3.6.09

Scandal at Sports Ministry: Mills seeks answers

President Mills has instructed the Minister of Sports, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, to present a detailed written response to an alleged gross financial malfeasance he has been involved in at his ministry.
In a report addressed to the President John Evans Atta Mills, a copy of which was intercepted by Asempa FM, the Principal Accountant at the Sport Ministry, chronicled a long list of transactions and requests made by the minister since assuming office three months ago.The minister is said to have demanded monies amounting to several thousands of Ghana cedis in lieu of expenses made on behalf of the Black Stars. He allegedly made requests for monies for unofficial expenses.
The minister is also said to have travelled with his girlfriend to the finals of the CHAN tournament played early February in Abidjan and charged the cost to his ministry, contrary to advice from his office.The document also mentions the minister as allegedly taking $2000 as imprest to cater for hotel bills and other expenses at the tournament but made the imprest holder of this Sports Ministry pay for the expenses.According to the document, while the minister claimed top guns of the NDC government had paid $10,000 as landing charges for the aircraft which conveyed the government officials to the CHAN, he turned round to demand a refund of the amount from the ministry.
“The accountant released the money ($10,000) to him through the Chief Director. The minister could not produce receipt to date,” the report claimed.It continued that the minister had taken per diem of GH¢2,000 for the Ghana-Benin match in Kumasi “though he was told that his maximum per diem entitlement was GH¢1,120.
In what appeared to be the biggest transaction entered on the instruction of the minister, the document said Mr Mubarak had signed a covering letter to the Ministry of Finance demanding the release of a whopping GH¢1,410,051.58 to the National Sports Council (NSC) when the Office of the Chief of Staff had not been consulted.
The report also mentioned the minister to have personally arranged accommodation and feeding expenses of the Black Stars players and officials in Kenya and Sudan in pre-match campings, without the involvement of any other official of the his ministry.The last charge in the six point report claimed the Hon Mubarak had requested a refund of GH¢674.02 as expenses for baby oil, baby food and other household items although he was advised against such requests.
The minister is said to have presented an oral response to the president Tuesday but was asked to return with a more detailed written response.The unfolding saga is reminiscent of the story of Mallam Issah who was jailed on charges of theft during the previous administration.

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