NDC Dodges Court Over GH¢5.5m EC Cash

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) seems to be running away from a legal battle a dismissed accountant of the party has initiated, even as details are emerging about how the ruling party paid GH¢5,544,630 to the Electoral Commission (EC) – the reason for which is yet to be established.

Mathias Mokono Wilson, the accountant whose dismissal triggered the court action, has not succeeded in serving the writ on the party he served for 23 years, making him seek an order for substituted service.

Wilson is currently suing the NDC over his dismissal, claiming that the party gave him only a week’s notice instead of the mandatory three months to leave the party’s head office at Adabraka, Accra.

According to the lawyer for the aggrieved former NDC accountant, Nii Prince Ashie Kotey of Azinyo Chambers, the court bailiff had gone to the NDC headquarters three times with intent to serve the writ on the party but had not succeeded as the staff had been running away from the service.

Nii Prince said having failed to serve the NDC on February 10, 11 and 12, they were left with no other option than to go back to the court for an order for substituted service.

The court will hear the application on February 23, 2016, he told DAILY GUIDE yesterday.

Cash To EC

Mathias Wilson had claimed in his suit that the NDC paid the EC an amount of GH¢5,544,630 with no receipt issued on it.

The EC reportedly demanded physical cash instead of a cheque and the NDC, after cashing the cheques, loaded the GH¢5,544,630 in a van and handed it over to two EC staff for onward transmission to the Commission.

“The EC delegated two people – a man and a woman – with a huge van and collected the gargantuan cash of GH¢5,544,630.00 and as of 5th February, 2016, the 2nd Defendant (Asiedu Nketia) had still not accounted for the paid cash,” Mathias Wilson made the claims in the court documents he filed against his unlawful dismissal.

“Myself and Asiedu Nketia went to the bank and withdrew money on behalf of the EC,” the beleaguered accountant confirmed to Citi Fm in Accra last week.

The plaintiff claimed that he, together with Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC, and Ofosu Ampofo, Elections Director of the party, went to Societe Generale Ghana, Accra Main, Kokomlemle, to withdraw GH¢5,544,630 cash which was paid to the two men and that on 10th November last year, he drew a cheque of GH¢4,199,340 in favour of the EC.

Cheques Vrs Cash

He averred, however, that the Commission rejected the cheque claiming that “the Electoral Commission does not accept cheques but cash.”

He asserted that when the EC rejected the cheque, Mr Asiedu Nketia subsequently sent him to the bank for the cash.

“The bank manager informed Plaintiff that the cash was so much to be paid over the counter and so she will make payment orders to the Electoral Commission of Ghana. Asiedu Nketia, the 2nd Defendant, said ‘No’ and that they needed cash so the Plaintiff decided to issue two cheque payment vouchers on 7th December, 2015 for GH¢2,000,000.00 and the other one on the same 7th December, 2015 for GH¢2,199,340.00 and the said vouchers, according to the 2nd Defendant, were received by Gyanu Edgar, an employee of the Electoral Commission.”

No Receipts

According to Mr Wilson, no receipts were submitted to him as the accountant for his records regarding the GH¢5,544,630 payment by Asiedu Nketia to the EC and later the General Secretary informed him that two EC staff had come to collect the huge sum of money on behalf of the Commission.

Wilson claimed that upon receiving the said termination letter, he confronted Asiedu Nketia about the receipts of the GH¢5,544,630 paid to the EC but the General Secretary “walked him out of his office from the 3rd floor of 1st Defendant’s headquarters to the gate on 5th February, 2016.”

Cheque Details

Giving details of the payments to the EC, the dismissed accountant said there were different cheques he withdrew together with Mr Asiedu Nketia on different dates at Societe Generale on behalf of the EC, although he admitted that “I am not a signatory to the NDC account.”

Plaintiff averred, “The first cheque was GH¢630,000; the second cheque was GH¢357,000; the third cheque was GH¢2 million, then followed by GH¢2,199, 340; and then GH¢69,315; GH¢54,975; GH¢140,000 and GH¢100,000, totalling GH¢5,544, 630.”

One-Week Ultimatum

Mr Wilson said that he was protesting the one-week ultimatum given him because “there are a lot of cheques drawn on behalf of the EC which receipts I don’t have,” adding, “I can’t resign like that. I have to collect all the receipts, prepare everything and give out my resignation letter but they are asking me to go.”

He underscored, “If I go, they will tell me that I have embezzled money. They used me as a scapegoat. When I finished issuing the cheques then they fired me.”

Court Action

Apart from the party and its General Secretary, the Plaintiff is also suing Vida Addae, the Deputy Treasurer, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Dr Karl Mark-Arhin, Mahdi Gibril, Emmanuel S. Zumakpe, the Director of Administration, and six others for the wrongful dismissal.

He wants damages for not going on leave for 23 years and loss of gross salary at GH¢3,574.50 per month, multiplied by three months in lieu of notice.

The Plaintiff states that his salary of GH¢3,574.50 x 23 years x 2 will [amount] to GH¢164,427.00, plus the pay for three months (which is GH¢3,574.50 x 3); thus, his entire loss incomes amounting to GH¢175,150.50, excluding his leave allowance for the 23 years.