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Hajj Board In Crisis ...IC Quaye Fingered In Abuse Of Office

Published in politics Sunday, 22 October 2017 23:14

By Ernest Addo & Frank Amponsah

 

Chairman of the Hajj Board, Sheik I.C Quaye, stands accused of running parallel departments within the Board in blatant disregard for the President’s orders to his appointees, leaving members, pilgrims and their agents brooding over whether I.C Quaye wields more power than his appointing authority.

Information gathered from the Board is that there is currently a board within a board where the chairman has placed his trusted allies at positions and grants them the power to take vital decisions for the board.

 

Sources within the Board alleged that shoot-from the mouth chairman, Sheik IC Quaye has placed his favourites as heads of department and making their work rather difficult. 

Example is the Ahjaji A.R Gomda-headed Communications Department which is currently suffering because chairman Quaye is side-stepping him and dealing with his subordinates.

 

IC Quaye is also said to have engaged some people to shoot two documentaries without the knowledge of the Communications Director whilst ordering for the issuance of service passports to selected HAJJ Board members and others who are not members.     

 

According to the aggrieved members, the Chairman has engaged pilgrims who went to Saudi Arabia to shower praises on him even when the quality of the management of the Hajj pilgrim especially in the Holy Land, was woeful and fraught with accommodation problems.

“Accommodation in Saudi was woefully inadequate although all pilgrims paid for the accommodation. 12 – 10 instead of 4 pilgrims – as promised by the Board occupied a room,” a Board member said.

It has been established that for the first in the history of HAJJ, most pilgrims could not return with their luggage as five containers of the luggage of pilgrims are yet to arrive in Ghana.

But when pilgrims requested for their luggage, the praise singers and attack dogs of IC Quaye who managed the luggage rained insults on pilgrims during weighing thereby frustrating them in the process.

The Chairman is also alleged to have been involved in money laundering (details on that soon) together with his brigades and mostly caused the duplication and selling of luggage tags by his agents.

This paper has gathered that a recent post-Hajj meeting with board members ended abruptly because of a heated argument the Chairman had with the secretary when he asked why the secretary should demand reports from departmental heads.

The development according to sources, left majority of the Board members wondering why there was not the need for them to be provided with reports on activities of the Board.

Interestingly, it emerged that engagement of airlines which airlifted pilgrims and the accompanying costs was shrouded in darkness and majority believed there was instances of kickbacks that beclouded the whole transactions.

During the heated debate with the Secretary, Sheik IC Quaye boasted that nobody can remove him from office. “Not even the President can do so,” he screamed.

 He continues to boast of haven served seven years in prison and even sold his house to assist the cause of the NPP hence the President cannot take any decision as regards his removal from the Board.

It has also emerged that there are cases of fraud that characterized the pilgrimage which case is being investigated by both Nima and Airport Police over payment made for the Hajj pilgrimage.

These payments made by those who could not make it to Hajj, according to sources have not been refunded by the Board.

 One Zak Rahman, the man at the centre of the fraud case is supposed to refund fourteen thousand, two-hundred (GH¢14,200) to the victims he has defrauded but insiders say he has paid only a paltry    two thousand, two hundred Ghana cedis (GH¢2,200) leaving the Board very disturbed.

 

Worst still, the head of Communication of the Board, A.R. Gomda in a statement dated 21 October, 2017, has dissociated the Board from the activities of Zak Rahman saying that “Anybody who dealt with officials of the Hajj Board whose purview excluded such transactions did so at their own risk”

Read Alhaji Gomda’s statement:

 

Statement On ‘Hajj Visa’ Scandal

The Ghana Hajj Board have observed with consternation a story about an official of their Communications Department’s act of indiscretion regarding monies he allegedly collected from prospective pilgrims with a view to facilitating their trip for the just ended pilgrimage and wish to dissociate themselves from the transaction and the associated negative fallouts.

The Ghana Hajj Board wish to recall their unambiguous statement on the modalities for the payment of the Hajj package three-pronged arrangement which were through a stated Unibank Hajj account number, accredited Hajj agent or directly at the Hajj Village transactions which generated receipts.

Anybody who dealt with officials of the Hajj Board whose purview excluded such transactions did so at their own risk. It is on this score that we wish to state unequivocally that we have nothing to do with Zak Rahman and others who may find themselves in a similar predicament. 

The Ghana Hajj Board is a reputable agency which frowns at acts of seeming criminality and would therefore not associate themselves with same. 

The Ghana Hajj Board wish to advise those who have had their fingers burnt through such unauthorized persons to revert to the appropriate state agency for redress as we have nothing to do with same.

Any official of the board who breached the foregone standards should refund same as we would not cover such persons under any circumstance.

A.R. Gomda Head, Communications, Ghana Hajj Board

Meanwhile, all attempts to reach the former Greater Accra regional Minister for his response to the accusations have proved futile as calls to his 020… numbers were not answered. 

The Head of Communications also told this paper when we contacted him over the allegation that he had been side-stepped and the myriad of issues flying in thick and fast, that “while I would rather not comment on the issues raised I wish to however acknowledge the fact that the board will review its maiden operation against the backdrop of the concerns raised by some persons and the glaring challenges encountered during the Hajj. It is after such a review that i would be primed to talk to some of the issues raised.”

Stay tuned.

 

 

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