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OSP files fresh charges against ex- PPA Boss

  Fri, 19 Apr 2024
Headlines Kissi Agyebeng
FRI, 19 APR 2024 LISTEN
Kissi Agyebeng

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has filed a new charge sheet against the dismissed former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, who is accused of using public office for profit.

The new charge sheet filed before the registry of the High Court in Accra significantly reduced the charges from 17 to eight (8) against him and also notably excluded Mr. Adjei's brother-in-law, Francis Kweku Arhin, who was initially charged with one count of misusing public office for personal profit.

The former PPA boss is now facing four counts of using public office for profit contrary to Section 179C(a) of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and four counts of indirectly influencing the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract.

He was initially charged alongside his brother-in-law, Francis Kwaku Arhin, who was the CEO of Talent Discovery Limited, on May 25, 2022.

It is not clear why the OSP dropped the charge against Kwaku Arhin and whether he would ever be charged again.

The accusations against Mr. Adjei revolve around the exploitation of Talent Discovery Limited as a front to secure public contracts, which was captured in a documentary by Manasseh Azure in his 'Contracts for Sale' exposé.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, on October 30, 2020, sacked Mr. Adjei over allegations of conflict of interest in the 'Contracts for Sale' scandal. He had been suspended the previous year following the release of the investigative piece.

The President, after suspending him, then reported the former PPA boss to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the conflict of interest allegation and followed it up with a complaint to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate the aspects of the scandal bordering on criminality.

OSP's Facts
Per the new facts, evidence will establish that Mr. Adjei was at all material times the Chief Executive of the PPA, a member of the Governing Board of the PPA, and a member of the Due Diligence Unit of the PPA by virtue of his position as the Chief Executive of the Authority.

Court documents indicate that Mr. Adjei and another person incorporated Talent Discovery Limited in Ghana as a company limited by shares on June 19, 2017, three (3) months after the accused was appointed as Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority.

At all material times, the accused was the majority shareholder and a director of Talent Discovery Limited.

“Talent Discovery Limited, during the tenure of the Accused as the Chief Executive; a member of the Governing Board; and a member of the Due Diligence Unit of the Public Procurement Authority, participated in several restricted tenders in respect of public works contracts awarded by the Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Education, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority,” the documents revealed.

The OSP's brief facts state that Mr. Adjei, in his capacity as the Chief Executive, conducted the procurement processes in respect of tenders in which Talent Discovery Limited was shortlisted; and he actively participated in the due diligence and decision-making processes leading to the selection of Talent Discovery Limited as the contractor in respect of the tenders, without disclosing his personal interest as the majority shareholder and a director of the company.

“The Accused also employed his position as the Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority to improperly alter the decision of the Governing Board of the Public Procurement Authority in respect of two (2) Ministry of Education contracts in favour of Talent Discovery Limited, leading to the improper award of the contracts to Talent Discovery Limited,” court documents say.

The documents say Mr. Adjei benefited personally and pecuniarily through the use of public office for profit and influencing the public procurement process to obtain unfair advantage in favour of Talent Discovery Limited, in respect of which he had a financial interest as the majority shareholder.

It was based on this and after the conclusion of investigation that the former PPA boss was charged.

-Daily Guide

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