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Premix scandal: Group petitions CID to probe Fisheries Minister, others

Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

A civil society group calling itself the Fisheries Alliance, has petitioned the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, to investigate the suspected premix fuel diversion scandal.

In a letter to the CID, the Alliance cited President Nana Akufo-Addo’s directive to ensure investigations into any corruption allegations against his appointees as the reason for their action.

Of concern to the group, are the perceived shortcomings on the part of Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture.

It wants her role in the entire controversy investigated, especially her decision to appoint her brother Joseph Botchwey, as the acting Administrator of the National Premix Secretariat.

The group contends that, there may be a conflict of interest situation, and added that her brother’s appointment may not have been lawful.

It also questioned why the “Minister and the Chairman of the Premix Committee refused to respond to the letters written to them on the suspected diversions from February to November 17, 2017, by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), why they also refused to take steps to stop the diversions which rather increased over the period.”

Another question on the group’s mind is, “why the Hon. Minister refused to respond to the letter written to her by the Hon. Minister for Energy and Petroleum on May 16, 2017, reminding her of all the earlier letters written to her by the NPA.”

Background

At least 200 cases of premix fuel diversions have been cited by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), since January 2017.

The Ministry of Energy, in May 2017, subsequently ordered the Fisheries Ministry to probe the companies alleged to be complicit in the fuel diversion.

If found to have fallen foul of the law, the companies in question were to be suspended indefinitely.

But as at November 2017, companies cited for the diversion of fuel were still operating, and no investigation had been conducted, per Citi News‘ checks.

When quizzed on her role in the scandal by Citi News, Mrs. Afoley Quaye said the NPA was in a better position to act on the widespread diversion of premix fuel, because the Ministry did not have a tracking system to identify culprits.

The Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, also defended her decision to appoint her brother as the acting Administrator of the National Premix Secretariat saying he was competent enough.

Find the full petition below

RE-SUSPECTED DIVERSION OF PREMIX FUEL:  PETITION FOR INVESTIGATIONS AND POSSIBLE PROSECUTION

The Fisheries Alliance is a Civil Society Groupings with interest in the fishing industry and comprises amongst others representatives from Canoe Fishermen Council, National Association of Fish Processors and Traders, National Inshore Fisheries Association amongst others.

The Alliance has been following with keen interest the ongoing media exposé regarding the suspected diversion of some 249 tankers of premix fuel and finds responses particularly from the Chairman of the Premix Committee and the Hon. Minister responsible for Fisheries very interesting and demanding further investigation.

The Alliance, has painstakingly obtained available copies of all the letters written by the National Petroleum Authority and has thoroughly studied them. (here-in attached)

The Alliance has, therefore, agreed to officially launch a complaint on the subject matter to your distinguished office.

WE are aware of your resolve to fight corruption and wish to bring to your attention for full enquiry the following;

  1. The role of the Hon. Minister, Mrs. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye in the entire controversy,
  2. The role of the Chairman of the Premix Committee, Nii Lantey Bannerman in the suspected diversions,
  3. The admission by the Hon. Minister on public radio that she has engaged her blood brother as the administrator of the premix secretariat and if the said engagement was done in accordance with law and whether or not conflict of interest situation did not arise
  4. Why the Hon. Minister and the Chairman Premix Committee refused to respond to the letters written to them on the suspected diversions from February to November 17 by the National Petroleum Authority, Why they also refused to take steps to stop the diversions which rather increased over the period.
  5. Why the Hon. Minister refused to respond to the letter written to her by the Hon. Minister for Energy and Petroleum on May 16, 2017 reminding her of all the earlier letters written to her by the NPA.
  6. Why the Hon. Minister of Fisheries refused to respond to the letter written to her by the Canoe Fishermen Council, who are the end users of the Premix Fuel about their suspicion of diversion and why she refused to act on same.

In line with H.E the President’s campaign and continues pledge to investigate all allegations of corruption, it is our fervent hope that this matter will be fully investigated.

We will be grateful if this service is done to Ghanaians.

 

Thank you,

Yours faithfully

Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah

Convener

Fisheries Alliance

Tel: 0244817020,

By: Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana