Five years after his US$1 million Kroll Associates scandal, which got the then Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, eventually sacked by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, for demanding work done to warrant the colossal payment, the 81-year old Yaw Osafo Maafo, now a Senior Presidential Advisor is out sermonizing about corruption.
The ex-Senior Minister, is bemoaning how corruption is growing from bad to worse in the church-loving country which calls for retrospection by both the church and the Akufo-Addo government to find practical solutions to reduce the menace.
He spoke at the 23rd General Meeting of Presbyterian Church of Ghana at Kwahu Abetifi in the Eastern Region on Saturday August 19, 2023.
MR Osafo-Maafo, a former Minister of Finance in the John Kufuor administration, questioned the quality of moral impact of the Church on 70PERCENT of Ghanaians who profess to be Christians.
“If there is that much decay in our body politics, the Christian community has a role to play. 72% of the population is Christianity so what kind of message do we continuously give to that population of the country, what kind of moral lesson are we able to put through this huge percentage?
“If we are not able to do anything to make certain changes then Christianity itself has a problem in terms of making our words work.”
Acting on behalf of the government, the then Senior Minister, signed a deal with Kroll and Associates for a value-for-money audit of some projects, identifying wrongdoers and recovering the assets of the said wrongdoers.
But after an audit of that deal, the Auditor-General, concluded that Kroll and Associates, had been paid $1 million for no work done.
Mr Domelevo then surcharged the Senior Minister, the four officials of the Ministry of Finance and Kroll and Associates GH¢5,510,353.73.
Subsequently, Mr Osafo-Maafo and the officials of the Ministry of Finance in 2019, dragged the Auditor General to the High Court and prayed the court to set the surcharge aside. They took the view that the Auditor-General came to a wrong conclusion when he said there was no work done by Kroll and Associates.
After months, the court presided over by Justice Afia Asare Botwe ruled that Auditor-General, Mr Domelevo, breached the rules of natural justice in his handling of the audit process for the $1 million Kroll and Associates deal.
By this judgement, the Senior Minister and the five others are no longer required to refund the $1 million.
Mr Domelevo, had issued the surcharged against Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Michael Ayensu, Abraham Kofi Tawiah, Patrick Nomo, and Eva Asselba Mends, all officials of the Ministry of Finance, and a UK firm, Kroll and Associates.
Years on Mr Osafo-Maafo, has found his voice, saying the seriousness of the graft menace requires stakeholders, particularly the church and government to go back to the drawing board.
“I think we need to go back and visit the drawing board to see what we should do as a Christian group to influence the behavior of the system, is it that your preaching’s your moral lessons are now not effective?
“We should ask few questions, if indeed 70% of us are Christians and corruption begins to go from bad to worse what is really happening we need to do some retrospection and as a country together with the government take certain actions to redeem the nation from corruption.”
He said practical actions are required beyond the admonishing against corruption.
“We can’t allow to just talk about it and continue to talk about it and not do anything about it.”
Yaw Osafo-Maafo, said the fight against illegal mining menace, which is another manifestation of corruption, has gone beyond deployment of army, rather requires moral resetting of the country.
“Look at what galamsey is doing to the land should we allow money a few people want to make to even destroy the places of water we need to drink. There are areas that we can’t even purify the water, and where you can, we are spending about three times what we used to spend to purify the water.
“How do we go that way and is this not happening in the direct eyes of our chiefs, don’t they give these lands for the galamsey, are they not connected, are we doing the galamsey outside or inside Ghana, if it is inside Ghana are people not seeing it going on “
“People see it, people condone because the beneficiaries are many and varied. The President who once said that he is putting his presidency on the line so what is happening.
“It is not something that you need the army to solve it is a moral problem and therefore Christianity comes in what morals are we teaching” Mr. Osafo Maafo said.
The Senior Presidential Advisor, said that he runs his house like a Presbyterian Mission House.
Explaining how this is so, the senior politician said that although he is a Methodist, he was trained by the Presbyterians.
He added that his wife also had a lot of training from the Presbyterians, even though she is not one, making it a situation of his house technically being Presbyterian.
“I was baptized a Methodist, confirmed a Methodist, but trained by the Presbyterians. So, I always say that if I am what I am today, I owe it to the Presbyterians. It’s a fact. And to add insult to injury, my wife was not only trained by the Presbyterians, but she went to the famous Agogo Women Training College.
“So, my house is run like a Presbyterian Mission House,” he explained.