The tussle between the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo, and the Audit Service Board has reached a crescendo, with the board writing to inform the appointing authority, the President, that the former has reached retirement age.
This follows the board’s alleged findings that Mr Domelevo had changed his date of birth on the records of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) from June 1, 1960 to June 1, 1961.
“Records made available to the board indicate that your date of retirement was 1st June 2020 and as far as the Audit Service is concerned you are deemed to have retired.
“By a copy of this letter, the board is informing the President who is your appointing authority, to take necessary action,” a letter dated yesterday, signed by the Chairman of the Audit Service Board, Professor Edward Dua Agyeman, and addressed to Mr Domelevo, said.
Mr Domelevo, however, insists that his correct date of birth is June 1, 1961 and that the initial 1960 stated was a mistake which had subsequently been rectified and duly recognised in all his official documents.
Mr Domelevo, who has since July 1, last year been on an accumulated 167-day leave, was to resume today, but it is not clear if he would, given the latest development and the board informing the President about it.
“Additionally, the board is making available to the President all the relevant documents at our disposal,” the letter which was also copied to the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante, stated.
The Daily Graphic yesterday sighted a series of correspondence between the board and Mr Domelevo, first asking for a meeting on February 26, this year for him to clarify some disparities in his date of birth, which had an effect on his date of retirement.
The Auditor-General on the day of the meeting, responded to the board, stating that the alleged information was false and “completely irrelevant for purposes of reckoning the time for my retirement (compulsory or otherwise).”
Following that response, the board put the observations in writing to the Auditor-General, which essentially stated that his personal records in the Public Service showed several disparities and anomalies.
They included allegations that the SSNIT records he completed indicated his date of birth as June 1, 1960, when he joined the scheme on October 1, 1978, while working with the Ghana Education Service in Mpraeso.
“The records show that you stated your tribe as Togolese and a non-Ghanaian. That your hometown is Agbetofe,” the letter said.
However, it said on October 25, 1993, Mr Domelevo completed and signed a SSNIT Change of Beneficiary Nomination form, stating his nationality as a Ghanaian and his hometown as Ada in the Greater Accra Region.
The letter also alleged that the date of birth on the passport of Mr Domelevo which was issued in 1996 and another one issued in 2012 stated June 1, 1961 as his birthdate and his place of birth as Kumasi.
“There is no record of affidavit or any legal instrument in respect of your change of date of birth from 1st June 1960 to 1st June, 1961”, the letter said.
In response to the allegations levelled against him, Mr Domelevo in a separate letter addressed to the Chairman of the Audit Service stated that he was Ghanaian as both of his parents were Ghanaians.
“My grandfather, the late Martin Domelevo Tettey, belonged to the Boye-Doe Wem (or Boye-Doe House) which is part of the Dangmebiawe Clan. He was a native of Ada in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, who migrated to Togo and stayed in Agbatofe,” he said.
The Auditor-General also explained: “My late father, Augustine Domelevo, migrated from Togo to the Gold Coast. He stayed in several towns and or villages before finally settling in Kwahu Adeemmra. Either my father wrongly mentioned Agbatofe in Togo as his hometown to me or I misconstrued it at the time….my mother is also Ghanaian.”
With regard to the 1960 date of birth, he explained: “I noticed the mistake when I checked my information in the baptismal register of the Catholic Church in Adeemmra.”
“The register has “Yaw” as part of my name and also provides my date of birth as 1st June 1961 -- this corresponds with Thursday or Yaw- the day of the week on which I was born,” he added.
Regarding his place of birth, he said he was born in Kumasi, but his mother took him to Kwahu Adeemmra three weeks after his birth, and it was in Adeemmra that he was baptised.
Tension had been brewing between the board and Mr Domelevo and on the former’s recommendation, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on June 29, 2020 asked the Auditor General, to proceed on leave because he had about 300 days’ accumulated leave.
A Deputy AG, Mr Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, was appointed to act till the Auditor General returned to post.
After about a week of taking office, the acting AG changed the locks to the Auditor General’s office, which forced Mr Domelevo, who was appointed by former President John Mahama in June 2016, to make his first public pronouncements on the situation.
However, the acting Auditor General explained that there was nothing malicious about the change of locks, except to protect some sensitive public information and documents.
The AG initially resisted the order, but later obliged and took his leave and has since maintained a low profile.
Civil society groups and anti-graft campaigners went to the defence of Mr Domelevo when the news first broke, with some of them calling on the government to ensure his reinstatement.