The Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Kofi Osei Ameyaw, has rubbished allegations of conflict of interest against him, following reports that he may have played a role in the award of a contract to his sister-in-law.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Ameyaw said the claims are coming from persons unhappy with his attempts to restructure the NLA to make it more efficient.
“People can come on a fishing expedition. They will come and make all manner of noise. People have been rented as mercenaries because of change and reshuffle at the NLA. They latch onto any piece of paper or any documentation and they take in out to some mercenary journalist and they go on a frolic trying to malign and intimidate and extort [money] from people.”
One of the allegations is that his sister-in-law’s company was the beneficiary of a contract from the Authority, but Mr. Ameyaw said he plays no part in procurement issues.
He added that the procurement process was fair and transparent.
“I don’t preside over the processes of procurement and people will just go around and make preposterous allegations… It is about time Ghanaians should stop all this hullabaloo about who is a relative and who is not a relative and who is a friend. First and foremost, we must understand that if a corporation or a company that is a separate legal entity bids for a project competitively and the competition is open, fair, equitable, transparent and accountable, and somebody wins, I don’t think it is a conflict of interest.”
“I have never had any sister or anybody come to me for a contract and I have willfully manipulated to suit them. That is absolute nonsense. It will not happen under my watch,” he added.
Kojo Graham controversy
In 2017, the NLA was again embroiled in controversy when a former board member of the NLA, Kojo Graham, was accused of using his position to award his private company a 15-year contract.
Kojo Graham denied these claims saying the decision to hire the services of his private company was not a rubber stamp decision by him, but was decided by the entire board together with the procurement authority.
It was alleged that Kojo Graham gave a bribe of $60,000 to the new NLA Boss Mr. Ameyaw, after learning of the latter and the new NLA board’s plan to be more stringent in payments.
But according to Kojo Graham, the money was a personal loan which he gave on “humanitarian grounds” to the NLA Director General.