The Chairman, Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) Dr James Avedzi Klutse, on Wednesday could not hide his anger when certain names repeatedly came up in connection with wrongful payments from the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF)
The chairman urged Mr Yaw Owusu Brempong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Fund, who gave evidence before the committee, to mention other names identified in financial infractions at the Fund, rather than a few whose names which kept coming up.
The names that kept coming up were that of Daniel Duku, former CEO of the Fund, Irene Anti-Mensah, the Personal Assistant of the former CEO; and her husband, Frank Aboagye Mensah, an Executive Assistant, and Charity Opoku, the former accountant.
Mr Brempong however, said in his evidence, that three of the persons-Daniel Duku, Frank Aboagye Mensah and Frank Aboagye Mensah, had admitted guilt in court, arranged and were making payments to the loans they took in the names of other companies.
By the arrangement, Mr Duku was to refund over GH¢15 million; Irene Anti Mensah and Frank Aboagye Mensah are both to pay back over GHC¢2 million.
The CEO said between 2012 and 2015, 205 loans, were granted to companies and about 90 per cent of those loans were fraudulently processed and disbursed, and the total of the principal amount involved was GH¢14.7 million, with interest accruing on those loans reaching GH¢42 million.
According to Mr Brempong, they had been working with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and the Bureau of National Investigations to investigate the case, which eventually went to court where the three persons decided to go under a section of the Courts Act to negotiate settlement of the wrongful payment.
“Two months ago, three out of the six, that is, Mr Duku and Mr and Mrs Mensah decided to go under the Section 35 of the Court’s Acts [Act 459] which I understand allowed them to negotiate settlement and compensation with the AG and plead guilty in Court.”
At a point during the hearing, Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah, MP for Keta and member of the Committee asked the CEO to explain why the Venture Capital Fund paid an amount of US$839,134 wrongfully to one Nana Kwame Adusei and Dr Prince Blankson, son and father respectively, who represented the Bethany Church for a property in Ridge in Accra.
Mr Brempong explained that the money was paid in 2011, there came the need to retrieve the money when it was realized the amount was wrongfully paid.
Venture Capital realized it had paid for land it did not receive, and according to the CEO, he had been in touch with Dr Blanskon, and had recovered an equivalent of GH¢610,0000 from him.
As for Nana Kwame, the Venture Capital Fund was working with the EOCO, to have him refund his part of the wrongful payment he received.