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Sacked PPA boss on why CHRAJ recommended that he should not hold public office for five years

Adjenim Boateng Adjei, the dismissed CEO of the Public Procurement Authority, has revealed the reason behind the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ’s) recommendation that he should not hold public office for five years.

The recommendation was contained in the CHRAJ report presented to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo based on which Mr. Adjei was dismissed.

According to Adjei, Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal, the CHRAJ Commissioner is rather the one who does not deserve to hold public office for five years.

Adjei stated that one of the basis for CHRAJ’s recommendation that he should not hold public office for five years is, “I have flouted board decisions on two occasions – the first instance was a sheer typo error and the second occasion is best described as an oversight”.

In explaining the sheer typo error, Adjei told Net 2 TV that Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) wrote to the PPA requesting a restricted tendering application approval. But after PPA’s due diligence, they realised that two figures were quoted by GPHA.

Adjei indicated that in the due diligence process, the PPA under his leadership realised that the bill of quantities was two hundred and seventy-eight thousand but GPHA quoted four hundred thousand, “so we wrote to GPHA asking them to confirm whether or not the amount is four hundred thousand in order for us to determine the correct amount.”

He further revealed: “GPHA in their reply stated that they made a mistake in quoting the four hundred thousand, [that] the correct amount is the two hundred and seventy-eight thousand. Erroneously, as we were going back to confirm the letter my secretary picked the figure four hundred thousand because she found it in the letter.”

On that matter, Adjei narrated, it was a genuine error he had committed against the decision of the PPA board.

Adjei added that the matter of the four hundred thousand cedis was a restrictive tender by the GPHA so there was no way it could imply that the award of contract was granted in that regard.

“[But] I read the report and I was asking myself how could people be so vicious in their mind… can’t somebody say that this is an error… are they saying I will go back to GPHA to tell them that I added some monies to the amount you quoted so I needed my share, what kind of thinking is this?” he wondered aloud.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a letter dated Friday 30 October 2020, terminated Adjei’s appointment after he had been on suspension for about a year.

The decision follows the submission of a report to President Akufo-Addo by CHRAJ on a conflict of interest investigation initiated against Adjei.

A report issued by the CHRAJ noted that Adjei was unable to explain the volumes of cash that passed through his bank account with Stanbic Bank after his appointment.

The CHRAJ investigation emanated from an earlier investigative work by journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni over some contracts sanctioned by the PPA.

The CHRAJ report concluded that Adjei had put himself in a position where his personal interests conflicted with the performance of his functions as CEO and board member of PPA.

Portions of the report said: “The respondent (Mr Adjei) opened a USD Account at the Stanbic Bank on 03 April 2017 after his appointment as CEO of PPA. As of August 2-019, a total of USD516225 has been credited to the account and his debits stood at USD504607.87.

“When confronted with the evidence of the sheer volume of cash that passed through his accounts the Respondent indicated that Frosty Ice Mineral Water Ltd does not have a bank account and that proceeds from the sales of the water is lodged in his account. Frosty Ice Mineral water Ltd is the company the Respondent owns with his wife, Mercy Adjei. He also claimed that he received money from other family businesses but could not name the family businesses.”

A press release issued by Eugene Arhin, the Director of Communications at the Presidency, announcement the termination of AB Adjei’s appointment stated: “Having satisfied himself of the fact that the recommendation made by CHRAJ is properly motivated and well-founded, the President has expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Mr Joseph Whittal and CHRAJ for the thorough and methodical manner in which the matter has been addressed.”

The CHRAJ asked the Special Prosecutor to examine aspects of the investigative work relating to potential acts of corruption. The Special Prosecutor is yet to come out with his report.

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