Senior Fellow at IMANI Africa, Dr. Theo Acheampong says banning the former Public Procurement Authority (PPA) boss from holding public office for the next five years is not deterrent enough.
Dr. Theo Acheampong argues that considering the level of proven conflict of interest he engaged in, James Adjenim Boateng deserves more years.
“In other countries like the UK, people can be debarred for as long as 20 to 30 years in terms of holding public office,” he said on JoyNews’ Newsfile.
His comment comes after President Akufo-Addo terminated the appointment of Mr Adjenim Boateng Adjei as Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) following a report submitted by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The report concluded that “on the totality of the evidence, Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei had put himself in a position where his personal interests conflicted with the performance of his functions as CEO and Board Member of the PPA.”
It also stated that he abused his high office of trust.
Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei was suspended on August 22, 2019, by President Akufo-Addo, following the broadcast of some allegations made against him in an investigative documentary conducted by Manasseh Azure Awuni, titled “Contracts for Sale”.
In the documentary, Manasseh Azure Awuni revealed that a company Mr. Adjenim Boateng co-owned, had sold government contracts it won through single-source and restrictive tendering to the highest bidder.
In suspending him, President Nana Akufo-Addo also directed CHRAJ and the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate his appointee for conflict of interest and corruption.
Following findings from the CHRAJ committee tasked to investigate the matter, the PPA boss has been dismissed from office.
His dismissal comes with a five year ban, which bars him from holding any public office.
But although Dr Theo Acheampong commended Manasseh Azure Awuni, the President, as well as CHRAJ for taking up the matter and dealing with it as has been done, he believes more punishment was necessary.
Dr Acheampong further raised concern over how money is moved through the financial system during the procurement process.
According to him, if any government wants to tackle corruption from the root and core, that government must take a thorough look at how money moves through the financial system during procurements.
“Also, I think that there’s a bit of a systems issue here. The fact that such large sums of money can be moved through the financial system or the banking system without the KYC or AML anti-money laundering protocols being triggered shows to me that , perhaps there’s far more bigger rot that is happening in these avenues,” he added.