Zinayela (Secretary to the Majority Leader in Parliament) was part of the Minister’s entourage to the finals of CHAN tournament in Abidjan at the expense of the Government. After the delegation returned from Abidjan, the Minister sought the advice of the Chief Director of the Ministry who instructed the Principal Accountant to purchase the ticket for Ms. Zinayela by raising a memo for the purpose.

* The Minister received a letter from the National Sports Council requesting the release of GHC1,410,051.58. The Minister minuted the letter to his Chief Director for the necessary action. The Chief Director presented the Minister with a duly prepared letter for his signature which the Minister signed after being convinced that due diligence had been followed. This amount was not released by the Ministry of Finance to the National Sports Council.

* The Minister requested that arrangement for accommodation and feeding of the Black Stars players in Kenya and Sudan should be done by Tour Operators to enable the Ministry make some savings. This did not go down well with the Ministry officials. The Principal Accountant, Mr. Adim Odoom, and an official of GFA had earlier visited Mali to make arrangements for the Black Stars without the knowledge of the Minister. They were about to do the same for Kenya and Sudan when the Minister found out and ordered them to stop.

* The Minister requested for he and his family to travel to Kumasi by air. The Chief Director endorsed the request by the Minister. The request was backed with a memo. The Chief Director did not advise the Minister that his family was not entitled to these tickets.

* The Ministry refunded to the Minister an amount of GHC674.02 for items the Minister was entitled to as protocol and entertainment. The Chief Director or the Principal Accountant should have vetted the receipt and exempted items which were not allowable. Items like baby oil, baby food and mouth wash should have been disallowed even though they formed a seemingly insignificant part of the bill.

The Minister on discovering that this amount had been refunded demanded to withdraw the receipt but the Principal Accountant Mr. Adim Odoom assured him that everything was in order and that he had paid the refund from the imprest which was normal.

* The Minister’s driver presented for refund a receipt for the Minister’s household items totaling GHC1,520 and not GHC15,200 as alleged but this amount was never refunded.

* Ms. Edith Zinayela was part of the Minister’s entourage to Germany on the invitation of Souito Sports Management Group. Her visa fee was paid by the Ministry.

* Alhaji Abdulai Yakubu (Director of Finance and Administration at the Ministry) authorized a certain payment because the Chief Director was in Tamale and would be away for a week. The accountant objected to his authorization. The Minister directed that the documents be re-routed for the approval and authorization of the Chief Director.

The following were also established:

* Under the close eye of the Minster, savings were made as a result of the payment of graduated bonuses as well as cuts in the payment of bonuses to officials. These monies were returned to government chest and the Chief of Staff was informed in writing.

* The Chief Director, Mr. Albert Anthony Ampong, acknowledged that Mr. Ebenezer Lomotey, another Accountant at the Ministry, handed over US$10,000.00 to him (the Chief Director) to be given the Minister. The Chief Director could however not recollect exactly where he gave the money to the Minister neither could he show any documentary proof of having handed the money over to the Minister. The Minister denied having received any such money.

* The Principal Accountant, Mr. Adim Odoom, indicated that he gave US$10,000.00 to the Chief Director for onward delivery to the Minister for payment of landing rights for the CHAN finals in Abidjan. There is no evidence that the Chief Director handed over this amount to the Minister. The Minister denied having received any such money.

* The Vehicle VW Passat No GT 1351 Z was formerly used by Dr. Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, Director of Sports Development at the Ministry. The decision of the Minister to take that car did not go down well with Dr. Owusu Ansah to the extent that he decided to retire before his retirement date. This source of conflict between Dr. Owusu Ansah and the Minister apparently caused him to team up with others like the Principal Accountant Mr. Adim Odoom to create problems for the Minister.

* Mr. Adim Odoom typed his allegations on Dr. Owusu Ansah’s laptop in Dr. Owusu Ansah’s office. Dr. Owusu Ansah admitted that he took copies of the allegations to Mr. Kofi Adams for the attention of former President Rawlings. He also gave copies to other persons.

His Excellency the President has accepted the findings of the National Security and has decided as follows:

* The Principal Accountant, Mr. Adim Odoom, indicated that he gave US$10,000.00 to the Chief Director, Mr. Albert Anthony Ampong, for onward delivery to the Minister. Mr. Ampong acknowledged receipt of this amount. However, there is no evidence that Mr. Ampong handed over the money to the Minister. Mr. Lomotey, another accountant at the Ministry, indicated that he gave the Chief Director US$10,000.00 for onward delivery to the Minister. Mr. Ampong acknowledged receipt of same. However, there is no evidence that Mr. Ampong handed over the money to the Minister. His Excellency the President has therefore directed that the Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports refund the amount of US$ 20,000.00 to Government coffers.

* The Chief Director and the Principal Accountant of the Ministry of Youth and Sports failed to follow laid down administrative and financial regulations and procedures required of Civil Servants. The President finds it particularly outrageous that the Chief Director and the Principal Accountant, if they are to be believed, paid out sums of money as large as $10,000 on two separate occasions without any documentation and without any evidence whatsoever. On the other hand, if the moneys were not paid, then their allegation would amount to a fabrication against the Minister, an equally serious offence. On either score, the conduct of the two officials would be conduct unbecoming of the high positions they hold in the Civil Service. His Excellency the President has accordingly directed that the Head of Civil Service should apply appropriate sanctions against Mr. Albert Anthony Ampong and Mr. Adim Odoom. Pending the decision of the Head of Civil Service, the two officials are to be interdicted.

* His Excellency the President has also ordered an audit into the affairs of the Sports Division of the Ministry of Youth and Sports covering the period 2001 to 2009 as well as a review of the organization, role and structure of the Ministry of Youth and Sports as recommended by the National Security investigation report.

* The President is satisfied that the Minister’s actions in cutting down on waste and curtailing frivolous expenditure is what incurred the displeasure of some officials of the Ministry and caused them to gang up against him. The President commends the Minister in this regard.

* His Excellency the President is dissatisfied with the conduct of the Minister in his decision to embark on the German trip with Ms. Edith Zinayela and in particular in his decision to apply for a visa for her in circumstances that amounted to a mis-description of her official position. The decision for the Ministry to pay for Ms. Zinayela’s visa fee was equally improper. It was an error of judgment on the part of the Minister from which it is hoped all other appointees will learn. Consequently, His Excellency the President has decided to accept the Minister’s decision to resign his position as Minister of Youth and Sports and to thank him for the services that he has rendered to the state.

* The President has also accepted the Minister’s offer to make good to the state all liabilities incurred on account of Ms. Zinayela’s trip to Germany including the cost of the visa fee.


Mahama Ayariga

Presidential Spokesperson

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