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General News of Monday, 26 February 2018


SSNIT officials to face Amidu over $72m software scandal

Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, Special Prosecutor

Some officials of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) who were allegedly involved in the $72 million software scandal will soon face the Special Prosecutor, Mr. Martin Amidu, Today can report.

This follows the Economic and Organized Crimes Office’s (EOCO) investigation which has indicted some managers of the state-owned institution of their various roles they played in the SSNIT ICT infrastructure scandal which dominated the headlines last year.

The scandal involves the procurement of ICT infrastructure for the Trust at a monstrous cost of $72 million, a price tag that was well over the initial amount estimated for the project.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of EOCO, ACP K. K. Amoah, told journalists in Accra on Friday, February 23, 2018 that, a docket on the outcome of the investigation, which was concluded in November last year, had been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s office for further action.

“Attorney-General [Gloria Akuffo] is studying the docket and you will soon hear from her office. Some officers are being held responsible,” he said.

He, however did not give out the names of the indicted officials.

But our checks at the Attorney General’s office indicated that, “the docket is waiting for the country’s first special prosecutor to commence prosecution on the suspects”.

“The Attorney General has finished studying the docket, and soon Mr. Amidu will take it up and deal with the issue in court”, our source said.

EOCO opened investigations into the scandal at the pensions trust when it came to light that the $72 million spent to procure and install the software and other hardware systems known as the Operational Business Suite (OBS) in a bid to digitise the Trust exceeded the market price.

SSNIT was also criticised for failing to conduct a proper investigation into its MIS Manager, Dr Caleb Afaglo, who was alleged to be occupying the position with fake certificates.

Dr Afaglo had claimed to have Master’s and Doctorate degrees, but EOCO found that he does not have even a first degree.

In the wake of the scandal, it emerged that although several firms submitted significantly lower estimates to execute the IT project, management of the Trust decided to select a supplier whose estimate was the most expensive.

One bid sighted by Today was just estimated at GH¢17 million or $3.8 million dollars, although meeting all but one of the criteria for selection.

The contracts documents also intercepted by Today also showed that the contract sum was initially pegged at $34 million and not $72 million.

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