The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is out again with another epistle about the National Cathedral.
This time, he alleged that the Directors of the US-incorporated National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc. have not filed their annual tax returns.
Mr Ablakwa said this has persisted since their effective incorporation on May 3, 2021.
He noted that not-for-profit organisations that practice transparency and accountability and do not divert funds for personal gain would have no difficulty filing their returns, but those that engage in illicit activities, such as money laundering, are more likely to be delinquent.
The MP made this known in a Facebook post on Monday, May 8, 2023, as part of his latest epistle on the National Cathedral project.
Mr Ablakwa has warned that if the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc fail to submit their annual tax returns, the tax-exempt status of the country could be revoked.
He urged the Foundation to ensure that the necessary paperwork is completed and filed without delay.
Below is the full statement of Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa:
Episode 4 of the “National” Cathedral Scandals— American Edition
A crucial discovery from my US fact-finding mission that cannot be ignored is the realisation that the lawlessness and impunity which has dominated the domestic cathedral operations by the numerous misconduct of this Akufo-Addo administration is the same modus operandi that has reared its ugly head in the US.
To recall, Ghanaians remain astonished over the brazenness with which Article 178 of the 1992 Constitution was violated when more than ¢339 million of public funds was withdrawn to create the world’s most expensive pit, albeit without parliamentary approval.
The multiple illegalities continued with the irregular procurement of David Adjaye’s services under dubious emergency pretexts and outrageous inflationary pricing; and then there was how the main cathedral contractor, RIBADE was engaged through flagrant disregard for Ghana’s procurement laws as confirmed by the PPA Chief Executive, Mr. Frank Mante in his July 5, 2022 response to my RTI request. (Copy attached).
This lawless attitude has been replicated in the United States. The sages say a leopard never changes its spots.
Unassailable evidence reveals that the governors/directors of the US-incorporated National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc have refused to file their annual tax returns. Indeed, they have never complied since their May 3, 2021, effective incorporation.
The specific US federal law mandating not-for-profit organizations to file their tax returns which is also referred to as Form 990 is section 6033 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
Under the US IRC’s section 6033, tax-exempt organizations, including not-for-profit organizations of this nature, are required to file an annual information return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This return is typically due by the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of the organization’s fiscal year, and it provides information about the organization’s activities, finances, and compliance with tax-exempt status requirements.
Governors/Directors of Not-for-profits who are transparent, accountable and do not engage in the diversion of funds raised for personal gain have no difficulty filing their returns.
It is also noteworthy that those who abuse their organizations and use them for nefarious activities such as money laundering are those more likely to default in filing their returns.
Last Saturday, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah, the Executive Director of the National Cathedral Secretariat peddled blatant and repugnant falsehood when he claimed on Joy FM’s Newsfile that they had filed their tax returns in the US.
It is acutely horrifying that people purporting to be building the Lord’s temple cannot stop the constant falsehoods and deception.
These are the same elements led by the President of Ghana who deceived Ghanaians that taxpayer funds would not be used to construct the $1 billion cathedral.
They are the same people who kept using Rev. Mensah Otabil on their website, letterheads and other official communication, long after he had left the board until I exposed their fraudulent conduct leading to the Secretariat Nicodemusly effecting corrections.
It was in a similar fashion I exposed the incontrovertible fact that Bishop Dag Heward-Mills had been left out of the Ghana articles of incorporation for some three years. This was one of the key reasons Bishop Heward-Mills resigned as contained in his explosive resignation letter.
The falsehoods have continued unabated even with my recent American Edition of National Cathedral Scandals— whereas Eric Okyere Darko claims in an interview that their US-incorporated entity has no office, Dr Opoku-Mensah, on the other hand, insists they have a “holding office” at that fraudulent Washington address. Both of them cannot be speaking the truth.
Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah and his accomplices ought to be reminded that a lying tongue is one of the seven sins God detests the most. (Proverbs 6:16-19). They must urgently seek deliverance from the epidemic of lies that has come to define them.
I shall now encourage Ghanaians to visit the US IRS website for their own independent verification and validation. Kindly access: https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/
Remember to use the Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the National Cathedral of Ghana and Bible Museum Foundation, Inc which is: 86-3859197.
(IRS website evidence duly attached).
Compare the empty cathedral files from your search to other entities as I have highlighted and attached. You may also use their EINs to see the different outcomes.
Another website which confirms Form 990 filings is: https://simple990.com/
(See results for Ghana and other entities attached)
From the overwhelming evidence, if this lawless trend continues into next year, the tax-exempt status of Ghana will be revoked.
US law is unambiguous that “an organization that fails to file the required e-Postcard (or annual return) for three consecutive tax years automatically loses its tax-exempt status.”
It is particularly unconscionable and unacceptable that despite retaining an expensive, or more accurately put, an extortionist $6 million “Consultant for the USA” (per documents submitted to Parliament) in the person of Cary Lee Summers who operates from a dilapidated warehouse and not the advertised Nehemiah Group; then there are the infamous trio governors: President Vernon Darko, Eric Okyere Darko and Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah — how come all these actors are violently disregarding the law by refusing to file their Form 990 with the IRS?
Many poignant questions arise:
What are they hiding?
Without annual filings, how will we ever know how much money has been raised in the US?
Who is keeping Ghana’s money?
What have the funds been used for?
Why would Dr Opoku-Mensah peddle naked falsehoods about Ghana’s filing situation?
When will they render full account to the Ghanaian people?
Who’s going to compel the trio and US Consultant Cary Lee Summers to account for all the monies collected in our names?
The day of reckoning is coming very soon.
I shall be back.
For God and Country.