Reverend Albert Okpoti Botchway
DAILY GUIDE has uncovered how the former Acting Chief Executive (CEO) of the Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital, Reverend Albert Okpoti Botchway, who was allegedly sacked after a series of agitations by workers, tried to annex one of the controversial vehicles bought by the hospital â" an Audi A6 2014 model.
It has emerged that the bible-thumbing Reverend Minister registered the Audi A6, which he purchased under very controversial and questionable circumstances for his office, in his name.
The vehicle is valued at about GHÂ¢223,000m â" the equivalent of Â¢2.23 billion.
Senior Staff Association of the hospital, led by its President, Charles Ofei-Palm, accused the board and management of misusing the hospital's internally generated funds for the purchase of luxurious cars for so-called 'big boys' in the hospital.
The staff subsequently petitioned President Mahama to dissolve the board; but that remains unresolved.
The management and board, led by Eddie Annan, who was compelled by circumstances to resign, however denied the allegation, claiming that proper procedure was followed in purchasing the vehicles â" a claim which was disputed by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Health Ministry, Tony Goodman, which led to the Ministry asking for the return of the vehicles.
Documents cited by DAILY GUIDE indicated that the former CEO allegedly instructed Stallion Motors (Ghana) Limited, to register the brand new vehicle in his name with his picture boldly embossed on the registration documents.
In a letter dated April 4, 2014 and signed by one Vishal Goyal of Stallion Motors, which was allegedly sent to the Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), it instructed the vehicle licensing body to transfer ownership of the car to Rev. Albert Okpoti Botchway of Box number C591, Cantonments.
Accordingly, the DVLA transferred ownership of the brand new car to the then Acting CEO on April 9, 2014 and registered it as GW 1900-14, as though it was his personal property.
But when matters got to a crescendo at the hospital, in the midst of incessant workers agitations and the fallout that greeted the purchase of the car, Reverend Okpoti decided to revert ownership of the vehicle to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
He therefore authorised officials at the DVLA to effect the needed changes in that regard.
Ownership of the car was subsequently transferred into the name of the hospital on June 27, 2014.
Sources at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the DVLA have all confirmed that it was totally in breach of standard practice in the registration of vehicles bought in the name of corporate institutions and public organisations.
It is said that the normal practice is for such vehicles to be registered in the name of the purchasing institution or organisation, and that transactions are usually carried out by the Transport Manager or the Director of Administration.
'The practice in Korle-Bu is that the Director of Administration and the Transport Manager are responsible for signing documents involving cars and other vehicles. But because the Rev knew he was engaging in an illegal act, he single-handedly signed the transfer document as the present owner as well as the new owner. He did not involve the Director of Administration nor the Transport Manager', the source said.
The Korle-Bu Senior Staff Association are said to be already gearing up to institute a legal action against the beleaguered former Acting CEO over his decision to register a government property in his name.
They are also said to be preparing to pursue former directors of the hospital who have left the hospital with their duty post cars, including former Director of Finance, Egyaboaful Anan-Kakabaah, former Director of Human Resource, T.A. Mahmoud and former Director of Medical Affairs, Professor Afua Hesse.
Attempts to speak to the former CEO were unsuccessful as at press time.
By Charles Takyi Boadu