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GH¢10.4m procurement breach scandal:  OSP drags NDA CEO, 3 others to court

The Office of the Special Prosecutor has filed criminal charges related to procurement breaches totalling GH¢10,400,000,00 involving the former Chief Executive of the Northern Development Author­ity (NDA) and three others at the Tamale High Court, Criminal Division.

They are Sumaila Abdul-Rah­man, 56, Stephen Yir-Egu Eng­men, 50, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Operations, NDA; Patrick Seidu, 50, Deputy NDA in charge of Finance and Andrew Kuundaari, 65, the Chief Executive of A&QS Consortium Limited, 2019-2022.

The Special Prosecutor, Mr Kissi Agyabeng, who signed the writ said the four acted together with a common purpose, of directly or indirectly influencing the procure­ment process to obtain an unfair advantage for A&QS Consortium Limited in the award to A&QS Consortium Limited of a procure­ment contract by NDA under the implementation of the Infra­structure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), to increase, without lawful authority, the total contract sum of GH¢5,720,000.00 approved by Public Procure­ment Authority to an amount of GH¢10,400,000,000.

Together, the accused had been slapped with six counts of conspiracy to commit crime; to wit directly or indirectly influencing the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract, contrary to section 23(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and section 92(2) (b) of the Public Pro­curement Act, 2003 (Act 663).

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The facts according to the SP are that Mr Abdul-Rahman used his position as the Chief Executive of the NDA between February 2022 and May 2022, directly or indirectly influenced the procurement pro­cess to obtain an unfair advantage for A&QS Consortium Limited in the award to A&QS Consortium Limited of a procurement contract by Northern Development Au­thority under the implementation of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), by pushing through, approving, and submitting for payment, without lawful authority, two invoices sub­mitted by A&QS Consortium Lim­ited totalling GH¢8,328,840.00), an amount which exceeds the total contract sum of GH¢5,720,000.00) approved by Public Procure­ment Authority by an amount of (GH¢2,608,840.00).

He said Mr Abdul Rahman con­spired together with Mr Kuundaari, the Chief Executive of A&QS Consortium Limited, Yir-Eru En­gmen, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Operations, NDA, Seidu, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Finance and Administration, NDA to increase, without lawful authority, the total contract sum of GH¢5,720,000.00 approved by Public Procurement Authority to an amount of GH¢10,400,000.00.

The SP said Yir-Eru Engmen used his position as Deputy Chief Executive of accepting, without lawful authority, on behalf of Northern Development Authority, an offer from A&QS Consortium Limited for consultancy services for the design and supervision of construction infrastructure works and engineering services, at a time when no approval had been sought for by Northern Development Au­thority and no approval had been granted by Public Procurement Authority for the procurement of A&QS Consortium Limited.

He said Mr Yir-Eru Engmen used his position as Deputy Chief of NDA between May-June 2020 to supply to the Chief Executive of NDA a fictitious document which he misrepresented and passed off as the contract exe­cuted between NDA and A&QS Consortium Limited and which states the total contract sum as GH¢10,400,000.00, an amount which exceeds the total con­tract sum of GH¢5,720,000.00) approved by Public Procure­ment Authority by an amount of GH¢4,680,000.00, and thereby securing approval for payment, two invoices submitted by A&QS Consortium Limited totaling GH¢8,328,840.00), an amount which exceeds the total con­tract sum of GH¢5,720,000.00) approved by Public Procure­ment Authority by an amount of GH¢2,608,840.00.

The SP stated that Mr Yir-Eru Engmen influenced the procure­ment process to obtain an unfair advantage for A&QS Consortium Limited in the procurement of consultants by Northern Devel­opment Authority for the imple­mentation of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).

He said Mr Seidu used his po­sition as Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Finance to instruct, direct and/or authorise the budget officer of NDA, without lawful authority, to initiate the process for payment and thereby secur­ing approval for the payment of two invoices submitted by A&QS Consortium Limited totalling GH¢8,328,840.00, an amount which exceeds the total contract sum of GH¢5,720,000.00 approved by Public Procurement Authority by an amount of GH¢2,608,840.00.

 BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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