It has emerged that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in September 2019, relieved one of its officials, Gilbert Addy of his duties for his involvement in the controversial Sibton Switch Systems Limited contract signed in 2016 by the previous management.

Mr Addy, who was the Project Manager leading the interoperability project, was dismissed due to his gross misconduct in relation to corrupt transactions and for accepting bribes in connection with the award of the contract.

According to the Bank of Ghana in its press statement sighted by Myjoyonline, “Bank statements revealed that secret and corrupt payments of GH¢410,000.00 were made by Sibton Switch Systems Limited and its parent company Sibton Communications Limited to Mr Gilbert Addy at the Bank of Ghana via a shelf company GIB JUST Systems Limited, which was owned by him. Indeed, he was listed as Director and Shareholder of the Company.”

Investigations further revealed that Mr Gilbert Addy deliberately concealed from the Bank of Ghana, a payment of USD $500,000 (GH¢2.7 million) he received and the sham contract with Sibton Switch Ltd by deleting his email records.

With his actions, he breached the Code of Conduct for Bank of Ghana staff, and the BoG Senior Staff Rules and Conditions of Service, as well as the Bank of Ghana Code of Ethics.

This revelation comes at a time when a Tribunal constituted under the auspices of the London International Court of Arbitration has dismissed all claims brought by Sibton Switch Systems Limited against the Bank of Ghana for terminating the Master Agreement for the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure in 2017.

Sibton Switch Limited on April 9, 2018, filed a Request for Arbitration at the International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC) of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) against the Bank of Ghana for breaching the Master Agreement for the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure entered into by the two parties.

The Claimant, Sibton Switch, went to the LCIA seeking relief in the sum of USD 478 million from the respondent, Bank of Ghana.

This is after the new Management of the Bank of Ghana, under Governor Dr Ernest Addison decided to review all contracts signed by the previous management.

It was then found out that “Sibton had neither acquired the licence nor fulfilled the condition precedent
for the effectiveness of the rights and obligations of the parties,” hence the need for the termination of contract.

The corrupt practice of Mr Gilbert Addy was only discovered when the Bank’s International Legal Counsel, Hogan Lovells, was preparing to defend the BoG on the arbitration claim brought by Sibton Switch, in respect of the terminated contract.

“As part of their preparation for the hearing in London, International Legal Counsel undertook two fact finding and investigative missions to Ghana from 14th – 17th August, 2018 and subsequently from 8th – 17th May, 2019, to gather and collate evidence. During these two missions, they gathered materials and interviewed all members of BoG staff who had been involved in this transaction, one way or the other,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal has ordered Sibton Switch to make a substantial payment to the Bank of Ghana in respect of its legal fees and costs of the arbitration.

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