Friday, June 12, 2009

Frank Agyekum Confesses

Ex-Deputy Information Minister, Mr Frank Agyekum, yesterday confessed before the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) that he indeed wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, asking for full payment of an ¢869 million contract even though he knew the projects had not been completed.The contract, which was to renovate the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, was awarded to a company called Plexiform Ventures, owned by one Irene Lorwia, a lady speculated to be the sister-in-law of the then Sector Minister, Ex-Hon. Stephen Asamoah Boateng. Asamoah Boateng’s wife is called Zuleka Lorwia.According to sources, Mr Agyekum’s explanation to the BNI was that he signed a letter authorizing the Finance Ministry to release the Money, based on the advice of technocrats at his Ministry that it was okay to write the letter.Experts say Mr. Agyekum’s letter should have been based on a progress report and a payment certificate, which should have been prepared and endorsed by the project supervisor/Consultant and not on mere bill of quantities.Meanwhile, revelations emerging from the deal suggest that the only attachment to Mr Frank Agyekum’s letter asking for full payment of the contract sum was a mere bill of quantities supplied by the contractor, and therefore it should not have been ready for payment by December 31st last year.Mr Agyekum’s letter was written in November last year and but for the alertness of the Ministry of Finance officials, who rejected the request, the money would have been paid.Interestingly, even though the payment request was rejected in November last year, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Information and National Orientation sneaked behind his Sector Minister, Zita Okaikoi and signed another payment request dated May 29, 2009 to the Ministry of Finance, in the name of the minister without authorization.
Source:The Enquirer

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