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Sacked PPA boss sues CHRAJ over ‘contract for sale’ probe

3 Mins read
The former Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, has dragged the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to court for what he describes as unfair treatment in the ‘Contract for Sale’ probe conducted by the institution, which led to his dismissal from office.

The suit, filed at an Accra High Court, accused CHRAJ of breaching the principle of natural justice.

Mr Adjei noted that CHRAJ kept certain important information from him during their investigations.

According to him, he was not made aware of the witnesses who testified against him adding that his lawyers were not given the chance to cross-examine the witnesses.

He also noted that he was not given the opportunity to answer certain findings made by the commission in its work.

In his writ, Mr Adjei noted that CHRAJ made “several site trips to several locations to gather evidence which it relied on to arrive at their decision” but he was “never invited to be present at any of these site trips, nor was I allowed to respond or cross-examine the evidence gathered at these site trips.”

“By denying me the opportunity to access, respond and cross-examine statements, witnesses and evidence that the respondents relied on to arrive at their decision, the [CHRAJ] acted in breach of natural justice and failed to give me a fair hearing. If given the chance to access, respond and cross-examine the various documents, witnesses and evidence relied on by [CHRAJ] in their report, I would,” he added.

Mr. Adjei is praying the Court to quash CHRAJ’s report and expunge it from the records and wants the court to make the President rescind his decision and allow him back into his office.

Background:

Journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni was the first to unearth corrupt deals against the PPA boss in 2019 through a documentary, which compelled the President to refer the matter to CHRAJ for investigations.

In the exposé, a company allegedly owned by the PPA CEO, Talent Discovery Limited (TDL), was found to be getting many government contracts through restrictive tendering and selling those contracts to others for profit.

Among other things, the CHRAJ report said: “The evidence also established a pattern of movement of large volumes of cash through the Respondent’s bank accounts between March 2017 and August 2019, far in excess of his known income (Stanbic Bank: USD Account – $516,225.00; Cedi Account – ¢3.83 million; Euro Account – EU54,500; UMB Bank: $110,000). The Respondent could not offer a satisfactory explanation to the source of that huge volume of cash that passed through his bank account between March 2017 and August 2019 (unexplained wealth).

“The totality of the evidence showed that the Respondent had put himself in a position where his personal interest (financial and relational) conflicted with the performance of the functions of his office as CEO and Board Member of PPA.”

It noted that Mr Adjei “put himself in several positions where his personal, relational, and pecuniary interest in TDL and other companies actually conflicted with the performance of the functions of his office as CEO and Board Member of PPA. The Commission holds that the Respondent has contravened article 284 of the 1992 Constitution.”

“The Respondent, being the CEO of PPA, the Regulator of the procurement sector, the Commission is of the strong and considered view that he has gravely abused his high office of trust, and the appropriateness and proportionality of any action to be taken by the Commission must be commensurate with the gravity of the abuse.”

CHRAJ noted further that: “the Respondent is unfit to hold public office and is therefore disqualified from holding any public office for a period of five years. Accordingly, it is hereby directed that no appointing authority of the State should engage or appoint the Respondent (Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei) into any public office howsoever described for the said five (5) year period beginning from the date of this decision.”

It added that: “Primarily, this investigation was initiated on the basis of conflicts of interest allegations. In the course of the investigation, however, the Commission came across evidence of seeming unethical practices by the company TDL, the company owned by the Respondent and his brother-in-law. In the circumstances, the Commission is constrained to refer the evidence of the seeming unethical practices of TDL to the Registrar of Companies and the PPA for further investigation and appropriate action.”

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