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General News of Wednesday, 28 April 2021


FDA sacks Head of Legal Affairs over US$100,000 bribery report

Cynthia Dapaah-Ntow, sacked Head of Legal Affairs at FDA Cynthia Dapaah-Ntow, sacked Head of Legal Affairs at FDA

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has on the basis of stated misconduct, terminated the appointment of Mrs. Cynthia Dapaah-Ntow, its Head of Legal Affairs.

The move comes after an internal Disciplinary Committee implicated her in a bribery scandal involving a food supplement manufacturer last year.

An internal memo cited by a local news portal, myjoyonline, confirmed the reasons for which she had been sacked and the date she ceases to act in the role i.e. May 18.

The memo read in part: “Management would like to inform Staff that effective 18th May 2021, Mrs. Cynthia Dapaah-Ntow, Head of Legal, will cease to be a staff of the FDA.

"The decision was arrived at after Mrs. Cynthia Dapaah-Ntow was taken through the internal disciplinary process of the Authority, following a charge of misconduct levelled against her.

“The Disciplinary Committee recommended to the Board that the appointment of Mrs. Cynthia Dapaah-Ntow is terminated. The Board has subsequently accepted the recommendation and given her the required notice of termination of appointment.

“The Staff are also hereby informed that the Investigative Committee exonerated the CEO of all allegations of wrongdoing on her part.

“Management appreciates the patience exhibited by all Staff while the disciplinary process lasted.

“As a matured regulatory agency whose core values include transparency, fairness, and integrity, the Authority reiterates its zero-tolerance for bribery and corruption and reaffirms its commitments to the staff.”

Genesis of bribery report

The genesis of the investigative report that led to her dismissal is rooted in her demand for a US$100,000 bribe from the CEO of a food supplement manufacturer, COA FS, in November 2020.

The report titled, “The Returned Bribe,” detailed how the CEO of COA FS, Prof. Samuel Ato Duncan, accused the FDA of attempting to extort money from him at a time his product was gaining popularity amid the COVID-19 pandemic fight.

Mrs. Dapaah-Ntow reportedly demanded a $200,000 bribe from the food supplement company, US$100,000 reportedly for the FDA CEO - who the investigative body has since cleared of any wrongdoing - and another $100,000 for herself.

The FDA had in April same year suspended the production license of COA FS, citing breaches in safety protocols.

Reports indicate that she had tried to use the court to injunct the November 2020 release of the documentary - on radio and TV, which move failed to materialize.