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PAC threatens to summon EOCO over GH¢1.5m case

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EOCOThe Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has threatened to summon the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) before it to explain why it could not retrieve GH¢1.5 million stolen by a cashier of the Ghana Railway Company Limited.

According to Mr John Essel, the Acting Managing Director of the company, attempts by the EOCO to retrieve the money had yielded no results.

The Auditor General’s Report for 2014 revealed that the company’s GH¢1.5 million could not be accounted for, for which the report recommended that management should pursue the case seriously.

However, interventions and efforts put in place by the EOCO to retrieve the money had not been successful.

The management of the company appeared before the PAC to respond to some infractions detected by the Auditor-General in the 2014 audited accounts of the Ghana Railway Company.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, the Deputy Chair of PAC and Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South, expressed displeasure at the inability of EOCO to retrieve the stolen money and threatened to haul EOCO before the Committee to explain its failure to do that.

“I think we should have EOCO appearing before us [PAC] and we will flag this and ask them to shed light on the matter. So I will crave your indulgence to put this on hold and at the opportune time we will revisit it,” he said.

At the sitting, Mr Alidu Abubakar Sadique, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), said the outfit had put a stop to the leasing out of railway lands to private developers.

Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a member of the PAC and MP for Atwima Nwabiagya North, had expressed fear that the redevelopment of the sector may encounter some difficulties as the landed properties of the company had been leased to private firms and individuals.

Mr Saddique said the benefits of redeveloping the sector far outweighed the leasing of their landed properties and would never indulge in such activities again adding that the company had decided not to renew any of the leased lands when they expired.

“Mr Chairman, with regards to the leases that were made earlier on by the Railway Company, the Railway Development Authority has decided that no leases will be granted anymore on railway lands. All those leases which will expire will not be renewed,” he said.

“Wherever the leases are infringing on any developmental agenda or those that will affect any construction work of the Railway Company, we, in collaboration with the relevant city or district authorities, shall demolish it. This is a government policy and we don’t have any other alternative,” Mr Saddique said.

Source: GNA

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