The suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei (AB Adjei), has denied conflict of interest allegations levelled against him.
In his response to a demand by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to respond to the allegations, he stated that there was no evidence of any act or omission supporting an allegation of having discharged his duties as a public officer for the benefit of a company he had an interest in.
Through his lawyer, Yaw Oppong, Mr. Adjei also contended that Manasseh Azuri Awuni who is the complainant “has not demonstrated how our client’s personal interests interfered with the performance of his duties and functions.”
He said the allegations in the documentary against him were simply anchored on assumptions and conjectures, and betrayed gross unfamiliarity with the laws on public procurement in Ghana.
He is, therefore, urging CHRAJ to dismiss the allegations as they do not refer to any instances of conflict of interest in the performance of his duties.
The embattled CEO was suspended by President Akufo-Addo following a documentary titled ‘Contracts for Sale’ which was put together by investigative journalist Manasseh Azure. The documentary highlighted alleged procurement misconducts.
Investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni, in an exposé titled ‘Contracts for Sale’, among other things, claimed that Talent Discovery Limited (TDL), a company incorporated in June 2017 and that has links with the PPA boss, won a number of government contracts through restrictive tendering.
The journalist also reported that the company was engaged in selling contracts.
CHRAJ subsequently wrote to Mr. Adjei giving him 10 days within which to respond to the allegations as contained in the documentary.
CHRAJ Boss Joseph Whittal had said on Citi FM that the response from AB Adjei would determine the next line of action by the commission.
Mr. Adjei has through his lawyer responded, denying all the allegations as contained in the document.
According to the response, neither did CHRAJ’s letter indicate with any clarity the specific matters contained in the President’s letter nor the documentary by Manasseh Azure Awuni constituting conflict of interest.
It said the allegation contained in the documentary does not impinge on conflict of interest as “a claim of the sale of contracts by TDL after that company had participated in a tender not organized by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and it had been declared the successful tenderer not by the PPA but by other entities, has no bearing on a conflict of interest with the duties of our client as a public officer.”
“Our client is neither part of the management of TDL nor one of those alleged in the documentary to have engaged in the sale of government contracts on behalf of TDL,” it said.
The response also claims Mr. Adjei is only a shareholder in TDL and not part of either the management or board of directors of that company.
On the issue of Mr. Adjei being a member of the PPA Board and that puts him in a conflict of interest position regarding contracts involving TDL, the response claims the allegation is misleading and betrays a complete ignorance of or disregard for the actual function of the Board of the PPA in applications for restricted tendering.