Ghana News

CHRAJ directs former PPA boss Adjenim Boateng Adjei to refund GH¢5.7m to the state

A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, has been directed by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to refund GH¢5.7 million to the state.

According to a Graphic.com.gh report, the stated amount is expected to be paid into the Consolidated Fund within six months and the receipt evidencing the payment produced before the commission.

CHRAJ indicated the commission would take the necessary action to recover the money from Mr Adjei’s known properties and assets should he fail to comply with the directive.

Adjenim Boateng Adjei has also been banned from holding public office for not less than ten years to run concurrently with the earlier disqualification in the commission’s decision in the case of Office of the President (OOP) vrs CEO of PPA.

“Having abused public office to illicitly enrich himself, Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei has demonstrated that he can no longer be entrusted with public office. Consequently, the commission hereby disqualifies him from holding public office for a period not less than 10 years,” CHRAJ said.

Adjei is to declare his assets and liabilities within three months.

CHRAJ also disqualified the Board Chairman, Professor Douglas Boateng, and a member of the board, Dr Emmanuel Yaw Boakye, from appointment to chair or be a member of any public board, council or commission for two years and three years, respectively.

Background

Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, was suspended by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following an aired documentary titled “Contracts for Sale on August 21, 2019.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, subsequently referred the allegations of conflict of interest in the documentary to CHRAJ and that of corruption and sale of contracts to the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for investigations in respect of their mandates and appropriate action.

On October 4, 2019, an investigation was conducted as a result of a complaint by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Transparency International (TI), for Adjei and the then members of the Board of PPA and officials of Talent Discovery Ltd (TDL) to be investigated on issues of conflict of interest, corruption, illegal acquisition of assets and non-declaration of assets and liabilities, which contravened the Constitution.

The particulars of the complaint from GII included the fact that Adjei established companies, including TDL, soon after he became the CEO of PPA and used his public office for private gain, and that the companies sub-let or sold government contracts to other contractors and suppliers, enriching himself illegally.

The GII requested for him, together with board members who could have been involved in the deals, and officials of TDL, to be investigated so that no one benefits from the illegal wealth they might have acquired through corruption and the monies retrieved.

Per CHRAJ findings, the report revealed unexplained wealth in various bank accounts of the former PPA CEO within two years in office, especially when he had stated himself that he was not receiving salary or income from any of the known sources.

He had also admitted that he had not declared his assets and liabilities to enable the commission to determine what he was worth before assuming public office.

“Mr Adjei received huge cash deposits into his Universal Merchant Bank Cedi account between August 2017 and August 2019, amounting to GH¢5,697,530 (less GH¢86,000) paid by Device Ltd) while he was holding public office as CEO of PPA.

“The report stated that although he was given every opportunity to rebut the presumption that those assets were not illegally acquired, contrary to section 5 of Public Office Holders (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550), he was unable to show that those amounts were reasonably attributable to income, gift, loan, inheritance or any other reasonable source and, therefore in contravention of the Constitution,” Graphic.com added.

Meanwhile, GII has commended CHRAJ for a dispassionate and thorough work done.

The anti-graft NGO called on the OSP and EOCO to fast-track the criminal investigation aspect of the case and hold accountable persons who would be found culpable.

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