The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has called on the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to fast track processes in the criminal investigations of former Chief Executive Officer of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei.

GII’s demand follows findings from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) which found Adjenim Boateng Adjei guilty of conflict of interest in the performance of his duties as the former PPA boss.

In a statement issued by the GII, it commended CHRAJ for “a dispassionate and thorough work done”.

“Fast track the criminal investigations aspect of this case and where culpability is established, the law should be made to go its full length to serve as a deterrent to all public officials entrusted with the responsibility of providing public service and managing our national resources,” the statement added.

CHRAJ after its findings following a petition by GII to investigate alleged corruption and conflict of interest leveled against the former PPA boss, disqualified Agyenim Boateng Adjei and two others from holding public office.

In addition, Adjenim Boateng Adjei was directed to declare his assets in accordance with the Public Office Holder (Declaration of Assets and Disqualification) Act, 1998 (Act 550) within 3 months and also refund to the state an amount of GHC5,697,530.00 within 6 months.

Meanwhile, Adjenim Boateng Adjei had dragged CHRAJ to court over claims that the Commission acted in breach of natural justice and failed to give him a fair hearing during its earlier investigations into the ‘Contract for Sales’ saga.

According to him, CHRAJ never gave him the chance to cross-examine witnesses presented in the case.

“By denying me the opportunity to access, respond and cross-examine statements, witnesses and evidence that the respondents relied on to arrive at their decision, CHRAJ acted in breach of natural justice and failed to give me a fair hearing,” he said in the law suit.

However, the Accra High Court has thrown out the application by Adjenim Boateng which sought to set aside the findings of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) against him.

In a ruling on Thursday, February 24, the Court presided over by Justice Elfreda Amy Dankyi refused to grant an order to quash the findings of CHRAJ.

Background

Mr. Adjenim Boateng was on Friday, October 30, 2020 dismissed by President Akufo-Addo after CHRAJ ruled that he was unfit to hold public office.

The former PPA Boss was busted in a documentary by investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, for the alleged sale of government contracts.

Following the allegations in the “Contracts for Sale” documentary, the President suspended James Adjenim Boateng Adjei from office and further referred the case to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ for investigation.

The documentary revealed that a company Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei co-owned, TDL, had sold government contracts it won through single-source and restrictive tendering to the highest bidder.

CHRAJ in its final report established 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 the former PPA boss abused his high office of trust. His dismissal further came with a 5-year ban from holding any public office.

CHRAJ further stated that Mr. Adjei has been unable to explain the source of large volumes of deposits into his various bank accounts.

The Commission analyzed data provided by the Financial Intelligence Centre which puts the total transactions during the period within which Mr Adjei assumed office at GHS 14.8 million. This was the total figure from 4 dollar and euro accounts held at two banks.

Mr. James Adjenim Boateng Adjei who was displeased about the general outcome of the CHRAJ report initially took to various media outlets to express displeasure over the case. He then filed a suit at an Accra High Court to challenge CHRAJ’s decision, asking the court to revoke the President’s directive.

According to him, CHRAJ made “several site trips to several locations to gather evidence which it relied on to arrive at their decision”.

He added that, he was never invited to be present at any of these site trips, nor was he allowed to respond or cross-examine the evidence gathered at these site trips.

“If given the chance to access, respond and cross-examine the various documents, witnesses and evidence relied on by CHRAJ in their report, I would”, he said.