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To return or not to return: The dilemma of Daniel Domelevo as he resumes work today

After being forced by President Akufo-Addo to proceed on leave for 123 days which was later extended by 44 more days to include his leave for 2020, Daniel Yao Domelevo, the Auditor-General is to resume work today, March 3, 2021.

But it seems his return to the Audit Service is hit with another controversial situation where the Audit Service Board led by the Board Chairman Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman is challenging the Date of Birth and nationality of Daniel Yao Domelevo.

According to the Audit Service Board, Daniel Yao Domelevo is a Togolese born on June 1, 1960, and was due for retirement on June 1, 2020.

In a series of correspondence between the Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Prof. Edward Dua Agyeman and Domelevo, available to GhanaWeb, the Audit Service Board said it had discovered such irregularities and anomalies and requested an explanation.

The Audit Service Board said in a letter dated 26 February 2021: “Records at the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) completed and signed by you indicate your date of birth as 1 June 1960 when you joined the scheme on 1 October 1978. The records show that you stated your tribe as Togolese and a non-Ghanaian. That your hometown is Agbatofe.”

“On 25 October 1992, you completed and signed a SSNIT Change of Beneficiary Nomination form, stating your nationality as a Ghanaian and your hometown as Ada in the Greater Accra Region. The date of birth on your Ghanaian passport number A45800, issued on 28 February 1996 is 1 June 1961. That place of birth is stated as Kumasi, Ashanti Region,” the Audit Service Board stated.

Domelevo in a reply explained that his grandfather was a native of Ada in the Greater Accra Region but migrated to Togo and stayed at Agbatofe.

He indicated that his father Augustine Domelevo migrated from Togo to the then Gold Coast.

“Either my father wrongly mentioned Agbatofe in Togo as his home town to me, or I misconstrued it at the time… My mother is also a Ghanaian,” he explained.

On his date of birth, however, Domelevo explained that he noticed that the 1960 date of birth was a mistake “when I checked my information in the baptismal register of the Catholic Church in Adeemmra”.

“The register has Yaw as part of my name and also provides my date of birth as 1 June 1961 – this corresponds with Thursday or Yaw- the day of the week on which I was born,” Domelevo added.

“I was born in Kumasi and my mother in less than three weeks after my birth, returned to Kwahu Adeemmra (with me) and I was baptized in June 1961.”

On Domelevo’s reference to his baptismal certificate to corroborate his date of birth, the Board said that the document “is not a valid document to authenticate your date of birth”.

The Board argued that Domelevo’s reference to a Parish Priest and provision of the priest’s contact for further verification of his date of birth was not admissible.

“Observation of your responses and explanations contained in your above reference letter make your date of birth and Ghanaian nationality even more doubtful and clearly establish that you have made false statements contrary to law,” the Audit Service Board argued in its latest document dated March 2, 2021.

In furtherance of their avowed agenda to see the back of Domelevo, the Board insisted: “Records made available to the Board indicate that your date of retirement was 1 June 2020 and as far as the Audit Service is concerned you are deemed to have retired.”

“By a copy of this letter, the Board is informing the president who is your appointing authority to take the necessary action. Additionally, the Board is making available to the president all the relevant documents at our disposal.”

The story of Daniel Yao Domelevo so far

Daniel Yao Domelevo was asked to proceed on a controversial accumulated leave of 123 days in a letter signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President on behalf of the President. The President later extended the leave by 44 more days to include Domelevo’s leave for 2020, calculating from his 2017 to 2019 working years.

He was said to have made use of only nine out of his 132 annual leave days since assuming office in December 2016.

Earlier this year, there were unconfirmed media reports that the Auditor General was to resume work on January 11, 2021, but Domelevo in a social media post clarified that the forced leave would rather end on March 2, 2021.

He disclosed that he will, however, go to the office on March 3rd.

About 1,000 Ghanaians both home and abroad, led by Korieh Duodu and Lolan Sagoe-Moses signed a petition presented to the presidency demanding a reversal of the leave directive.

They noted that the president’s directive, issued in a letter dated 30 June 2020, renders the Auditor-General, an independent constitutional officer mandated with auditing the accounts of all Ghanaian public institutions incapable of performing his duties.

But the president insisted that the leave order could not be reversed.

Domelevo, Osafo Maafo and Kroll Associates deal

Daniel Yao Domelevo in 2018 surcharged then Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo and four officials of the Ministry of Finance for superintending over the payment of some US$1 million to Kroll & Associates by the Ministry of Finance.

He explained that there was no evidence of work done by Kroll, yet money was paid by the Ministry of Finance.

In December 2019, the Senior Minister moved to challenge the $1 million surcharge against him.

And in May 2020, Domelevo was controversially found guilty of contempt of court for failing to respond to the suit.

Yaw Osafo Maafo and the four other officials from the Ministry of Finance sued Domelevo to clear their names in relation to what was said to be breaches of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) that resulted in their paying US$1 million to Kroll and Associates.

They maintain that the Auditor-General erred in law and professional procedures.

The Akufo-Addo administration also maintains that Daniel Yao Domelevo did not go through proper constitutional practices before going public and announcing the findings.

The latest government official to emphasize the position of Government is Albert Kan-Dapaah when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee.

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