Sunday, April 28, 2013

Donga Mantung: Nwa Mayor Steeped in FCFA 72m Fraud

The mayor of Nwa in Donga Mantung Division of the Northwest Region risks being booted out of office with a vote of no confidence following claims from lobbyists in his municipality that he bored a hole of over 72 million FCFA in the council’s coffers.
The four-man lobby of Nwa constituents says the mayor, Dr Ngomfe Loma David, on several occasions made transactions on behalf of the council that cannot be traced in the institution’s financial records. It has lodged an appeal at the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) calling on the body to look into the allegations.
In the petition which News Watch has seen, they allege that Ngomfe sidelines councilors in budget planning so he can have a free hand in lining his pockets with tax payers’ money.
“Councilors are not allowed to deliberate on the extra-budgetary income before it is spent and the Finance Committee of Nwa Council has been completely marginalized,” the petition reads.
In addition to a “missing” FCFA 11 million surplus last year, the petitioners say a further FCFA 49 million, being “carbon credit” that was paid into the coffers of the council in November 2011 was misappropriated. The quartet claims the mayor skipped a required nod from councilors and, unilaterally adopted and integrated the sums into the municipality’s budget for 2011.
Furthermore, only a paltry FCFA 5 million, out of some FCFA 17 million made available is said to have been used in bankrolling the construction of the Nwa-Jah-Ngomko stretch of road. The FCFA 12 million balance has not been accounted for till date, they claim.
The group of four also claims Dr Ngomfe Loma David is doling out the majority of contracts in Nwa to Entreprises Hamza, a firm he runs covertly.
Dr. Ngomfe reportedly trampled on Cameroon’s contract laws when he bought a new Toyota Hilux in flagrant defiance of an agreement reached with councilors. It is alleged that they had settled that funds raised from the sale of the council’s old Land Rover and another Toyota Hilux, which is still to be sold, be used to buy a new vehicle for the council.
It is further claimed the mayor proceeded to employing over 60 temporary council workers, based largely on favouritism, without the knowledge of his deputies and councilors. The mayor did this, it is claimed, after he “stood off the Nwa Council temporary workers in 2010, in total defiance of the council deliberations and resolutions of the March 2010 budgetary session which had sufficient provisions for the salaries and salary areas of the said workers.”
The petitioners end their appeal on a grim note drawing attention to inflated mission allowances the mayor is said to be attributing to himself.
Even his “driver is put on an exaggerated salary and out-station allowances of more than FCFA 200.000 at times.”
But Mayor Ngomfe counters, insisting that all the accusations leveled at him are void of substance.
“What I can say about this petition is that the names on it are non-existent. They are writing from hiding; in fact they are cowards. “However, I am aware they are my political enemies and their fear is my growing popularity and my successes in Nwa.”
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

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