Members of the 31st December Women’s Movement are on the heels of former first lady and Founder of National Democratic Party, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, over alleged sale of assets and misappropriation of monies belonging to the movement.
According to aggrieved members of the once vibrant women group, Nana Konadu, who doubles as President of the movement, has for the past twenty years failed to account for the group’s funds and assets which is being managed by Caridem Development Company Limited (CDC).
Addressing a press conference in Accra on the sidelines of a donation to Osu Children’s home, Central Regional Organizer of the movement and former Chief Executive of Abura Asebu Kwamankese District Assembly, Aba Edusah, accused Nana Konadu of siphoning the movement’s funds.
“It has come to our attention that the audited accounts are neither up to date nor filed at the Registrar of Companies. That we have cause to believe that huge sums of monies have been dissipated and assets sold from the accounts of 31st DWM by Dr. Mrs. Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings without following proper internal processes,” she alleged.
She explained that in line with the movement’s regulations, “audited accounts showing expenditures etc. must be submitted to the National Executive Committee and Congress for study and approvals. We the members of the 31st December Women’s Movement make the following statement.”
According Aba Edusah, though the movement’s regulations allow all officers to hold office for a period of five years and may be eligible for re-election for at least two consecutive terms for the same position, the NDC founder’s wife has since 1992 “held herself out as President of the Movement (in total contravention of the stipulated five year- term) and has not called for a congress as per the regulations of the Movement.”
She debunked claims by the former first lady that the name of the movement has been changed to Development Women’s Movement, insisting “no one individual can wake up one morning and say she has changed the name, it doesn’t work that way. Since it was not congress that decided on the change of name, we won’t recognize the new name that has been introduced.”
Perhaps, relying on the principles of probity and accountability as espoused by Nana Konadu’s husband and founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings, the movement is “demanding, based on the above, for the Audited Accounts of the 31st December Women’s Movement and Caridem Development Company Ltd from 1999 to date, including all bank accounts statements and the Asset Register to date from Dr Mrs Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, holding herself out as president of the 31st December Women’s Movement.”
The press conference was a follow up to a court ruling secured by former treasurer and trustee of the movement, Madam Sherry Ayitey against Nana Konadu to the effect that an extraordinary general meeting organized by CDC in respect of Nsawam Cannery Products Limited (NCPL) and Calf Cocoa International Limited (CCIL) violated the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179).
CDC is a limited liability company, which acts as the commercial wing of the 31st December Women’s Movement in the management of its assets including the Nsawam Cannery, Calf Cocoa International Limited etc.
Madam Ayitey in February 2016 filed a suit against CDC for issuing a notice announcing an extraordinary general meeting for shareholders of NCPL and CCIL. In her writ of summons, Ms Ayitey sought for a declaration that CDC lacked the authority to convene any general meeting of the two entities and, therefore, any purported meeting should be declared by the court as null and void.
She prayed the court for an order “restraining CDC, its officers or agents from holding or purporting to hold any meeting conveyed or conducted contrary to provisions of the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179)”.
In a judgment delivered on June 9, 2017, the court, presided by Mr Justice Samuel K.A. Asiedu, held that CDC had no authority to organize those general meetings.