The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has officially taken over the alleged corruption scandal at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).
It has consequently extended an invitation to the sacked Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Authority, Gifty Klenam, to appear before it today.
EOCO has also asked Ms Klenam’s sacked deputy, Eric Twum Amoako, to report before it for questioning.
A source at EOCO says the two individuals, who allegedly misappropriated $132,000 or GH¢580,800 during their tenure at GEPA, are to appear before the Executive Director of EOCO, K.K. Amoah, by June 12.
Ms. Klenam and Mr. Amoako, it would be recalled, reportedly collected $132,000 or GH¢580,800 for rent covering a period of two years in gross violation of state procurement laws.
A statement was issued later by the Public Relations Department of GEPA, denying the allegations.
The statement indicated at the time that “the Ghana Export Promotion Authority by this release denies the allegations as put in the media.”
It’s not clear if per her dismissal, she would be made to refund the rent advance paid to her and Eric Amoako.
Even though the ex-CEO and the authority denied the allegations, checks by Daily Guide indicated that she and her sacked deputy actually collected the said amount for their accommodation when GEPA is in desperate need of funds to boost its export promotion activities.
President Akufo-Addo was virtually forced to sack them to apparently save GEPA from sinking financially.
According to sources, workers at GEPA were seething with anger over the alleged reckless spending by Ms. Klenam, who was, on one hand, seen advocating for the promotion of non-traditional export commodities by introducing what she termed as One District, One Exportable commodity, and on another hand ‘blowing’ cash needed for the realization of such project, on her luxurious lifestyle.
The amount was said to have actually been cashed from First Atlantic Bank, Ghana and used for the rent.
The authority, in its response, failed to address the substantive issues that were raised against Ms Klenam and her deputy.
Reports have it that the CEO and her deputy, in a letter dated 23rd May, 2017, which was jointly signed by the two, ordered the Manager of First Atlantic Bank, Ghana Limited, to effect the transfer of “the cedi equivalent of $132,000 from account number 0360571101014 and credit same to account number 0360571101025.”
The letter said Mr. Twum was to receive the money on behalf of the authority, and that the money was subsequently withdrawn in two tranches, with $100,000 withdrawn on May 23, 2017 and $32,000 withdrawn on May 26, 2017.
Ms Klenam had reportedly parted with $72,000 as rent allowance at $3,000 a month for 24 months while her deputy Mr. Twum collected $60,000 at $2,500 a month for 24 months.
Again, Ms. Klenam has been accused of paying herself GH¢93,000 as clothing allowance and has also been accused of paying $19,500 for a training programme at Harvard University in the United States of America.
Furthermore, it’s alleged that she also authorized the purchase of two new Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles and two new Saloon cars for herself and her deputy and a new Nissan Teana car for her assistant.