Special Prosector, Kissi Agyebeng

Prosecutors of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) have apologised to the High Court in Accra for their inability to comply with orders of the Court to file disclosure documents in the case in which former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Agyenim Boateng Adjei has been charged.

Justice Mrs. Marie-Louise Simmons, the presiding judge of the Criminal Court (2) had on April 22 ordered the Prosecution to file their disclosures before Tuesday’s May 14 court sittings for the Case Management Conference to be conducted.

However, when the case was called, a Principal Prosecutor, Adelaide Kobiri Woode, informed the Court that though they were unable to file the disclosures as per the orders of the Court, some had been filed early Tuesday Morning.

While apologizing to the Court, the Principal Prosecutor said, their inability to comply was as a result of the bulky nature of their processes.

Justice Simmons has since adjourned the case to May 23 for the Case Management Conference to be conducted.

The accused person and his lawyers were present in Court.

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.

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.”

The Court has further directed that the copies of the bail bond is to be given to the prosecution for easy access.

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).

The State dropped the previous charge sheet against him which pressed  18 counts against him and his brother-in-law Francis Kwaku Arhin.

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 virtue of 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.

“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 pecuniarily through the use of public office for profit and influencing the public procurement process to obtain an 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.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/Murtala Inusah