Wa MCE and PM Accused of Extorting Poor Traders Over Market Stores
A group calling itself Concern Youth of Wa Municipality have strongly accused the acting Municipal Chief Executive of Wa Honorable Issahaku Moomin Tahiru and his Presiding Member honourable Kareem Abdul -Rahaman Topie of gargantuan extortion of vulnerable traders in Wa.
Speaking to Info Radio in Wa , a member of the group, Mr. Mohammed Tandoh accused the Wa MCE and Presiding Member of creating a panic demand for the newly constructed World Bank support Wa market stores project and thereby extorting huge sums of monies ranging from 25,000 to 20,000 Ghana cedis from traders who are in dire need of market stores to ply their trade.
According to Mr Tando, 'None of those monies so collected by the MCE and PM were paid to the Assembly neither were they receipted as a proof for payment of rent for a store. As a matter of fact, the monies were received at various locations including a private spare parts shop belonging to the Presiding Member, Kareem Abdul -Rahaman Topie', the group alleged.
He revealed that, after receipt of monies by the two, in place of a receipt, they rather issued a business registration form with the inscription "Wa Municipal Business Registration Form". 'These colossal sums were deliberately not receipted but were deemed and treated as "ways and means" by the MCE and the PM to facilitate the allocation of the storerooms to the victims. Subsequently, they were instructed to go to the Assembly and pay Ghc720, that component was receipted and an allocation letter issued '.
Mr. Tando further alleged that a lot of improprieties had taken place in the Municipality in the past five years and said, extortion of monies from poor traders in the name of market stores for traders presents an opportunity to ask some nagging questions as a precursor to unearthing the truth.
1. Why are allocations being issued on a project that is still ongoing? Is it a normal practice at the Assembly? Why the indecent haste?
2. Why is the MCE superintending over the issuance of allocation letters on an uncompleted project at a point that his tenure had elapsed and he is only playing an acting role?
3. Who sanctioned or approved the payment of the Ghc20, 000s and Ghc25, 000 and for what purpose?
4. Why are the said monies not paid at the Assembly and properly receipted?
5. Why are such colossal sums collected from the public for stores that are donor funded?
6. Who approves for the Ghc720 to be paid at the Assembly? Is it the finance committee or the plenary?
The group, therefore, called on the Wa municipal assembly to urgently answer these nagging questions so as to bring finality to the matter.
The group also called on the president of the Republic of Ghana His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo to cause an investigation into the matter to ensure that justice is served to the affected persons. They also call on other relevant shareholders especially NIB, EOCO, CHRAJ, OSP to investigate the matter and hinted that, they plan to soon be petition these bodies to take special interest in the matter and expedite action when the matter is properly put before them.
The Concern Youth of Wa Municipality also called on all those whose monies were unjustly collected by the MCE and PM to visit the two and demand their monies with interest and the stores are given to them since they are only victims of circumstance.
The group also called on all affected persons to remain resolute and strong and should not agree to any refund or returning of any monies.
When Info Radio reached out to the Acting Municipal Chief Executive for Wa Hon. Issahaku Moomin Tahiru via the assembly`s PRO and Hon. Kareem Abdul -Rahaman Topie, the presiding member for their comments on the issues raised against them, both decline to comment and said they will respond to the accusations by the group at the right time.
WMA Presiding Member - Hon. Kareem Abdul -Rahaman Topie