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Ammishaddai under heightened pressure over his stay at GRA

Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) has come under intense pressure to abdicate their positions after attainting the mandatory retirement ages.

A group calling itself the Concerned Citizens of Ghana at a press conference addresses by Charles Tuffour, Kingsford Nana-Oduro Dickson and Sabestian Permor Ampomah; who are the convener, Secretary and member respectively said their call was in furtherance to a petition filed at the Special Prosecutor’s Office.

They noted that the continued stay of the two top officers amounts to selective justice in view of the fact that other officers including Colonel (Retired) Damoah was removed under similar instances .

Read excerpts of the statement below;

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press, fellows of the concerned citizens of Ghana group and everyone present here. We thank you for joining us today and we do appreciate your time and attention as we bring to your attention on the reasons for our Urgent Call for the Immediate Removal of GRA Boss Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah.

We, concerned citizens of Ghana, find it imperative to bring to the forefront a matter of utmost importance that has unfortunately been met with silence despite diligent efforts to address it through official channels. Our concern revolves around the continued tenure of Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah as the Commissioner General of the Customs Division within the Ghana Revenue Authority.

It is regrettable to note that, following the selective justice of the Special Prosecutor, who in all his conscious effort ensured the removal of Colonel Damoah RTD. from office as the GRA boss making Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai the beneficiary as his successor, has deliberately refused to apply same principle to ensure that, the commissioner general hangs his pen due to his due pension. We concerned citizens of Ghana, who are much concerned about the high level of unemployment rate in the country, took it upon ourselves to petition the OSP and even sent a reminder letter to his office months after our initial petition was submitted but in all our plight to ensure that the constitution is rightfully upheld, the OSP, speaker of parliament, the minority and majority leadership and GRA board have all turned deaf ears to our plea, confirming our suspicions that they have deliberately decided to turn a deaf ear to our petition and connived with the commissioner general and some top level officials at the GRA who are due for retirement but are still at post for their personal gains.

Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai’s term has purportedly extended beyond the legally stipulated period, raising significant questions about the adherence to established policies, particularly the government’s stance on ending contract extensions for agencies and departments. We draw attention to the precedent set by the government in applying this principle to officials such as the immediate past Auditor General, Mr. Domelovo, Col. Damoah RTD., and Col. Diawuo RTD. Why then is Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai exempt from the same standards?

It is disconcerting that almost two years after the expiration of his one-year contract extension in 2021, Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai continues to occupy his position. This has financial implications for the country, with taxpayers bearing the burden of a prolonged contract and its associated benefits, especially in the current economic climate.

Our sources indicate that the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofor- Atta, and the Board Chairman of the GRA are allegedly contemplating a two to three-year contract extension for Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai. We question the rationale behind such a decision, considering there are numerous qualified Ghanaians capable of assuming this role. This move not only raises concerns about fiscal responsibility but also exacerbates the issue of unemployment in the country.

The persistent silence on these matters fuels our suspicion that something untoward may be occurring between the government and the GRA Boss, potentially to the detriment of the entire nation. We call for transparency and accountability in addressing these concerns to safeguard the integrity of our institutions and maintain public trust.

In light of these concerns and the alleged illegal borrowing of $75 million from the GRA’s balance sheet, as cited in the 2022 Annual Public Debt Report, we formally request a comprehensive investigation into these matters. We have exhausted official channels by petitioning the GRA Board, the President of Ghana, the Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Speaker of Parliament, yet our concerns remain unanswered.

We trust that relevant investigative bodies will act promptly and transparently to address these serious allegations and uphold the principles of good governance that our democracy stands for.

In addition we want to bring to your attention that, we intended to embark of a picketing at the headquarters of the GRA and upon our engagement with the greater Accra regional police command, we were told that police can not provide security through this festive season, commencing from Friday, December 1, 2023 to January 2015, since at this period maximum security is required due to the high levels of reported crimes. In view of this we would like to bring to your notice that, we will send official communication to the greater Accra police command informing them about the next date for our picketing outside the date they themselves provided and it will interest you to know that, our picketing will be the first and massive demonstration in the coming year, should our concerns be thrown to the dogs.

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