Suspicion that the Akufo-Addo government did not carry out an audit on the cocoa roads contracts after suspending the contracts in 2017 has thickened after the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COBOD) declared that the audit report is now a national secret.
According to Joseph Boahene Aidoo, the supposed audit report cannot be made available.
He declared the fatwa on Accra based Joy FM.
Shockingly, Mr. Joseph Boahene Aidoo said that for anybody to get a copy of the report they must go through a rigorous process. The last time the MP for Ashiaman demanded information from the Electoral Commission, even under the Right To Information Law, he was turned away.
The government’s stonewalling tactics around the cocoa roads audit report is only nourishing suspicion that the audit was never carried out and that the government had stopped the contract and created the need for audit as a cover story to steal public funds.
It has been emerging that the Chairman of the ad-hoc audit committee that was formed to do the cocoa roads audit, Alhaji Aminu Amadu, awarded himself the same audit contract. His company, Nyagsi Engineers, was what got the audit contract.
According to allegations, the audit of the cocoa roads cost the taxpayer a whopping US$10million.
The 2020 Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Mahama, over the weekend, accused the Akufo-Addo government of lying about auditing the road contracts, saying no such audit happened.
According to him, the suspension of the contracts to pave roads for cocoa growing communities was purely political and that if the Akufo-Addo government says what he is saying is a lie, it should publish the audit report and show by the report how the previous Mahama government had been corrupt in awarding the contracts as the government has claimed.
In the response, the NPP held a kneejerk press conference at which the party’s Director of Communications, Buabeng Asamoah, claimed that nobody had said the Mahama government had been corrupt in awarding the contracts.
Rather, he claimed that the government had awarded the contracts without making provisions for funding, even though the Mahama government had structured the project in such a way that COCOBOD will dedicate US$150million annually to the construction of cocoa roads.