A petition has been brought before the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, against former President John Dramani Mahama and his then-Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah over transfer of GHc40m BOST Cash when in government.
The petitioners, who are part of a group known as the Centre for National Affairs, want the two investigated over an alleged transfer of over GHc40 million from Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) to the presidency between August 2015 and early January 2017.
“We wish to stand on provisions in the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), Section 3(1a and 1b), which empowers your office to investigate and prosecute alleged or suspected corruption and corruption-related offences under the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and any other relevant law involving public officers, politically exposed persons and persons in the private sector to call on your office to initiate an investigation into the said account.”
In an interview with CITI FM, Executive Director for the Centre, Samuel Odame Lartey, alleged impropriety on the part of the former President John Mahama and his then-Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah, hence their demand for a probe.
They claimed the recipient’s account was Chief of Staff’s Sundries Account No. 1, with account number 1018631473188 at the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).
The monthly payments were made between August 2015 to January 2017 while Julius Debrah was Chief of Staff under the Mahama administration.
Julius Debrah was appointed in February 2015 but the Center for National Affairs, CNA claims that according to documents available to it, the payments began from August 28, 2015, with the transfer of ¢3.5 million.
The next payment was ¢3 million in October 2015 and another ¢3 million on November 12, 2015. On December 23, 2015, ¢2 million was transferred.
Payments resumed in 2016 on February 05, March 15, April 15 and May 13 with the release of ¢2.5 million for each of the four months. On June 09, July 15 and August 24 that year BOST in every month transferred ¢3 million into the account.
Months to the 2016 elections in December, BOST paid ¢3.5 million on September 29 and November 17. The last payment of ¢3m was made January 3, 2017 – four days before the inauguration of a new government.
The group feels the account is unlawful “as there is no statutory approval with regards to the said account in the public domain,” the group argued, adding that “the reasons for payment from BOST to be made into the said account and the nature and manner by which these monies were used are not known to the public.”
The reason for such directives to be made is also unknown to the populace of this nation, according to the petitioners.
BOST has consistently found itself in the news for the wrong reasons, deepening growing public perception of deep-seated corruption at that stage agency.