Some members of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) are calling for the arrest of its chief executive, Kojo Bonsu, for misappropriation of public funds.
The members have threatened to further petition the Public Accounts Committee to invite and investigate Mr Bonsu for allegedly misappropriating millions of cedis, which were budgeted for specific projects in the metropolis.
According to them, Mr Kojo Bonsu has diverted the funds.
Leader of the disgruntled assembly members, Abraham Boadi, who is also the assemblyman for Nhyiaeso, told Class News that: “In the year 2014, we budgeted for the Rattray Park. We gave Kojo Bonsu GHS1million for the park at Asafo. He also requested GHS350, 000 for the fence at the Rattray Park.
“He also requested GHS1.456million for the preparation of the Rattray Park. And also we budgeted for GHS100 for the consultancy…the designs and the drawings of the park. So, in 2014, we budgeted for GHS 2,960,000.
“In 2015, Kojo Bonsu came to the assembly and said the project is about to complete, so, he needed more money. So, we budgeted for GHS650,340 for the completion of the park. We also gave him GHS300,000 additional money for the completion of the park.
“We gave him GHS100,000 for the maintenance of the park because the agreement was that we won’t charge at the park. So, that means we have to prepare an amount for the maintenance. We also gave him GHS100,000 for the regular operation of the park. So, in all, 2014 – 2015, we gave Kojo Bonsu GHS4,620,000. That is the projected budget the Assemble approved for Kojo Bonsu.”
Mr Boadi, however, said the assembly members were surprised when on 21 December 2015, in his Christmas message on radio, he said he had spent $4.4million on the Rattray Park.
According to the assembly member, the assembly budgets in cedis and not in dollars.
“So, we, as assembly members at the time, 2014 – 2015, were surprised that we spent all these monies on one project,” he added.
Mr Boadi said the assembly suspects foul play because Mr Bonsu did the Rattray project in the absence of the assembly. “He did it while the assembly was dissolved. So, we suspect foul means because that money is not in our budget and misappropriation of funds is against the law. It’s a crime, so, we are calling on the security agencies like EOCO, BNI, and other agencies to arrest him.”
He added: “At the same time, we have decided to write publicly to the Public Accounts Committee for investigations [to be launched against him] because we don’t understand. We are saying whether the park is beautiful or not, that money was not budgeted for the park.”
The assembly accused Mr Bonsu of using monies meant for other projects in Kumasi, such as the Abuabo drain, Friend’s Garden drain, KUMACA Assembly Hall, 200-seater library at Amakom Amankwatia and another 200-seater library at CPC, on the Rattray Park.
“He has used our money for the wrong projects and he needs to be invited to answer.”
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Sammy Gyamfi, has said the allegations are unfounded and have no basis whatsoever.
In his words: “Yes, it’s true KMA has exceeded its budget for the Kumasi Rattray Park project, but we exceeded for good reasons. The fact that an administration exceeds its budget in itself is not criminal”.
According to him, the KMA exceeded its budget because of “some fluctuations in the market”.
He also blamed the exchange rate for the rise in the cost of the project.
Mr Gyamfi insisted the other projects like the 200-seater library at Amankwatia and Abuoba drain projects are ongoing.
According to him, the assembly’s accounts is audited daily by staff of the Auditor-General’s Department and “we will also be audited by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department. At the end of the day, the process will vindicate us.”