Ghanaian News

‘Contracts For Sale’ exposé normal sensationalism – PPA boss lawyer

Counsel for embattled Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) says a documentary by Manasseh Azure Awuni alleging conflict of interest against his client is much ado about nothing.

Augustine Obuor said like everyone, he fumed when he first watched the investigative piece, however, after conversations with Adjenin Boateng Adjei, he has come to conclude that calls for his client to be arrested are baseless.

“I shared the same view before I met Mr Adjenim Boateng. When I also heard a publication by Manasseh I was in the same position but after I had a conference with him I realized that nothing has happened, it is the normal sensationalism,” he said on Joy News’ current affairs programme, Top Story when he joined the discussion via phone.

The PPA boss, who is currently on suspension is being investigated following allegations of his involvement in the sale of government contracts in Manasseh Azure Awuni’s latest documentary ‘Contracts For Sale’.

The documentary showed how a company – Talent Discovery Limited (TDL) – incorporated in June 2017 was selling out government contracts it had been awarded mostly through restrictive tender.

At the time of the investigations, the company which is 60% owned by the PPA boss was prepared to sell one of the many contracts it had been awarded ¢22.3 million to a non-existent entity.

The investigative piece which aired on Joy News showed further that of the two directors and shareholders of TDL, one is the CEO of the PPA, Mr Adjei.

The President subsequently directed the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and Office of the Special Prosecutor, to investigate allegations of conflict of interest leveled against Mr. Adjei.

Together with his lawyer, Mr Adjei who is also a senior member of the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply (GIPS) met with the Special Prosecutor Thursday to answer to claims made in the documentary.

Mr Obuor after that meeting and another with the police insists that his client’s company, TDL did no wrong and had never sold contracts to other companies.

“There is no contract for sale. Who has bought a contract, let that person come out,” he challenged.

According to the lawyer, when the police heard their explanation during their interrogation, they were shocked.

“There is nothing,” he stressed, adding that all claims made in the documentary are false.

He questioned how Mr Adjei who had no knowledge of the daily dealings of the company he partly owns is being accused of such malfeasance.

“He was a Director but resigned because of his busy schedules and does not participate in the daily transactions of TDL. He did not even know about the contract, he also read about it.

“There is nothing wrong,” he added.

But the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are unpleased with the manner in which the issue is being handled.

The party’s Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi said government is minded to do anything about it, and it tells in President Akufo-Addo’s posture.

“If President Akufo-Addo and this government were interested in unraveling the full extent of the scandal and punishing those who perpetrated this scam against this country, AB Adjei would have been dismissed.

“The directors, officers and all other stakeholders of the TDL company would have been apprehended by now and taken through the criminal justice system of this country,” he said.

One way President Akufo-Addo could show his commitment to dealing with the issue, in Gyamfi’s view, is by dissolving the PPA Board.

“The continuous stay in office of the PPA board is untenable,” he stressed.

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