Isaac Ashai Odamtten
THE ECONOMIC and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has reportedly charged former Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Tema, Isaac Ashai Odamtten, who is also the parliamentary candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Tema East Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, with fraud.
The matter borders on diversion of Tema Metropolitan Assembly’s revenue into private accounts.
The former MCE is likely to face the music alongside some private individuals who were allegedly involved in the deal which the anti-graft body has described as ‘embezzlement.’
EOCO has completed its investigations into the matter and awaiting advice from the Attorney General’s Department to commence with prosecution.
The amount involved in the said embezzlement of state revenue is around GH¢5.7 million after forensic audit conducted by the EOCO.
Responding to questions in connection with the case during a meet-the-press encounter held on Friday, Felix Mensah Nii Annan-La, MCE of Tema, said the AG would send the case to court very soon.
“It is not in the hands of EOCO again; it has gone beyond the head office of EOCO. They have finished their job and they have sent it to the Attorney General to take a final decision on it,” he said.
The former MCE is alleged to have awarded contracts to some private companies to collect revenue on behalf of the assembly during his tenure.
As part of the contracts, one of the private collectors, CTK GeoSys Ltd, solely printed bills and distributed to entities, shops and industries in the metropolis.
According to documents sighted by DAILY GUIDE, a private revenue collector allegedly diverted 30 per cent of the assembly’s revenue into a private account at the now defunct First Capital Plus Bank.
The private company, CTK GEOSys Ltd, in a letter to TMA, dated February 18, 2015 and signed by Captain Tei Azu, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), stated “we have agreed with our bank (First Capital Plus Bank) to open a receivable only account under the name GEOSYS/TMA.
“This account will only be used to manage the accounts of the Tax Revenue Management System (TRMS), provide information on the TRMS and ensure the system works efficiently,” according to the letter.
“From this account, we will require a standing order from TMA to state that 70 per cent of any deposit (cash, cheque or otherwise) for the payment of Property Rate and Business Operation Permit be transferred into a TMA account to be provided by the Finance Department of TMA and 30 per cent of the same deposits transferred into a GEOSYS account,” it added.
This was in spite of warning from the former finance officer of TMA, Nicholas Agbemadzi, against the breach of Financial Administration Law.
According to reports, some revenues collected were lodged into ‘illegal’ accounts since that function was ceded to a private company without authorisation from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department.
The NDC candidate has been in the United States since he won the primaries in Tema East.
From Vincent Kubi, TemaRead Full Story