Monday, 17 June

Akufo-Addo's lawyer refutes claims of GHS 1.4 billion payment to SML in KPMG report

General News
Kow Essuman

President Akufo-Addo's lawyer, Kow Essuman has refuted claims that the KPMG report indicates Strategic Mobilisation Limited (SML) was paid GHS 1.4 billion by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The lawyer described these assertions as misleading and clarified that the report's findings have been misinterpreted by some individuals and media outlets.

According to the lawyer, the total amount mentioned in the report includes multiple contracts over several years, and not all the payments were made directly to SML for its services.

The report actually highlights various aspects of the transactions, including unpaid taxes and interest owed by SML, which have been conflated with the payments made by GRA.

He emphasised that President Akufo-Addo commissioned the KPMG audit to ensure transparency and accountability in government contracts, particularly following public concerns and an investigation by The Fourth Estate.

The audit was meant to address these concerns and bring clarity to the contractual arrangements between SML and the GRA.

The lawyer urged the public and media to thoroughly examine the KPMG report and understand the context of the figures presented.

He stressed that the government's commitment to transparency remains unwavering and that misleading interpretations of the audit's findings only serve to distort the facts and undermine public trust.

"The assertion that the KPMG report indicates SML was paid GHS 1.4 billion is misleading."

"Upon careful review, one will notice that the KPMG report does not state that SML received GHS 1.4 billion. On page 31, the report lists a gross amount of GHS 1.4 billion, but it also specifies the net amount paid to SML as GHS 1,061,054,778.00. A note at the bottom of page 31 explicitly clarifies that the net amount is 'net of taxes.' Therefore, the conclusion that SML was paid GHS 1.4 billion is incorrect because no business is ever paid the gross amount. The accurate figure actually paid to SML is GHS 1,061,054,778.00," he posted on X on Thursday, May 23.