Former PPA CEO pleads not guilty to fresh charges
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Former PPA CEO pleads not guilty to fresh charges

Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, has pleaded not guilty to the fresh criminal charges filed against him by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

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The charges, which were filed at the Criminal Division of the High Court in Accra last Wednesday, are eight counts of using public office for profit and indirectly influencing procurement processes to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of procurement contracts.

The court, presided over by Justice Maries-Louis Simmons, admitted Adjei to bail in the sum of GH¢4 million with two sureties, both to be justified. As part of the bail conditions, the Registrar is to confirm from relevant authorities the authenticity of documents from the sureties, who are to deposit their Ghana Cards.

Mr Adjei is to produce every passport he has in his possession to the Registrar. The case has been adjourned to May 14, 2024, for a Case Management Conference. 

Old charges withdrawn

Earlier in the day, Mr Adjei and his brother-in-law, Francis Kwaku Arhin, were discharged by a different court where they had been standing trial for the past one year and 11 months.

That was after a prosecutor from the OSP, Adelaide Kobiri-Woode, notified the court of her intention to withdraw the case involving 18 counts of using public office for profit and nine counts of directly and indirectly influencing the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract against the two.

Justice Mary Maame Ekue Yanzuh struck out the old charges as withdrawn. The withdrawn charges were filed in May 2022.  

Before he was discharged, the prosecution’s star witness, Manasseh Azure Awuni, who conducted the investigation leading to the interdiction of Adjei, was under cross-examination by lawyers for the accused.

The former PPA boss’ lawyer, Kwame Acheampong Boateng, expressed disappointment at the move by the OSP, adding: “Having gone through trial we thought the matter would be extremely expeditious”. 

Prosecution’s facts

The facts accompanying the charges are that by a letter signed by his Secretary, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo referred allegations of corruption against Adjei to the OSP.

The referral was on the back of and based on an audio-visual documentary titled “Contracts for Sale” – an investigative journalistic piece conducted by Mr Awuni and aired by the Multimedia Group.

It said evidence established that 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).

The accused and another person incorporated Talent Discovery Limited in Ghana as a company limited by shares on June 19, 2017, three months after he was appointed as the Chief Executive of the PPA.

It said at all material times, the accused was the majority shareholder and a director of Talent Discovery Limited. It added that during the tenure of the accused as the Chief Executive, Talent Discovery Limited 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 accused, in his capacity as the Chief Executive, a member of the Governing Board and a member of the Due Diligence Unit of the PPA, conducted the procurement processes in respect of tenders in which Talent Discovery Limited was shortlisted.

“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,” it said.

The prosecutor said Mr Adjei also employed his position as the Chief Executive of the PPA to improperly alter the decision of the Governing Board of the PPA in respect of two Ministry of Education contracts in favour of Talent Discovery Limited, allegedly leading to the improper award of the contracts to Talent Discovery Limited.

“The accused 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,” the prosecutor told the court.

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