24 February 2014

Ghana: Wounded 'Lion' Raids Ho Assembly - With Police Motorcade to Chase Out Finance Officer

Drama unfolded at the Ho Municipal Assembly on Tuesday, last week, when the Volta Regional Minister, Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, popularly known as 'lion', invaded the Assembly premises to demand the immediate exit of the Municipal Finance officer (MFO), Mr. Francis Sogbey, who has been transferred to Keta, but still at post.

Shouting on top of his voice, the minister said: "where is the Municipal Finance Officer, pack your things and leave the office, look I am going to Aflao, and by the time I am back, I don't want to see you here".

The Regional Minister, according to staff and people who were transacting business at the assembly and other onlookers, told the MFO that he was aware, he (Sogbey) had been transferred and, therefore, wondering why he was still at post.

The eye witnesses continued that they did not know the Regional Minister, but upon seeing a police motorcade with four vehicles at the assembly, they thought there was going to be a programme only to see a man, who they were later told was the Regional Minister, violently talking to the MFO.

Sources at the assembly also told The Chronicle that all activities within the assembly buildings came to a temporary halt, as everybody came out to listen to the vituperations of the Minister, who kept on saying: "I am going to Aflao and by the time I come back, you would have packed your things and left the office".

Some of the Assembly Members who were around when the minister stormed the place told The Chronicle that they were worried about the way the minister was interfering in the affairs of the assembly.

They alleged that the minister was behind the transfer of the Finance Officer and that was why he personally came to the assembly to verbally assault him and to also ensure that he had packed bag and baggage and left the place.

A staff of the Municipal Assembly who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity noted that the Minister's action was totally out of order because the MFO does not work directly under him and that even if the finance Officer had been transferred and he was refusing to go, the best person to force him out is either the Municipal Coordinating Director or the Regional Coordinating Director and not the Regional Minister.

He continued that administratively when the MFO is transferred, he must first be audited and cleared before the Assembly could release him or her to a new station adding that if the assembly has not released the Finance officer, he could not go anywhere. He, therefore, appealed to the authorities to bring the Regional Minister to order since he had gone beyond acceptable practices.

Mr. Sogbey would not comment when The Chronicle contacted him, but Mr. Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo told this reporter that he heard the MFO had been transferred but was still at post, and as the Regional Minister, he was only playing administrative role to ensure that the MFO goes to his new station.

Mr. Afotey Agbo said the DCE at the new station, where the MFO had been transferred to, called him to complain that even though Sogbey had been transferred to their end, he had still not reported to duty.

According to him, it was based on this information that he personally went to the assembly to order that he proceeds to his new duty post.

"I don't even know the MFO, so when I got to the Assembly, I asked of him and the very person I was asking was the finance officer. "I told him I am going to Aflao and by the time I come back, you would have packed your things and go to the new station where your services are needed. "That is what I told him because he has no business here at the Ho Municipal Assembly," Afotey Agbo told The Chronicle.

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