The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has rejected claims that it does not have the power to investigate the Auditor General as is being speculated.
EOCO started investigating the Audit service after it received a petition from a political pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governance on allegations of procurement breaches.
However, the Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, wrote to EOCO indicating that the investigative body has no legal mandate to probe him.
“In fact, I am advised that the relevant provision in Act 959 which amended Act 804 is section 80 and therein, your office’s mandate to investigate corruption and corruption-related offices, which has been defined to include procurement breaches, has been taken away,” Mr. Domelevo said in the letter.
But EOCO in a statement signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Jacqueline Avotri, rejected the Auditor General’s assertions.
“Per section 3 of Act 804, the functions of the Office are to (a) investigate and on the authority of the Attorney-General prosecute serious offences…”
“It should be noted that Section 79 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, Act 959, is limited to corruption-related offences under the serious offences category of the EOCO Act. It does not oust the jurisdiction of EOCO from investigating other serious offences that are not necessarily of a corruption-related nature,” EOCO argued.
The office also stated that it is not targeting the removal of the Auditor General from office with its probe.
“The investigation by EOCO is not aimed at the removal of an Auditor General from office. EOCO is neither seized with the power to nor interested in removing an Auditor General from office. The investigations by the Office of the various individuals are in line with our legal mandate and purely borne out of the due process.”
“Any attempt to equate EOCO’s investigation to constitutional processes for removal from office is additionally misplaced.”
Read the full statement from EOCO below:
Stop attacking Auditor-General – Economic Fighter League to politicians
Pressure group, Economic Fighters League, earlier warned those who may be trying to discredit the Auditor General through attacks to desist from it.
The group commended the Auditor General and said, “We encourage the Auditor-General to stand firm and not be intimidated and to do his work without fear or favour.”
Government has no agenda against Auditor-General – Pius Hadzide
Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Hadzide, had earlier rejected claims that it has an agenda against the Auditor General.
“We cannot encourage this reckless commentary on an otherwise serious suggestion. If there is any evidence, action or inaction that somebody wants to point to even suggest that somebody’s work is even undermined, that can be put forward, rather than just making an unsubstantiated, blanket and fundamental statement that there may be an agenda to remove somebody.”
Stop hounding Domelevo and arrest Osafo Maafo over $1m Kroll payment – NDC
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is also demanding the arrest and prosecution of Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister, over an alleged $1 million deal with UK firm, Kroll Associates.
At a press conference addressed by the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the party insists that the current controversy surrounding the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo, are attempts by the government “to have him removed” to prevent scrutiny of the deal.
The party feels the investigation of the Auditor General is also “because of his uncompromising stance in the fight against corruption.”
The NDC stressed that “President Akufo-Addo must demonstrate that no one is above the laws of Ghana including Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo.”
“This EOCO investigation is designed as retribution against Mr. Domelevo because he has been on the tail of Yaw Osafo Maafo over the latter’s involvement in the massive corruption scandal under which $1 million was paid to Kroll Associates, a UK company for no work done.”
“Rather than hounding Mr. Domelevo, we are by this press conference calling on President Akufo Addo to immediately order the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo for the breaches of the Public Procurement Act. We demand an immediate cessation of the hostile victimization of Mr. Domelevo by the Akufo-Addo government.”