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Former PPA CEO pleads not guilty to fresh charges, granted GHc4m bail

The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Agyenim Boateng Adjei has pleaded not guilty to fresh charges by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP).

This comes barely an hour after the OSP dropped charges against him and his brother-in-law Francis Kwaku Arhin in the previous charge sheet filed on May 18, 2022, and slapped some 17 counts on him.

The former CEO of PPA pleaded not guilty to all eight fresh counts which comprised four counts each of using Public office for profit and directly and indirectly influencing the Public Procurement Process using his office.

In Court on Monday, April 22, 2024, the Court presided over by Justice Marie-Louise Simmons after taking his plea admitted him to bail in the sum of GHc4 million.

He is to produce two sureties both of whom are to be justified with landed properties.

The Court also said the Registrar is to confirm with the relevant authorities the authenticity of the documents while the sureties are to produce copies of their Ghana Cards to the Registrar.

Justice Simmons said the Accused is to also produce every passport he has to the registrar of the court.

The Court also said the registrar is to “further confirm with the relevant passports and the existence of any other passports issued in the name of the accused person.”

EIB Network Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, who was in Court said, the Court has further directed that the copies of the bail bond are to be given to the prosecution for easy access.

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The Prosecution led by the Principal Prosecutor has been directed to file their disclosures.

The charge sheet preferred four counts each of using public office for profit, contrary to section 179(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act.29) and Indirectly influencing the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract, contrary to section 92(2)(b) of the public procurement act 2003 ( act 663).

Brief facts

The brief facts of the case state that, by a letter signed by his Secretary, the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo referred allegations of corruption against the Accused to the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

It stated that the referral was on the back of and based on an audio-visual documentary titled: Contracts for Sale – an investigative journalistic piece conducted by Manasseh Azure Awuni and aired by the Multimedia Group.

According to the brief facts, the evidence will establish that the Accused was at all material times the Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority; a member of the Governing Board of the Public Procurement Authority; and a member of the Due Diligence Unit of the Public Procurement Authority by his position as the Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority).

The OSP states that “the Accused and another person incorporated Talent Discovery Limited in Ghana as a company limited by shares on June 19, 2017, three (3) months after the Accused was appointed as Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority.”

“At all material times, the Accused was the majority shareholder and a director of Talent Discovery Limited.

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“Talent Discovery Limited, during the tenure of the Accused as the Chief Executive; a member of the Governing Board; and a member of the Due Diligence Unit of the Public Procurement Authority, 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 Public Procurement Authority, conducted the procurement processes in respect of tenders in which Talent Discovery Limited was shortlisted; and 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,” the OSP explained.

“The Accused also employed his position as the Chief Executive of the Public Procurement Authority to improperly alter the decision of the Governing Board of the Public Procurement Authority in respect of two(2) Ministry of Education contracts in favour of Talent Discovery Limited leading to the improper award of the contracts to Talent Discovery Limited.

“The Accused benefited personally and particularly 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.

“After investigations, the Accused was duly charged with the offences on the charge,” the OSP stated.

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Source: Starrfm

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