The Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) has arrested six regional directors of the National Service Scheme (NSS) in connection with ongoing investigations into the GH¢7.9 million scandal at the scheme.
They are Nana Fosu Amankwa Agyapong, Eastern Region; Alhaji Shaibu Abiru, Northern; George Naanwinyelle Dasah, Upper East; Gabriel Nyorkeh, Volta; Michael Tottime, Western, and Seth Asiedu, Greater Accra.
Also apprehended is the Kwahu North (Afram Plains) District Director of the scheme, Samuel Brempong.
27 Granted bail
Meanwhile, 27 district directors who were picked up last week Wednesday have been granted bail, with two sureties each to be justified.
They are also to report twice a week to the BNI.
They are Emmanuel Asiedu Boafo, Kwahu West; Frank Akoto Acquah, Atwima Kwanwoma; Abdul Aziz Armah, Agona Swedru; Batholomew Hanny, Wassa Amenfi East; Regina Kyanoo, Lambussie Kani, and Anastasia Zanoo, Ga South.
Others are Noah Kofi Boadi, Asante Akim South; Ali Issah, Bole; Gideon Kumase, Ga West; Joseph Kumah, Nanumba North; Alhassan Yahaya, Gushegu; Iddrisu Mohammed Gunu, Tolon; Siibu Mahama, West and North Gonja; Mohammed Abu Hanifah, Nanumba South, and Iddrisu Adam, Karaga.
Yet others are Hayford Bredzei, Ho; Alfred Mensah, Jomoro; John Sam, Asante Akim Central; Emmanuel Boafo Asiedu, Kumasi Metro, and Jones Tannor, Tano South.
The rest are Sulemana Alhassan, Asunafo South; Andrew Wak, Bawku West; Fidelis Bani, Hohoe; Seth Naorta Bekyire, Gomoa East; Godfred Hooney, Wassa Amenfi East; Benjamin Amponsah, Bia East and West; Mark Mwirii Jebuni, Saboba; Shaibu Malik, Mamprusi West, and Shaibu Mbema, Gonja East.
We mean business
“We have started arresting regional directors. We are working round the clock to ensure the taxpayer receives justice,” a source at the BNI noted while updating the Daily Graphic on what the bureau was doing to unravel the payment of GH¢7.9 million to 22,612 ghost national service persons for July 2014.
According to the source, the BNI was working diligently and was unfazed by comments on how it was working.
“We know what we are doing. We are working with utmost professionalism and know what to do at any particular point in time.
“This is not a nine-day wonder or a fluke. We mean business and will follow this case to its logical conclusion,” it said.
Vetting of payment vouchers
Meanwhile, the bureau is scrutinising the payment of allowances to service personnel until further notice.
The state is expected to save more than GH¢94 million annually following the move by the BNI to stop further looting of state resources through the payment of allowances to non-existent service persons.
Explaining the rationale behind the security service’s decision, a source close to the investigators told the Daily Graphic, “We are designing special payment vouchers for the purpose of paying allowances for August and September 2014.”
No hold on allowances
Denying rumours that the BNI had put a permanent freeze on allowances, it said, “We are only scrutinising payment vouchers to ensure that only genuinely registered NSS personnel are paid.”
It told the Daily Graphic that the rumours, which were being circulated among service personnel on social media, were “calculated to pit the unsuspecting personnel against the BNI to cover up the gargantuan fraud at the NSS perpetrated against the state”.
According to a BNI report available to the Daily Graphic, investigators discovered that district directors of the scheme were the sole signatories to the accounts opened in the name of the NSS at the district level.
It said it was also established that National Service directors in the districts and most managers of banks where NSS allowances were lodged “worked closely together in these dubious payments”.
Twenty-three directors of the NSS were alleged to have paid GH¢200,000 as bribe to BNI investigators to conceal the financial canker at the scheme.
The Executive Director of the NSS, Alhaji Alhassan Imoro, and five of his directors were last Friday ordered to step aside for investigations to continue, but two of his deputies have since been recalled.
A statement signed by the Board Chairman of the NSS, Mrs Gifty Mahama Bayira, and issued in Accra said a preliminary report from the BNI indicated that Mr Michael Kombor, who is in charge of Finance and Administration, and Madam Sophia Karen Akuako, the Deputy Director in charge of Operations, had not been cited for any wrongdoing