Nat’l Cathedral: I’ll Be Very Unwise To Say I Want It Done – Lawrence Tetteh6 min read
The Founder and President of World Wide Miracle, Rev. Dr. Lawrence Tetteh, has said having heard all the issues surrounding the National Cathedral project he would be unwise to say he wants it done.
Initially, he said he was excited about the project but decided to have a change of mind when news of corruption emerged, and also the resignation of some of the senior clergymen who were serving on the board.
“I was very excited about it initially but having heard some of the things, if my colleagues there are very uncomfortable I think I will be very unwise to want it done,” he told Keminni Amanor on Sunday December 31 edition of Hot Issues.
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba, the Founder and General Overseer of the Action Chapel Churches Worldwide, and President of the Eastwood Anaba Ministries respectively, resigned from the board of trustees recently.
The resignation of the two senior clergymen was due to the failure of the government to appoint an independent accounting firm to audit all public funds contributed to the National Cathedral, a statement they issued on Tuesday, October 17 said.
Nat’l Cathedral: I’ll be very unwise to say I want it done – Lawrence Tetteh
“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.
“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, ” portions of the statement said.
The two in January 2023 called for an immediate suspension of the construction of the National Cathedral pending an audit of the project.
In a letter to the Board of Trustees, the two eminent clergymen also stated that the current economic climate in Ghana makes it impossible for the timely completion of the project hence the call for its suspension until improvement in the economic fortunes of the country.
Nat’l Cathedral: I’ll be very unwise to say I want it done – Lawrence Tetteh
“The current economic climate in Ghana presents obstacles to the timely construction and completion of the National Cathedral… We, therefore, resolve That 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, nationally recognized accounting firm to audit all public funds contributed to and spent by the National Cathedral,” the two clergymen said in a memo.
However, the Executive Director of the National Cathedral Project, Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah responded and explained that Archbishop Duncan-Williams and Rev Eastwood Anaba were fully aware of the engagement with Delloite to audit the project.
“Following the presentation of their resolution to the January 23, 2023 meeting of the Board,- which the Board rejected but which still found its way to the media, – both Archbishop Duncan-Williams and Rev Eastwood Anaba fully participated (by zoom) in an emergency meeting the next day, 24th January 2023, to develop a Press release on the issue.
“The Press release, he said, included information on the audit, which was to be conducted by the international audit firm Deloitte.
“Following this, the engagement letter for Deloitte to officially begin the audit was drafted and signed by Deloitte on March 27, 2023 and set up on their system on May 17, 2023. The expectation was that the first part of the audit was to be completed in July 2023. The audit process, so far, can be confirmed with the auditors, Deloitte,” he said.
But Dr Opoku-Mensah said in a statement that “The attention of the Secretariat of the National Cathedral project has been drawn to a letter addressed to the President — sighted in the media before Board members received copies of the resignation of two of the members of the Board, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams and Rev Eastwood Anaba. The reason given in the letter for their resignation is said to be the lack of any information, whatsoever, following their January 23, 2023 resolution calling for an audit of the National Cathedral project, and a complete cessation of work on the project.
“First, following the presentation of their resolution to the January 23, 2023 meeting of the Board,- which the Board rejected but which still found its way to the media, – both Archbishop Duncan Williams and Rev Eastwood Anaba fully participated (by zoom) in an emergency meeting the next day, 24th January 2023, to develop a Press release on the issue. The Press release included information on the audit, which was to be conducted by the international audit firm Deloitte (see appendix 1)
“Following this, the engagement letter for Deloitte to officially begin the audit was drafted and signed by Deloitte on March 27, 2023 and the set up on their system on May 17, 2023. The expectation was that the first part of the audit was to be completed in July 2023. The audit process, so far, can be confirmed with the auditors, Deloitte.
“The Board was constantly updated on the process through the Chairman and the Steering Committee, as well as the Executive Director’s reports to the meetings of the Board. For instance, the Executive Director’s report to the June 5, 2023 meeting included the following update on the audit: ‘III(3) Financial Audit: … the auditors, Deloitte, are currently in the middle of the audit and are receiving the cooperation of the Secretariat.’
“Similarly, at the September 27, 2023 meeting, the Executive Director updated the Board on the audit, and included the following in his written report to the Board: ‘Delayed Audit Report: The audit report by Deloitte is needed to begin the fundraising campaign.. Following a number of delays due to documentation, it is now hoped that the audit will be completed soon to enable fundraising to restart in earnest.’
6) Although Archbishop Duncan Williams and Rev Eastwood Anaba were not present at both the June 2023 and September 2023 meetings, they and all the other Board members who were not physically present at the meeting were sent copies of all the documents for the Board meeting, including the Executive Director’s report. The claim that they have received no information, whatsoever, on the audit process is therefore false.
“It needs to be stressed that the January 23, 2023 resolution of Archbishop Duncan Williams and Rev Eastwood Anaba was rejected by the Board on two grounds. First, their call for a complete cessation of all activity on the project until an audit was done, was redundant, as the meeting already had the audit on the agenda.
“Second, and perhaps more critical, their resolution was rejected because of its linkage to the 2024 elections. As Archbishop Duncan Williams explained it, the National Cathedral has become a “trusted weapon” in the hands of the opposition, which they intend to use as part of their 2024 election strategy. Explaining that he had seen “part of the game plan”, he argued that unless the Board agrees to cease all work on the project until after the 2024 elections, the opposition will come after each of them, create divisions in the Board, and be relentless in their opposition to the project. This was rejected because of the undue politicization of the project this complete cessation would entail.
“As the Secretariat of the National Cathedral Project, we are not unaware of the numerous attempts to politicise and cause disaffection for the project through fabrications and outright lies. But, as we have always insisted, the National Cathedral project has been implemented with integrity. And we are working closely with the auditors to ensure that they complete their work, which will be shared with the general public.”