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Fallout from Manasseh’s exposé: President suspends PPA Boss …Special Prosecutor, CHRAJ begin probe into case

THE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has suspended from office with immediate effect the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei.

This   followed   the broadcast of allegations made against him in an investigative documentary video conducted by Manasseh Azure Awuni, titled “Contracts for Sale”.

The President has subsequently, referred the allegations involving conflict of interest to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and those relating to potential acts of corruption to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for their prompt action.

According to the Director of Communications at the Jubilee House, Eugene Arhin, President Akufo-Addo has also notified the chairperson of the Board of the PPA to ensure that Mr Adjei hands over his office expeditiously to Mr Frank Mante, the Deputy CEO of the PPA.

Mr Martin Amidu

Meanwhile the Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Amidu has invited Mr Adjei over alleged procurement malpractices levelled against him and other associates in the “Contracts for Sale” scandal.

He is to avail himself on Thursday August 29, 2019, to assist ongoing investigations into the matter in his capacity as the CEO of PPA and director and shareholder of Talent Discovery Limited (TDL) and B-Molie Enterprise Limited, the two companies indicted in the exposé by freelance journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni.

“ You are  hereby  requested  to come along  with all information  and documents  including  relevant  minutes  of the board  relating  to this investigation”, a letter from Mr Amidu to Mr Adjei dated, yesterday August 22, 2019, said.

The letter said the invitation, in line with the power vested in the office by the OSP Act 2017, (Act 959), and had become necessary due to the advancement of preliminary investigation of all shareholders and directors of the two limited liability companies over the allegations.

The “Contracts for Sale” investigative piece broadcast on Wednesday, revealed that the TDL Company, a company incorporated in June 2017, had won a number of government contracts through restrictive tendering, which it  subsequently sold for varying sums of money.

Undercover encounters with the general manager of the company, Thomas Amoah, revealed that the company was selling a ¢22.3 million road contract to K-Drah Enterprise, a fake company Manasseh used for the investigation.

The company also had for sale, a Ministries of Works and Housing contract to construct a concrete drain in Santa Maria in Accra as well as a contract to build a one-story dormitory block in the Asante Akim North District.

The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), according to the exposé had confirmed that the contracts on sale were authentic contracts that have been awarded to the company.

The company has had contracts with the Ghana Water Company (GWCL), Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHPHA), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Works and Housing and the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives.

It has also been shortlisted for restrictive tendering by the Bank of Ghana and the Roads and Highways Ministry. Such contracts are approved by the PPA, of which Mr Adjei (AB Adjei) is the CEO.

In reaction to the scandal, the Executive Director of the Ghana integrity Initiative (GII), Mrs Linda Ofori Kwafo , stated that in addition to Mr Adjei’s suspension, the Board of Directors of the PPA had some questions to answer as they had the responsibility like any other board to oversee the operations of the agency.

The Council for Procurement and Supply in reaction said it was convening an emergency meeting to discuss and come out with a position on the latest investigative documentary by Mr Awuni involving the PPA’s CEO.

Mr Vitus Azeem, a former Executive Director of the GII, said suspending the PPA CEO was not enough, but rather he should be interdicted without pay while the case was quickly investigated.

“An action stiffer than suspension was needed in cases of corruption”, he said, adding that there must be punitive actions taken to make corruption an unattractive enterprise for any public official to engage in”, he said.

Mr Azeem stated that the government must expedite action for the relevant state agencies such as the CHRAJ, OSP and the Police to retrieve from Mr Adjei moneys, if it turns out that the allegations were true which so far he has not denied.

The anti-corruption crusader has meanwhile, asked that Mr Manasseh’s security be beefed up to ensure that his safety is not compromised.

Similarly, he suggested that the investigative journalist be given a certain percentage of moneys that would be recovered in the process as an incentive and to also encourage the hobby of exposing wrong doing in society.

Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority in accordance with the Public Procurement Authority Act 2003 in March 2018, by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Adjei holds a Master of Law Degree in Procurement Law and Policy from Nottingham University, UK and another Master of Science Degree in Logistics and Transportation from Cranfield University also in the UK.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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