Investigate Ho Poly Management - POTAG

The Ho Polytechnic branch of the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), has demanded that educational authorities urgently investigate Management of the Polytechnic for the misuse of funds. It alleged that spurious administrative decisions and downright manipulative scheming had caused a huge seepage of the Polytechnic’s finances. Paul Koku, Ho Polytechnic POTAG Chairman told Journalists, Governing Council of the Polytechnic “last week approved for the Rector, Dr Jakpasu Victor Afun, to take a Nissan Teana, worth Ghc 14,000 as a gift,” in contravention of President Mahama’s directive that no state car was sold to the one it was allocated. He said the chassis number of the vehicle, which customs documents indicated was cleared from the port in April 2012, was sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to be stealthily registered and given a 2011 registration number. “The Rector’s desire to make a new car appear old has led to him to manipulate officers at DVLA and to engage in such a fraudulent act,” the Ho POTAG Chairman alleged. He alleged that the vehicle, valued at Ghc 74,745.00 had not been paid for, accumulating interest of Ghc 71,633 bringing money to be paid for it at the time it was dashed to Dr Afun to Ghc 146,378.7. Mr Koku alleged that Dr Afun had been claiming he had the contacts to legitimize the Nissan Teana dash. He said the irony of the situation was that Dr Afun had ended his contract and the new Rector would have to be provided with a vehicle. Mr Koku also cited another murky vehicle purchase deal by the Ho Polytechnic management, a Nissan Pickup bought at Ghc 53,635.00 in 2012. He said it had not been paid for, and interest as at April 2014 stood at Ghc 100,985.60. Mr Koku said “while all these debts were being accumulated, the Finance Officer kept reporting huge surpluses on the Polytechnic accounts”. He stressed that “POTAG is baffled that our management does not see anything wrong with such poor financial management practices” wondering “if there could be collusion with the car company.” Mr Koku also alleged that management had paid themselves salary top ups from the Internally Generated Funds, which a Management letter from the External Auditors indicated represented a breach of the Financial Regulations Act. The Ho Polytechnic POTAG Chairman claimed the top ups resulted in “a colossal amount of over GHC140,000.00 being lost to the polytechnic.” He said the directive that that money was retrieved had been shelved while the Registrar made frantic efforts to legitimize the illegality by seeking “retrospective approval.” Mr Koku criticized demands of Dr Afun to be paid 18 months’ salary for forfeiting his annual leave for four years, and also claimed he (Dr Afun) was wittingly replacing household equipment including furnishings and electrical appliances in the official residence to enable him take them away. He said this clear propensity by the management to dissipate funds from the IGF, was happening at the time academic facilities were direly needed and staff welfare relegated to the background. Other accusations the Ho Polytechnic leveled against the Governing Council included employment and scholarship irregularities. Mr Koku said “POTAG has complained about many of these things without any solution in sight and we have no choice but to bring this into the public domain.” The Press Briefing scheduled for a Club House within the Polytechnic Campus had to be moved to a venue in town when two Polytechnic Security Officers “with orders from above” walked journalists out because the gathering was “illegal”.