Akufo-Addo Drags Fired PPA Boss-To Amidu

SUSPENDED! AB Adjei

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has
suspended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority
(PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei (A.B. Adjei), over alleged procurement misconduct.

A letter signed by Eugene Arhin, Director of
Communications at the Presidency on Thursday, said: “The suspension follows the
broadcast of allegations made against him in an investigative documentary
conducted by Manasseh Azuri Awuni titled: ‘Contracts For Sale’.”

It said: “President Akufo-Addo has subsequently
referred the allegations involving conflict of interest to the Commission on
Human Rights and Administrative Justice and those relating to potential acts of
corruption to the Office of Special Prosecutor for their prompt action.”

“The President has 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 Chief Executive Officer of the
PPA,” it added.

Amidu Invitation

Immediately the President’s letter reached the
Office of the Special Prosecutor, the head, Martin Amidu, invited the
beleaguered PPA boss and directors and shareholders of Talent Discovery Limited
and B-Molie Enterprise to assist in investigations into the procurement
malpractice.

In a letter signed personally by the Special
Prosecutor yesterday and addressed to Mr. Agyenim Adjei with copies to the acting
Head of Investigations at the Office of the Special Prosecutor and
Auditor-General, Daniel Domelevo, said: “The Office has been conducting
preliminary investigations into suspected commission of corruption and
corruption-related offences by the above-named limited liability companies and
their directors and shareholders.”

“The matter of preliminary investigations has
reached such a stage that instructions for full investigations into possible
procurement malpractices in the nature of corruption and corruption-related
offences have been issued.”

The persons of interest were directed to “report
to the acting Head of Investigations at the Office of Special Prosecutor on Thursday,
August 29, 2019 at 10 am with the relevant information and documents herein pursuant
to Sections 29 and 73 of the OFP ACT, 2017 (ACT 959) and Regulation 10 of L.I
2,374.”

Main Investigation

Some investigations by freelance journalist,
Manasseh Azure Awuni, revealed that Talent Discovery Limited (TDL), a company
incorporated in June 2017, won a number of government contracts through
restrictive tendering.

The journalist also reported that the company
was engaged in selling contracts. Undercover encounters with the General
Manager of the Company, Thomas Amoah, revealed that the company was selling a
GH¢22.3 million road contract to K-Drah Enterprise, a fake company Manasseh
used for the investigation.

This contract was awarded to B-Molie Limited, a
company Mr. Amoah said was a sister company of TDL.

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

After demanding and taking a registration fee
of GH¢5000 and a deposit from Manasseh’s undercover agent, the General Manager
of the TDL, who is also the one who signs the contracts on behalf of the
company, handed over three contracts when K-Drah Enterprise promised to come on
a particular Thursday and pay for one of the projects.

The ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs),
according to the journalist, confirmed that the contracts
being sold by TDL are authentic contracts that have been awarded to the
company.

The company has had contracts with the Ghana
Water Company (GWCL), Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) and Ghana Ports and Harbours
Authority (GPHA), according to him.

It also has contracts with the Ministry of
Education, Ministry of Works and Housing and four contracts with the Ministry
of Special Development Initiatives to construct dams under the government’s ‘One
Village, One Dam’ project.

TDL has also been shortlisted for restrictive
tendering by the Bank of Ghana for the supply and installation of air
purifiers. The company has been shortlisted by the Roads and Highways Ministry
for three road contracts and the evaluation is currently ongoing.

The PPA board has confirmed that TDL was
shortlisted by the Ministry of Inner Cities and Zongo Development for a
contract in 2018. Besides, the board confirmed that TDL was brought to the PPA
on 14 occasions for restrictive tendering approvals.

Such contracts are approved by the PPA of which Mr. Adjei is the CEO.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu & Melvin Tarlue

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