The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has directed the criminal prosecution of the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority(NDA), Sulemana Abdul-Rahman and his two deputies, Stephen Yir-eru Enman and Patrick Seidu, for breaches of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).
This follows the findings of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) on investigations into the activities of the Northern Development Authority and A&QS Consortium Limited.
The two deputies of the NDA have already been asked to step aside from the Northern Development Authority, effective March 2023.
On 30 June 2022, the OSP commenced investigations into suspected corruption and corruption-related offences regarding the contract awarded to the company by the NDA, following a petition by a private legal practitioner, Martin Luther Kpebu.
The complaint alleged that NDA awarded a contract to A&QS Consortium Limited (hereafter, A&QS) on 28 January 2020 for consultancy services for the supervision of some constituencies in the Upper West Region under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) for the contract sum of GHC5.72 million.
But, following the exit of the then acting chief executive who executed the contract, the contract sum was illegally increased to GHC10.4 million by the removal of the page containing the original figure of GHC5.7 million and its replacement at page 25 clause 33.1 of the contract with a fresh page containing the bloated figure GHC10.4 million to make it appear as if it is the contract executed by the previous acting chief executive.
The complaint further alleged that the Public Procurement Authority approved the award of the contract in the sum of GHC5.72 million on 16 January 2020 and that no approval was sought for the inflated figure of GHC10.4 million
The complaint also claimed that though the contract has expired, NDA has proceeded to implement the same and paid about GHC3 million and that there was an attempt to pay an additional GHC5 million.
Prior to the filing of the complaint by Mr Kpebu, the Chief of Staff at the Presidency had been petitioned on 11 January 2022 by a former acting chief executive of NDA, Dr Alhassan Sulemana Anamzoya, on the same matter.
The Special Prosecutor, after detailed investigations, revealed in a statement that; “Mr. Abdul-Rahman, Mr. Engmen, Mr. Seidu, and Mr. Kuundaari intended their actions to, and their actions did in fact, directly or indirectly influence the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage to A&QS in the procurement for consultants by NDA under the IPEP by increasing the approved procurement total contract sum of Five Million Seven Hundred and Twenty Thousand cedis (GH¢5,720,000.00) by an amount of Four Million Six Hundred and Eighty Thousand cedis (GH¢4,680,000.00) to an amount of Ten Million Four Hundred Thousand cedis (GH¢10,400,000.00) without lawful authority.
“Mr. Abdul-Rahman, Mr. Engmen, and Mr. Seidu intended their actions to, and their actions did in fact, directly or indirectly influence the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage to A&QS in the procurement for consultants by NDA under the IPEP by pushing through and/or approving and/or contributing to approve and/or contributing to cause the approval for payment to A&QS two (2) invoices totalling Eight Million Three Hundred and Twenty- Eight Thousand cedis Eight Hundred and Forty cedis (GHC8,328,840.00) and exceeding the approved procurement total contract sum of Five Million Seven Hundred and Twenty Thousand cedis (GH¢5,720,000.00) by an amount of Two Million Six Hundred and Eight Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty cedis (GH¢2,608,840.00) with a further outstanding amount of Two Million Seventy-One Thousand One Hundred and Sixty cedis (GH¢2,071,160.00), without lawful authority.”
Read the full investigation report below: