The immediate past Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr. George Aboagye, has countered claims by the Board Chairman, Mr. Ishmael Yamson that he returned a cheque of GHc20,000 donated to him by the GIPC for his 70th birthday party.
He said contrary to Mr. Yamson’s claims, only GH¢11,000 out of the amount was returned to the Council.
The Board Chairman, reacting to a Daily Guide newspaper publication that GH¢20,000 had been approved for his birthday, said there was neither an iota of truth nor a scintilla of evidence in the story.
Whilst conceding that a cheque for GH¢20,000 had been donated by the GIPC for his 70th birthday party, Mr. Yamson said when it came to his notice, he instructed that the cheque be returned.
He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Tursday that “It is true that the GIPC donated a cheque for GH¢20,000 but the cheque was returned on my instruction back to the GIPC so the GIPC did not give me a cheque which I accepted…”.
But George Aboagye, who resigned from his post as GIPC boss Wednesday, speaking on the Super Morning Show Thursday stated the was cashed and GHc9,000 out of the GHc20,000 was used to buy drinks for the birthday party.
He explained that after the drinks for the birthday party were bought, “almost GHc11,000 was excess and he [Yamson] returned the money and we gave him a receipt.”
“So the actual money that was spent out of the budget was less than 50 percent of the amount. Almost GHc11,000 was returned,” the former GIPC boss said.
According to him, “it was a management decision to support the birthday party.”
He stressed that Mr. Ishmael Yamson did not personally receive the money; rather it was the people who were organizing the party who came for the cheque.
Mr. Aboagye there was nothing wrong with an organisation contributing to the celebration of the birthday of its board chairman.
Touching on his resignation, he explained that he “resigned perhaps even before I went to the meeting of the board because I felt that the issue at hand is just an aspect but there is a larger picture to the whole incident. I resigned because I felt that this is a place where confidence is very important especially among the investor community and if documents could be copied and put to the public domain under my watch … then I think it is not fitting that I stay…”.
Responding to reports that he approved a request for GHc4,000 by a group, Volunteers For Mahama, which campaigns for President John Mahama, Mr. Aboagye who is running for a parliament seat on the NDC ticket at Ahanta West said the support “was for peace purposes.”
“Those people came to us and they came with a letter and upon discussion with them I [thought] that they were going to do a peace walk and that was what I understood…so if at a point you realize that it wasn’t going to be that, it was going to be coloured a bit, maybe a little bit more political, then you have the option not to present the cheque to them so the cheque never went to a bank, the cheque is with us,” he disclosed.
Mr. Aboagye said although the final cheque was given to the group last Friday, it was stopped because “at that instance we were seeing that there was a bit of political slant so there was no need to support them. We had discussed, myself and one of my directors, and said we will not support them.”