Kwabre East Member of Parliament is being investigated by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) over allegations of conflict of interest.
Francisca Oteng-Mensah, who is the Deputy Gender Minister-designate, has been accused of using her influence as the Board Chairperson of the National Youth Authority (NYA) to help in approving the procurement of sanitisers from a company, she is a director and shareholder in.
According to a Fourth Estate reportage sighted by GhanaWeb, the MP is alleged to have supervised the board to pay ¢700,000 to Adonko Company – a subsidiary of the Angel Group of Companies which belongs to her dad, Kwaku Oteng.
This was after a resident of Nima in Accra, Ismail Mohammed, on January 21, 2021, petitioned the anti-graft institution to look into the conduct of the MP, specifically with the NYA’s GH¢3 million expenses on a Covid-19 campaign in 2020.
But Francisca Oteng-Mensah, through her lawyers Ghartey & Ghartey, in a response to CHRAJ stated that “no facts that would support the belief that our client has been involved in a conflict of interest situation. There is without question, no basis for the belief that there has been a conflict of interest situation.”
The MP’s lawyers noted that the fact that the lawmaker was also the NYA board chair and was linked to Adonko Bitters, did not put her in a conflict of interest situation.
“Respectfully, our client admits that she is and remains a director and shareholder of Adonko Bitters Limited. She was also a director and shareholder of Adonko Bitters Limited during the period, a subject matter of this petition.
“However, she is not in any way responsible for the day-to-day management of Adonko Bitters Limited. She is not an employee or a marketing and sales executive for the company. Our client submits further that she is not an executive director of Adonko Bitters Limited,” the response to CHRAJ stated.
The MP’s lawyers stressed that she “never ‘participated’, ‘deliberated’ and ‘presided’ over the purchase of hand sanitisers from Adonko Bitters Limited as alleged by the petitioner.”
The lawyers further stated that NYA’s invoice, payment vouchers and cheque to Adonko Bitters Limited and attached to the response to CHRAJ, suggested that the purchase of and payment for the hand sanitisers preceded March 31, 2020, and NYA paid ¢68,980.58 to Adonko Bitters for the supply of 290 cartons of hand sanitisers on March 29, 2020.
The lawyers pointed out further that all the amount paid was within the Public Procurement Authority’s threshold that the CEO of the NYA could approve without seeking the board’s approval, a reason the board was not involved in the deal.
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