Ghana

Contracts for sale: Suspended PPA boss should be sacked – CHRAJ

Adjenim Boateng Adjei, suspended PPA boss

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has said CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Adjenim Boateng Adjei should be sacked by President Akufo-Addo.

He is also disqualified from holding public office for the next five years.

Mr. Adjei was suspended from office by President Akufo-Addo following an investigative documentary by Manasseh Azure Awuni, which revealed a company he co-owned, has been selling government contracts it won through single-source and restrictive tendering, to the highest bidder.

In suspending him, President Nana Akufo-Addo also directed CHRAJ and the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate his appointee of conflict of interest and corruption.

CHRAJ in its decision states that Mr. Adjei put himself in several positions where his personal, relational and pecuniary interest in TDL and other companies actually conflicted with the performance of the functions of his office.

It also stated that he abused his high office of trust.

Summary of key findings of CHRAJ investigations

“The following constitute the key findings of the investigation: Talent Discovery Limited (TDL) was incorporated on 19 June 2017, three months after the Respondent was appointed CEO of PPA in March 2017, by the Respondent and his brother-in-law Francis Kwaku Arhin, the Respondent being the majority shareholder.

The Respondent is both a director and shareholder of TDL and Francis Arhin, Respondent’s brother-in-law, is a director, shareholder and CEO of TDL. In effect, the Respondent has personal interest in TDL (financial and relational).

Although the Respondent claimed that he had resigned as director of TDL by reason of letter dated 5th September, 2017 addressed to the CEO and Company Secretary of TDL, all the relevant official records of the company showed that he remained a director of TDL at all material times, and that his purported resignation letter had no probative value whatsoever.

The evidence supports the allegation that TDL participated in a number of restricted tenders, which applications came before the Respondent in his capacity as CEO of PPA and member of the Board of PPA for approval.

TDL was awarded 10 contracts through restricted tender between June 2017 and 22 August 2019. However, the evidence did not support the allegation of award of contracts through sole sourcing.

The Respondent participated in the decision-making process on restricted tender applications that had TDL shortlisted without disclosing his private capacity (financial and relational) interest in the company or recusing himself, except on one occasion, in violation of the Board’s resolution on the matter and Article 284 of the Constitution.

The evidence further showed that the Respondent, on at least two occasions, used his office as CEO of PPA improperly by altering the decision of the Board to the benefit of TDL, a company in which he has personal (financial and relational) interest.

Officials of TDL (Thomas Amoah, Administrative Manager, who is also sometimes described as General Manager, Project Manager or Group Manager, and Abigail, the Office Secretary), the company in which the Respondent is majority shareholder and director, were clearly seen and heard in the documentary offering to sell contracts awarded to TDL by public procurement entities through restricted tender.

The evidence also established a pattern of movement of large volumes of cash through the Respondent’s Bank Accounts between March 2017 and August 2019, far in excess of his known income (Stanbic Bank: USD Account – $516,225.00; Cedi Account – ¢3.83 million; Euro Account – EU54.500; UMB Bank: $110,000). The Respondent could not offer a satisfactory explanation to the source of that huge volume of cash that passed through his bank account between March 2017 and August 2019 (unexplained wealth).

“The totality of the evidence showed that the Respondent had put himself in a position where his personal interest (financial and relational) conflicted with the performance of the functions of his office as CEO and Board Member of PPA.”

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