Contrary to claims by two renowned and respected clergymen, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and Reverend Eastwood Anaba, that their request for an audit of the public funds contributed to the National Cathedral project has not been heeded, evidence seen by Asaase News appears to show that the National Cathedral of Ghana (NCG) contracted Deloitte & Touche, a globally acclaimed chartered accounting firm, to audit the NCG’s entire accounts on 17 March 2023.
Engagement correspondence from Deloitte & Touche to the executive director of the National Cathedral of Ghana Secretariat has been sighted by Asaase News.
It is signed by Charlotte Forson-Abbey, the engagement partner, and dated 17 March 2023, and discloses the scope of the audit request from the National Cathedral.
“You have requested that we audit the financial statements of the National Cathedral of Ghana, which comprise the statement of financial position as of 31 December 2020 to 2023, the statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income, the statement of changes in equity and statement of cash flow for the year then ended and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.
“We are pleased to confirm our acceptance and our understanding of this engagement by means of this letter. Our audit will be conducted with the objective of expressing an opinion on the financial statements. Charlotte Forson-Abbey will be responsible for the services that we perform for the Company and Isaac Odoye will be the audit manager,” the 24-page letter from Deloitte & Touche to the NCG says.
“We will conduct our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISA’s). Those Standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement,” the letter from the international firm further says.
Asaase News checks show that the National Cathedral Secretariat and Deloitte & Touche, have signed the agreement to carry out an audit.
The audit exercise is ongoing. The total professional fee charged for services of Deloitte & Touche to carry out the exercise amounts to GHC360,000.00.
Resignation of clergymen
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, the founder and general overseer of the United Denominations of Action Chapel Churches Worldwide, and Reverend Eastwood Anaba, the president of Eastwood Anaba Ministries, tendered a joint resignation letter as members of the board of trustees of Ghana’s National Cathedral project in a letter dated 12 October 2023.
The grounds for the two senior clergymen’s resignation were that an audit they requested has not been carried out.
In their resignation letter, they stated that in January 2023, as members of the board of trustees, they submitted a draft resolution to the board resolving that current activities advancing the construction of Ghana’s National Cathedral be deferred until the findings of an audit had been published.
“This deferment included a cessation of activities of the board of trustees. Specifically, our resolution stated, ‘In the spirit and cause of transparency and accountability to the Ghanaian people, the current board of trustees of the National Cathedral shall appoint an independent accounting firm to audit all public funds contributed to the National Cathedral.
“‘This appointment of an auditor shall take place before the deferment of the activities of the board of trustees.’
“Despite our prayers, best hopes and wishes, unfortunately. a needed audit to help restore public confidence and trust in this consequential project has not been enacted to the best of our knowledge since January 2023. We awaited news, to no avail regarding the finding of the audit,” the letter from the two clergymen said.
“We, therefore, regret that as a matter of conscience and faith, we hereby submit to you our resignation from the Board of Trustees of the National Cathedral.
“We honourably assure you, as we assured the board of trustees in January 2023 with the submission of our resolution, that our action in no way impugns the vision or intent of the National Cathedral, but rather ensures that it is advanced and built on a foundation of integrity, efficiency and quality while garnering and maintaining public trust and support We truly owe this to God and to the country,” the letter further said.
Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra
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