Era of forged signature; Information Ministry latest casualty

General News of Saturday, 19 April 2014


The Ministry of Information and Media Relations is latest to have fallen victim to the act of forgery of signature of public officials.

Police are currently investigation circumstances leading to the alleged forgery of the Energy Minister’s signature by Gondwana Oil Corporation, a Canadian oil exploration firm to lay claim over a piece of oil rich area, offshore, South of the Cape Three Points in the Western Region.

Suspect, Charles Andoh who was picked up by the police last Thursday, is reported to have confessed to committing the act.

Speaking on Newsfile on Joy FM Saturday, Deputy Information Minister Murtala Mohammed disclosed that the security agencies are investigating a similar incident involving his ministry.

“I was on a programme sometime last two weeks when I got a call from my secretary that a company called the Ministry of Information to find out whether we have actually written a letter recommending a particular group to some investors,” he said.

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The Deputy Minister said he found the development bizarre since such letters are usually authored by the substantive Minister, Mahama Ayariga, unless the minister instructs him to do so on his behalf.

“I then called [the company] that they should fax a copy of the letter because they said that I signed the letter. When they sent the letter we realised that the signature was completely different from my signature,” Murtala told Samson Lardy Anyenini, host of the programme.

“As I talk to you the security agencies are on that matter…and it is more serious when you are dealing with a company that is foreign” in the case of Gondwana Energy.

Akoto Osei’s experience

Contributing to the discussion, Anthony Akoto Osei, former Minister of State at the Finance Ministry in the John Agyekum Kufuor administration stated that the development is not new, as letters are invariably sneaked out by “insiders” without ministers’ knowledge.

“One time we were getting one of our ministers to send a letter to somebody. Now the draft of the letter was in the minister’s office [which] he had not signed yet, but the addressee called him [minister] that ‘look, why haven’t you signed the letter?’

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“It cannot happen from outside, there must be somebody from the inside…but if it turns out [in the Gondwana case] that an insider is involved, it will be a big shame,” he lamented.