Chair of the Audit Service Board, Prof Edward Dua Agyeman, has said locks on the door of the Auditor-General’s office were changed to better secure the room and its contents.
His justification follows criticisms by a section of the public and reputable Civil Society Organisations when it became public on Wednesday that the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Domelevo, was unable to access his office when he arrived to pick up some documents.
Prof Dua Agyeman explained that: “The acting Auditor General informed us that he wasn’t happy about the security of that office and therefore suggested that we secure the place. The board authorised him to buy new locks and secure the place.”
He told Accra-based Joy FM that the decision to change the locks was a security measure to safeguard valuable documents in the Auditor-General’s office.
“His office is there. The keys are available with the Cashier. If he wants to go there, he can get to the acting Auditor-General and he will direct him as to where he can get the keys to his office,” he said.
He insists that the decision to change the locks on the door to Mr Domelevo’s office does not imply that he has been kicked out.
“The problem with the locks was that Mr Domelevo came there a day after he has left [on leave] and collected letterheads and also without telling the acting Auditor General that he was there,” he further disclosed to Joy News on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.
Meanwhile, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), a governance think tank, Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante, has said the decision to change the locks sends a bad message.
He said it was unfortunate that the head of an independent anti-graft institution could be treated like that.
“I have been speechless since I saw the video. This is really low for our country. I had never thought that we will be seeing something like this and it is really appalling.
“This is still the substantive Auditor General. So why would you go and change the lock to the office of someone on leave, because this doesn’t make any sense?” he lamented.
Mr Domelevo, revealed in a video that locks to his office have been changed without his knowledge, barely a month into a directive by President Nana Akufo-Addo ordering him to proceed on his accumulated leave.
Before Mr Domelevo was forced by the Presidency to take his accumulated 167 days leave, he had been battling Senior Minister, Yaw Asafo-Maafo, and others for superintending over a $1 million payment to Kroll & Associates allegedly for no work done.