Host of Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere has rebuked investigative journalists in the country for ignoring the Auditor-General’s report on some $1million paid by the Finance Ministry to a British company, Kroll Associates for no work done.
According to Paul Adom-Otchere, investigative journalists in Ghana must bow their heads in shame for failing to follow up on the matter as they would have done if it involved a local company.
Speaking on his show Thursday evening, the TV presenter noted that “a British company sitting in England after 100years of colonization, they have come to Ministry of Finance, collected $1million. The Auditor-General says for no work done… investigative journalists have seen this, they are aware of it, no one talks about anything”.
The Auditor-General (A-G), Daniel Yaw Domelevo in June 2019 accused the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of dishing out payments to third-party organizations even though no work was executed to warrant such payments.
The Ministry, according to the Auditor General, acquired the services of Kroll Associates in 2017 to recover assets from identified wrongdoers, investigate allegations of wrongdoing, provide evidence for assets recoveries, build capacity for the transfer of skills, give advice on preventative techniques and structures to detect and forestall future corruption.
He said, “during our review of the contract with Kroll Associates, we noted that though there was no evidence of work done, the ministry, in 2018, paid an amount of US$1 million (equivalent of GH¢4,890,000) to the company”.
The report added that there were inconsistencies in some of the documentation. It said, for instance, “Though the contract was signed in September 2017, some of the invoices attached to the payment vouchers predated the award of the contract”.
The A-G’s report stated that in view of the non-performance of Kroll Associates in executing the contract, the agreement should be “abrogated and any money paid to the company recovered immediately”.
Months after this report was released, journalists are yet to ask questions on the issue, a situation Paul Adom Otchere is evidently unhappy with.
“Investigative journalists have forgotten their work, they can’t open their eyes and look at it, they don’t want to talk about it because this is not a Ghanaian company. If this were a Ghanaian Company by now it will be headline news… and they’ll be talking about it because it is a Ghanaian company. Why do we do that to ourselves?”
“I’m charging all the investigative journalists tonight big and small, please let us hear you on this one,” he urged.
Adom-Otchere who says he has spoken to persons from Kroll Associates noted that he is shocked no journalists has shown interest in the matter adding that the company is also shocked the matter didn’t escalate after the report was released.
“When the Auditor General published it, they thought they were in trouble because if this was in England, they will be in trouble right away,” he stated.
He further noted that journalists must be ashamed for fighting against Ghanaian companies whilst leaving foreign ones to get away with flouting the laws of the land.
“All the investigative journalists we should bow down our heads in shame. This is Kwame Nkrumah’s republic where when something concerns a foreign company, we don’t look at it irrespective of how much is taken… all we do is to pull down our local companies. Once they do something wrong, they should close down the company and put the person in jail.”
Paul Adom-Otchere further mocked the Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo for failing to take action against the company.
“Mr Auditor General have you seen that nobody cares about your report on Kroll? What happened to your powers of surcharging, who are you going to surcharge, why haven’t you surcharged? You said the money should be paid immediately, have you followeb up… if it were a local company you will be talking about surcharging… what are you doing about Kroll?” he quizzed.