The Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency and Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs Committee Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has released Episode 3 of the “National Cathedral Scandals — American Edition.
In a statement, the MP said;
My parliamentary oversight mission to the United States of America with the patriotic and constitutional objective of scrutinizing the operations of the “National” Cathedral of Ghana in that country has certainly opened a very big can of worms.
Episode 3 reveals deeply distressing findings from the two US states of Oklahoma and Illinois.
Hitherto, Ghanaians and the Parliament of Ghana had only been informed either through official documentation, the “National” Cathedral of Ghana website and press releases from the Cathedral Secretariat about its Washington, D.C. office, even though that address: 1090 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 has now turned out to be fictitious.
Thanks to my trip, we also now know that the Missouri address of the US Consultant, Cary Summers who’s Nehemiah Group is keeping our US$6million according to documents submitted to Parliament in November last year is rather a miserable looking coffee warehouse.
I can today reveal that there has been a bustling hive of activity beyond Washington, D.C. and Missouri. I have secured true certified copies of registration and other documentation of the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. in Oklahoma and Illinois. (These documents are duly attached and made public for the first time.)
An analysis of the Oklahoma and Illinois files raise a number of alarming issues:
1. Contrary to the explanation by the “National” Cathedral Secretariat contained in their May 2, 2023 response to Episode 1 of my exposé that the Washington, D.C. incorporation without the clergy was only an interim measure which preceded the January 6, 2022 opinion of the Attorney General, the documents in my possession confirm otherwise. The indisputable evidence is that long after the January 6, 2022 opinion of the Attorney-General, the Oklahoma registration was renewed on December 12, 2022 for another year with the legendary three: Dr. Vernon Darko, Eric Okyere Darko and Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah responsible for all funds to be collected;
2. Along the same trajectory, long after the January 6, 2022 advice of the Attorney-General, the same trio defied the AG and applied for authority to conduct affairs in Illinois on September 2, 2022. This time Dr. Vernon Darko was registered as President;
3. In filling the Illinois registration documents, the trio stated at entry 2.c. that the period of duration for the Washington, D.C. incorporated “National” Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. was “perpetual” and not an interim Special Purpose Vehicle as the Secretariat has been falsely claiming in their recent press statements following my exposés;
4. Another bizarre discovery is the declaration to Oklahoma authorities by the trio in both the 2021 and 2022 registrations that the address of the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. is: 3119 A South Scenic, Springfield, MO 65807 which is the coffee warehouse belonging to Cary Summers;
5. It is extremely curious that in the 2021 Oklahoma registration, all three actors shared the same Missouri address — an address which belongs to the ubiquitous Cary Lee Summers;
6. Both the Oklahoma and Illinois registration documents reveal that Dr. Vernon Darko is the President and Director of the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc.;
7. How did Dr. Vernon Darko become President of a national project abroad? Who appointed him to that position? How does he derive his authority? How is he accountable to Ghanaians? Why is Parliament not aware of his exalted status?
8. If the “National” Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. is truly a national project belonging to Ghanaians, why are Ghana’s two diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C. and New York playing absolutely no role? Why should Dr. Vernon Darko and his collaborators have all the authority over a so-called national project abroad while our Ambassador and Permanent Representative have absolutely no authority and no locus?
9. Due to the strict requirements under Oklahoma’s Solicitation of Charitable Contributions Act, the trio were compelled to declare that in 2021 they raised US$63,978.00 in Oklahoma. This amount has never been disclosed to Ghanaians neither is it contained in any of the reports to Parliament. Where is this money and what was it used for? When will Ghanaians know the total amount of funds raised across the US and how credible will that figure be considering the sordid levels of opacity, structural illegalities and abysmal corporate governance?
10. The time to stop these marauding trio who purport to be raising funds in our names and on behalf of the Ghanaian people but have no mandate and are not accountable to us is NOW.
Even before my admitted motion for a full-scale parliamentary inquiry is debated, Ghanaians expect the Auditor-General and the external audit Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams and Rev. Eastwood Anaba demanded to urgently commence an audit into the domestic and international operations of the “National” Cathedral of Ghana.
SOA’s unimpeachable oversight shall be back.