Adjabeng Antwi-Adjei, the interdicted Chief Executive Officer of the Export Development & Investment Fund (EDIF), has warned Prof Francis Dodoo, the fund’s board chairman, not to associate him with any act of fraud or impropriety since he has not committed any such crime.
Mr. Antwi-Adjei told CITY&BUSINESS GUIDE on telephone that since he started work at EDIF in 2002 as Director of Business Development, until his appointment as CEO recently, each year, Ernst & Young, an international auditing firm, always audited EDIF’s management.
According to him, there was no single instance where the management had been involved in any fraudulent activity.
Noting that even the audit conducted by the aforementioned organisation for 2010 was yet to be released, the CEO said, “I find it exceptionally strange that such a treatment is being meted to us, especially when we have not involved ourselves in any act of impropriety whatsoever.”
According to him, he would not have reacted to the allegations but for the damaging of their reputation by Professor Dodoo and his 4-man team.
A fortnight ago in Accra, Prof Dodoo, Pamela Addo and Juliet Asante announced the interdiction of some officers of EDIF.
Apart from Mr. Antwi-Adjei, other officers interdicted were the Director of Audit, Kobina Ohemeng Ntiamoah and former Director of Finance, Atta Quansah.
Mr. Antwi-Adjei continued: “The fact that he has associated me with embezzlement is the reason why I am reacting. All along, I have decided not to talk but for him to just come and say that there has been embezzlement, that is why I am saying there hasn’t been any.
“Every year, we have our accounts audited by Ernst & Young. They haven’t found anything wrong with us.
“Prof. Dodoo just joined EDIF on March 17, this year. He has not even spent six months there, let alone conduct an audit to arrive at such a hasty conclusion,” he added.
“How did he know that there is embezzlement or fraud? It is just his assumption. He has no evidence.
“If he says there is embezzlement, has there been any audit report to incriminate us so far? Also, why is the Auditor-General now bringing in auditors to undertake an audit then?
“The whole thing seemed as if he had planned something to implement. But you know what? I kept my cool because I had not done anything and never supplied anything.
“No reasons whatsoever were given for our interdiction.
Barely two months after he joined the EDIF board, had he given me a query about this same issue of not seeking board approval? But I told him the global budget had already been approved for the grant already and also that for the credit within the total EDIF budget approved by the previous board.”
Mr. Antwi-Adjei questioned why the board had conducted investigations into their activities; and yet refused to let the affected officers know the outcome. He said the board chairman had the notion that some fraud had been committed.
“When we came home on the May 30, 2011, another letter came from them to interdict us on June 23, and the purpose of the interdiction was to investigate the alleged fraud and our complicity, if any.
“Initially, they thought the farms we have documented never existed. And they believed that we have made approval of some cheques so that the farmers would go and withdraw them so we would share.
“They sent consultants but only God knows whether they went through the tender board to be appropriately selected to undertake such a venture. And this involved a whopping GH¢51, 434”.
By December 23, 2011, the findings of the investigations are expected to be made known to determine the fate of the officers.
Meanwhile, other countries in the West African sub-region are said to be seriously seeking to hire the services of the interdicted officers to compete with Ghana on the Mango Project.
With their interdiction, the mango, butternuts squash and potato export projects are on hold, and this means a huge loss of revenue to Ghana.
Source: CITY&BUSINESS GUIDE
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