Ghana’s Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo says he won’t cooperate with EOCO to investigate alleged procurement breaches against him

The Auditor-General, Daniel Yao Domelevo has in a letter to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), said that he will no longer cooperate in the investigations into alleged procurement breaches at his office.

Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelovo

The letter which was addressed to the Acting Executive Director of EOCO was signed by Mr Domelovo’s lawyer Thaddeus Sory. It was copied to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the Deputy Executive Director of EOCO.

The letter explained that EOCO has no mandate to investigate the alleged breaches as per the Economic and Organised Crime Act 2010, Act 804, as amended by the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act 2017, Act 959.

Mr Domelevo said that on November 7, 2019, he honoured an invitation by EOCO. 

He said on November 14, 2019, he was given a caution statement by officers of EOCO and was granted bail.

He stated that “a careful reading of your enabling law, the Economic and Organised Crime Act 2010, Act 804, as amended by the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act 2017, Act 959, and from discussions with my lawyers, I am of the firm belief that your office does not have the mandate to investigate any breaches under the Public Procurement Act."

"In fact, I am advised that the relevant provision in Act 959, which amended Act 804 is section 80, and therein your office's mandate to investigate corruption and corruption-related offences which have been defined to include procurement breaches has been taken away, thus this power your office purports to exercise now has been effectively taken away by the amendment contained in Section 79 of Act 959," he added.

"This clearly means that your office does not have the jurisdiction to investigate corruption-related offences which have been defined in Act 959 to include breaches of the Public Procurement Act."

Mr Domelovo said that by the letter he is asking EOCO to immediately stop the "illegal and unlawful investigation of the alleged procurement breach and render an unqualified apology to me and staff of the Ghana Audit Service within 5 working days from the date of receiving this letter."

In the letter, he explained that "whereas staff of the Ghana Audit Service were ready to submit themselves to investigations by the appropriate authorities, I am advised that you have no basis investigating or continuing further investigations."

Background

EOCO started investigating the Ghana Audit Service for alleged procurement breaches following a complaint by a private citizen that the Auditor General, the Deputy Auditor General (Finance and Administration), Mrs Roberta Assiamah-Appiah, and the Audit Service Board circumvented the procurement laws to purchase some vehicles for the Audit Service.

The petitioner said that the Audit Service had breached the Procurement Law, Act 663 in the procurement of vehicles worth almost GH¢6.2 million.

The petitioner, therefore, requested the EOCO investigate the Service and determine whether proper procedures were followed by the Entity Tender Committee (ETC) in procuring them.

“Recommend appropriate sanctions in accordance with the Public Procurement Act, Act 663 as amended,” the petitioner added.

However, Mr Domelevo denied all the allegations and described the petition as a “storm in a tea cup.”

EOCO has already started questioning staff of the Audit Service including Mr Domelevo himself.

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