Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and other employees of the commission were among a group of 40 people who benefitted from the auction of vehicles belonging to the EC in 2013 at very ridiculous prices.
The EC disposed of 40 vehicles after a decision had been taken by the management, headed by Dr Afari-Gyan, to auction them so that some employees could purchase some of them by way of motivation.
The lowest price was GH¢749 and the highest being GH¢3,745.
Dr Afari-Gyan grabbed a 2008-model Nissan Urvan mini bus for a paltry GH¢2,675.
This came to light when officials of the commission, led by the embattled Chairperson, Charlotte Osei, appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament yesterday to answer queries raised in the 2015 Auditor-General’s report. It indicated that at the time of the audit the commission had auctioned 40 vehicles but details of the vehicles were not provided to enable the auditors know the cost and the accumulated depreciation.
The commission, according to the report, raised only GH¢83,000 from the auction of the 40 vehicles but failed to provide the list of the vehicles so auctioned.
The EC chairperson was supported by one of her deputies, Amadu Sulley. The two were recently in the news for openly berating each other over allegations of corruption and abuse of office.
At the sitting yesterday, Mr Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chairman of the commission in-charge of Operations and his boss provided a detailed information on the auctioned vehicles, including all the beneficiaries and the prices they were sold for.
Most of the vehicles were manufactured in 2007 with Dr Afari-Gyan taking home the 2008 model which was purchased by the EC at GH¢34,358.
A 2007 double-cabin Nissan pick-up with registration number GV 48 Y, was also sold to one Saeed Mohammed at the cost of GH¢749.
The highest-valued auctioned vehicles were sold to two individuals – George Boison and Modestar Asungunah – at the cost of GH¢3,745 each.
The vehicles were two Peugeot Boxer mini buses manufactured in 2007 and were each bought at GH¢96,015 by the EC.
Two others – Augustine Okrah and Dongyile Guri – purchased double-cabin Nissan pick-ups at GH¢1,070; but the original price was GH¢18,683 each.
Christiana Bosompem also bought a vehicle at GH¢2,000 and later topped it up with GH¢140. The EC officials did not disclose which vehicle it was.
A member of the PAC, Ras Mubarak, wanted to know whether Saeed Mohammed, who bought the Nissan pick-up, was an employee of the commission, but the chairperson could not supply the answer, saying unless she verified from the commission’s records.
The chairman of the committee, James Klutse Avedzi, asked whether it was a deliberate policy for the commission to auction its vehicles to employees.
Responding to the chairman’s question, Mr Amadu Sulley said it was not a deliberate policy and that the auction is open to the public and interested employees are asked to participate.
He said usually, it is the employees who are about to retire from the commission or those who have already retired that are encouraged to participate in the auction as a form of motivation to them.
He said all the employees are made to go through the normal process before the vehicles are auctioned to them.
The PAC chairman asked Mrs Charlotte Osei – who could not provide the names of the auctioneers, the date on which the auction was done as well as the official advertisement announcing the intended auction – to provide those important information to the committee to help in its work.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr