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General News of Thursday, 29 August 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

4 Political parties want procurement authority board dissolved

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and three other political parties have called on the government not to exclude the board of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) in its attempt to investigate the alleged procurement breaches that led to the suspension of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PPA, Mr Agyenim Boateng Adjei.

The other three political parties are the People’s National Convention (PNC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP).

Whereas, the NDC and the PNC have proposed an immediate dissolution of the PPA board on the ground that it failed to do the needful, the CPP and the GCPP stressed the need for the board to be invited to answer questions on the procurement breaches alleged against Mr Adjei in the Contract for Sale documentary.

The NDC made its views known at a press conference in Accra yesterday while the other political parties spoke to the Daily Graphic in separate interviews.

All the parties contended that the board of the PPA could not be exempted from the entire procurement breaches, considering the fact that it was set up by the government to have an oversight responsibility to supervise and check contracts awarded.

The parties said they were shocked by the revelations in the Contract for Sale documentary that captured the face of the suspended CEO of PPA admitting to some procurement breaches.

Background

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on August 22 this year, suspended the CEO of the PPA, Mr Adjei, over a documentary that revealed certain procurement breaches.

In the said video, documented by a freelance journalist, Mr Manasseh Azure Awuni, titled Contract for Sale , Mr Adjei is alleged to have used his influence and position as the CEO of the PPA to execute contracts through some private companies he had allegedly set up.

Mr Adjei is also alleged to have confessed to some of the allegations levelled against him.

In a statement issued by the Office of the President on the matter, President Akufo-Addo referred the case to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to ascertain whether there was any breaches of conflict of interest by the suspended CEO.

Additionally, the President petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), headed by Mr Martin Amidu, to investigate and ascertain if there was any case of corruption involving the operations of Mr Adjei.

NDC fumes

Addressing the media, the Communication Officer of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi, called for the arrest of the suspended PPA CEO, Mr Adjei, on the ground of defrauding the state through illegalities.

He said the evidence from the Contract for Sale documentary was so clear that the police service must move quickly to arrest Mr Adjei and not just wait until investigations were done.

Additionally, Mr Gyamfi said the board of the PPA had no business being at post because it had failed woefully in discharging its duties and obligations.



CPP commendation

The acting Chairperson of the CPP, Hajia Hamdatu Ibrahim, commended the government for its swift response in suspending Mr Adjei after the documentary came out.

She also applauded Mr Azure for the work done in exposing some of the rots in the PPA, indicating that but for the expose, nobody would have ever believed it.

On the board, Hajia Ibrahim said it should have done further investigation when they realised that one single company was getting all the government contracts.

“We expect that the President will act on the recommendations from CHRAJ and the OSP after investigations are done,” she said.

PNC not satisfied

The Chairman of the PNC, Mr Bernard Mornah, said the party was not satisfied with the suspension of Mr Adjei, indicating that the board of the PPA should not be at post.

“By now, we expect that the board of the PPA should have been dissolved and the Ministries and Department questioned regarding their involvement,” he said.

Mr Mornah described the suspension of Mr Adjei as “cutting the leaf and leaving the branch”, saying that as long as the board of the PPA remained, the issue could surface anytime.

He said the documentary came as a shock, considering the nature and work of the PPA and its role in national development.

GCPP on punishment

The leader of the GCPP, Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, also commended the government for its quick response and also referring the case to the CHRAJ and OSP.

He said the nature of the procurement breaches “is embarrassing to the state and that people found to have engaged in any illegalities must be punished”.



“Once we see lawbreakers punished, others will learn to do the right thing,” Dr Lartey added.