‘Domelevo can go to hell’ – Audit Service Board Chair Screams

Auditor General Daniel Domelevo and Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo Auditor General Daniel Domelevo and Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Marfo

The Chairman of the Audit Service Board, has asked the Auditor General Daniel Domelevo to go to 'hell' with report that the keys to his office has been changed by the service, after he was asked by President Nana Akufo-Addo to proceed on a 167-day leave.

Dr Edward Duah Agyemang, who once occupied that same office disclosed on live radio that the Audit Service Board is fed up with the decision of the Auditor General to always rush to the media with developments at his office.

"What's this with Mr. Domelevo always running to the media. Is he a baby? We are fed up with Domelevo always going to the media. He can go wherever he wants to. When Mr. Domelevo left on the 1st of July, the board felt there was the need to secure his office so the locks were changed and the keys were left where they belong," he screamed.

It comes in the wake of reports that the Audit Service Board ordered the locks to his office to be changed.

The board chairman, currently works in the office of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, who has been in an accountability battle with Mr Domelevo over the US$1 Million Kroll Associate contract to investigate elements of the John Mahama government, including ex-COCOBOD boss, Dr. Stephen Opuni, for criminal prosecution.

The Senior Minister, has been surcharged by the Audit Service for his failure to justify the US$1million payment, because there is no work done to warrant payment.

Speaking to Francis Abban on the Morning Starr today, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, Dr. Duah-Agyemang said the keys to Mr Domelevo's office were changed because they were not sure who else had the old one.

Meanwhile, anti-Corruption campaigner, Vitus Azeem says the decision by the Audit Service Board to change the locks to the office of the Auditor-General is unfortunate.

"It's a bad perception. Coming from a president who said he was going to fight corruption and was tagged incorruptible by his people but unfortunately, personal interest supersedes national interest. But the way and manner Mr Domelevo, was asked to proceed on leave showed they want him out of the way and they are having a field day.

For them to change locks to Mr Domelevo's office is very unfortunate. I don't think it's the best approach and it's a dent on the image of the A-G's office," he said.

Some Ghanaians abroad petitioned the Presidency to bring back the Auditor General, saying the decision to ask him to go on leave was an affront to Ghana's democracy.

But responding to the petition, the Presidency said the various arguments being raised in the petition were first considered by the President before the directive was issued.

Also speaking on the matter, the Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has described the act of changing the locks to the Auditor General's office as appalling and ridiculous.

Dr Kojo Asante on Joy FM's Top Story Tuesday, said he was surprised that the head of an independent institution like Domelevo, who is to make public officials accountable is being treated in such a manner. "I have been speechless since I saw the video. This is a really low for our country. I had never thought that we will be seeing something like this and it is really appalling. "This is still the substantive Auditor General. So why would you go and change the lock to the office of someone on leave, because this doesn't make any sense," he stated. According to him, government's continuous attacks on independent institutions who are to protect the public purse and make public officials accountable could gravely affect the democratic system of the country. "This is over 20 years of democratic governance in this country and this is what we do. We have reduced our governance to this? And we are going to rationalize this?" he quizzed.

"I think anybody that has love for this country and people who want to do the right thing and work should never be treated this way.

"And if we start allowing some of these things to happen, we will completely run down all our institutions that we have built under the Fourth Republic," he stressed.

Dr Asante then called on President Akufo Addo to put a stop to actions that derails efforts to rid out corruption from the system.

For the CDD-Ghana fellow, such consistent attacks is embarrassing and damaging the reputation of the country abroad.

On June 29, President Akufo-Addo ordered Mr Domelevo to take his accumulated leave.

The vociferous Auditor-General was to take an initial 123 days but to start from July 1, but was later asked to take 167 days to include 2020 leave days. This decision was, however, opposed by some Civil Society Organisation, accusing the Akufo-Addo government of undermining the country's objective to fight corruption.

When the president, however, failed to accept the petition by the CSOs to call back Mr Domelevo, they took the matter to the Supreme Court and are awaiting trial.

On Tuesday, the Auditor-General was astonished to discover that the locks to his office had been changed when he went by in the afternoon to pick up some documents.

On his arrival at the premises, Mr Domelevo, noticed that he could not access his office because the locks had been changed on the instruction of the Board.

He said upon checking with them, the Board could neither confirm nor deny giving the instruction.

In a letter to the Auditor-General, Nana Asante Bediatuo, Executive Secretary to the president, had said, "We noted that the said letter dated is dated July 3, 2020, with an official reference number from the office of the Auditor-General, although you commenced your leave on July 1, 2020."

"If, however you have decided to include your annual leave for the year 2020, then it is expected that you will resume work after a well-deserved leave of 167 working days, with effect from July 1, 2020," the Presidency explained.

The Office of the President has maintained its directive for the Auditor-General (A-G) to proceed on his annual leave or risk being subjected to what it described as 'disciplinary control' to ensure adherence, adding that the move was backed by the law.

A day after Mr Domelevo started his leave, the Acting Auditor-General wrote to the court to confirm his satisfaction with the documents provided by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo in defence of his $1m surcharge in the Kroll Associate deal.

The Senior Minister was surcharged by Mr Domelevo for superintending the payment of $1million to Kroll and Associates Limited for some consultancy services but a disgruntled Osafo-Maafo had gone to court to challenge the decision.

However, the Acting Auditor-General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, said he was satisfied with the process and has proposed that the Supreme Court be informed appropriately about the development

Source: www.theheraldghana.com