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TEWU Chairman, Chief Finance Officer dragged to court over misappropriation of funds

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The National Chairman of the Teachers and Educational workers Union (TEWU), Peter K. Lumor and the Chief finance Officer, Mr. James Azortibar have been sued jointly over allegations of misappropriation of funds and to among other things  restrain the chairman from chairing the delegates conference been held in Kumasi from August 25, 2019.

The suit filed by the Vice Chairman of the Gt. Accra region and Chairman of the University of Ghana medical school branch of TEWU, Effah-Baffo-Gyamfi began hearing on Friday, August 23, 2019 prayed the court to make the National Chairman of the Union and the Chief Financial officer to refund an amount of GhC279, 000.00 with interest as recommended by a committee set up by the National Executive Committee, (NEC), to investigate various allegations leveled against the two.

Report available indicate that an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 to investigate the level of funeral expenditures and other related matters after the demise of the late General Secretary, Mohammadu Seidu Bogobiri committee investigations report and findings recommended that the Chief Financial Officer should refund the said amount of money and other expenses he claims to have  made on the funeral  and the withdrawal of funds from the solidarity fund without  the approval of the national Executive committee (NEC).

The plaintiff also prayed the court to restrain the National Chairman, Peter K. Lumor from chairing the national delegates conference to enable delegates discuss issues related to the misappropriation of funds and other matters pertaining to his office since both acts of misconduct constitute a constitutional breach.

Article ‘26’ of the constitution showed that 2% of the total dues revenue to the national union shall be set aside every month to build a solidarity fund which shall be administered on the direction of NEC, but both of them failed to adhere to these constitutional arrangements and withdrew monies from the account without the National Executive Committee’s approval.

The lawyer for the defendants, Limann Mohammed on the other hand challenged the motion filed against them saying Effah Baffo-Gyamfi does not have the capacity to sue them as a local executive member but the presiding judge Justice Ackah Boafo however failed to make a ruling due to the late appearance of the case particularly on restraining the chairman from chairing the conference but said the case will be determined and a ruling made while the conference continues.

He however, asked the chairman, Peter K. Lumor to be mindful of his arbiter and conduct as the case continues.

Lawyer for the plaintiff

The lawyer for the Plaintiff Mr. Livingstone  for his part argued that there are no available channels available for the issues to be determined hence he chose the court as an appropriate forum for redress since both the chairman and the chief financial officer have failed to date to abide by the recommendations of the committee established by the national Executive Committee of the union.

The case is adjourned to Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Report available from the findings and investigations by the five member committee chaired by Robert Zanutey recommended among other things that“the Chief Finance Officer, James Azortibah could still not sufficiently account for the withdrawals from the 2% solidarity fund account. We recommend that the three members; the National Chairman, Peter K. Lumor, the Chief finance Officer, James Azortibar, and the late General Secretary to refund Ghc219,700.00 of the 2% solidarity fund account”.

The Committee also noted that there was gross disregard of constitutional provisions in the application of the fund and recommended  “NEC prescribes disciplinary action against  the signatories of the account (Brother Peter Lumor and the late M.S.Bogobiri) as well as the Chief Finance Officer (Bro. James Azortibah for failure to act prudently).

Reports say regional executives across the regions are already aggrieved over purported level of expenditure made by the executives at the ongoing congress in Kumasi per the budget of GhC 3million provided for the conference.

Information available showed that the national chairman and the chief financial officerbudgeted an amount of Ghc 1.5 million for the ten regional conferences and the main conference is also 1.5 million making a total of 3million Ghana cedis which is yet to be accounted for.

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