There can be no gainsaying that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei, needs to be promptly prosecuted and given a stiff prison term, if investigations presently being conducted by the Special Prosecutor, the Attorney-General and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) point to the fact of a criminal offence having been committed in the alleged sale of government contracts by the use of a bogus firm called Talent Discovery Limited (TDL) – (See “NDC Wants Suspended PPA Boss Arrested, Prosecuted” Modernghana.com 8/28/19).
The call by Mr. Sammy Gyamfi, the so-called National Communications Officer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), needs to be given serious consideration. But, of course, the bloody hypocrisy of the caller, that is Mr. Gyamfi, cannot be lightly glossed over or simply ignored, especially in the matter of the members of the Mahama cabinet who have been found to have criminally and illegally taken home double salaries during the four-and-half years that former President John Dramani Mahama ruled the proverbial roost. For, we cannot have one form of justice for operatives of the NDC found to have run afoul of the law, while members and operatives of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) found to have committed offences against the State, and the Ghanaian taxpayer, for that matter, are held to higher standards, as Mr. Gyamfi clearly and flagrantly appears to be advocating.
How about pushing vigorously for the dodgy Mr. Mahama Ayariga to be promptly brought to justice? Now, let’s get something clear and upfront here – the “Contracts for Sale” filmic documentary produced by Mr. Manasseh Azure Awuni only points to the strong possibility of Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei’s having committed several acts of criminality. It does not provide any airtight or foolproof evidence against the man, although even as I pointed out in one of my previously published columns, the PPA’s CEO has what clearly appears to be a criminal record, or a strong semblance of the same, dating back to as far back as 2001 or 2003, when a Commission of Enquiry headed by the late Justice NYB Adade is known to have recommended outright dismissal of Mr. Adjei, who was at the time also officially involved in a similar activity.
Now, what this means is that the suspended PPA’s CEO ought not to have been put in the same position where there was a strong possibility of him having engaged in illegal or downright acts of criminality. As it stands, Mr. Adjei may be aptly deemed to be as guilty as whoever it was that either appointed him to the post of PPA-CEO or recommended him for the same. But, of course, what needs highlighting more than all else, is the apparently poor record-keeping at the official level in the country or the seemingly abjectly flagrant disregard for the same. The PPA’s Board-of-Directors also needs to be thoroughly investigated for any lapses and promptly and swiftly dealt with to the fullest extent permitted by law. There may also exist some loopholes in the laws governing the operations of the PPA which may need to be critically examined and promptly closed, if any such administrative illegalities are not to continue to be the rule rather than the exception.
This is not an isolated incident, not by any measure or stretch of the imagination; for, we are here talking about a nation in which a sitting President who just lost an election, fair and square, curiously demanded to be given the traditionally official residence of the Vice-President as a personal parting gift because, in Ghana, leadership accountability well appears to be far less significant than the mere fact of one’s having been elected to any high position of public trust, irrespective of whether the person or candidate so elected had creditably acquitted him-/herself or otherwise.
In other words, it cannot be gainsaid that Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution was crafted and made operable by a criminally minded hoodlum pack. This may also explain why some members among the country’s youths have been agitating for at the very least a major revision of our Fourth-Republican Constitution, or even the complete scrapping of the same and a freshly minted Constitution drafted and promptly enacted. Sincerely speaking, I don’t see the complete abrogation of the current Constitution happening anytime soon. Americans have a saying that “our democratic system may be far from perfect, but it is still the best system that we have.” In the case of Ghana, the most pertinent extended simile would be that the present instrument of governance is far better than the Darwinian governance regime that existed under the quasi-junta, faux-socialist Jerry John Rawlings-led political juggernaut that was the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
Instead, what is needed right now are the relevant revisions and amendments to make the present Constitution more progressively practicable. You see, the real value or usefulness of any instrument of democratic governance can best be judged only after it has been enacted or fully put into operation. Seen at face value, all constitutions are like “closet plays,” they may seem to be perfect until they are actually pragmatized, and then those for whose governance they were designed get exposed to their kinks and strengths. I am also quite certain that warts and all, Ghana’s Fourth-Republican Constitution contains some facets that are operationally impeccable. What is more, perfection is an evolutionary process that takes quite a while to achieve, if ever at all.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 28, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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