Why five years ban is not enough punishment for AB Adjei – Dr Acheampong
An economist and political risk analyst, Dr Theo Acheampong, says the former Public Procurement Authority boss, Agyenim Boateng Adjei, deserves a stiffer punishment than he got for his fraudulent deals.
Dr Acheampong, who is also a senior fellow at IMANI Africa, is convinced Mr AB Adjei should have been banned for more years for setting up a private company that he awarded contracts, which he subsequently sold to the highest bidder.
Dr Acheampong made reference to the United Kingdom where individuals who undermine public office and positions are barred for more than 20 years.
Speaking on Joynews’ Newsfile on Saturday monitored by theghanareport.com, Dr Acheampong said, “In other countries like the UK, people can be debarred for as long as 20 to 30 years in terms of holding public office.”
Dr Acheampong also 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 then it 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 me that perhaps there’s far bigger rot that is happening in these avenues,” he indicated.
CHRAJ investigations revealed that the Financial Intelligence Centre tracked a total GHc 14.8 million in Mr Adjei’s accounts during the period he assumed office at the authority.
This is the total figure from four dollar and euro accounts held at two banks.
According to CHRAJ, the former PPA boss could not explain the huge sums of money in his multiple bank accounts.
“The Respondent opened USD Account Number 9040002473180 at the Stanbic Bank on 03 April 2017, after his appointment as CEO of PPA. As of 28 August 2019, a total amount of $516,225 had been credited to the account, and his debits stood at $504,607.87.
“In respect of his Cedi Account No. 9040002313337 at the same bank, opened on 21 January 2017 before his appointment, a total of 3.83 million cedis was credited, and 3.81 million cedis debited, to the account between the date of his appointment as CEO and August 29, 2019.
“His Euro Account at the same bank also had EU54,500.00 credited and 37,333 debited for the same period, in addition to his UMB USD Account No. “428872” which had seen cash flow of over $110,000 between December 2018 and March 2019 alone.
“When confronted with the evidence of the sheer volume of cash that passed through his accounts the respondent indicated that Frosty Ice Natural Mineral Water Ltd does not have a bank account and that proceeds from the sales of the water is lodged in his account.
“Frosty Ice Natural Mineral Water Ltd is the company the respondent owns with his wife, Mercy Adjei. He also claimed that he receives money from other family businesses but could not name the family businesses.
“The records from the Registrar-General show that Frosty Ice Natural Mineral Water Ltd was incorporated on January 29, 2019. So how could a company established in 2019 accumulate so much revenue in 2017 and 2018, before its establishment?
“Even though the respondent is a director of over 19 companies, he himself claims that he did not receive director’s fee from any of those companies except Beachfront Stevedoring Company Limited.
“We find that the respondent’s explanation completely unsatisfactory and that he could not explain the source of the large volumes of excess wealth that passed through his bank accounts between March 2017 and August 2019 (unexplained wealth).”
On October 30, 2020, President Akufo-Addo terminated the appointment of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) boss, AB Adjei, following a report submitted by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The report concluded that “on the totality of the evidence, 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.
Prior to the announcement of the ban, Mr Adjei was on suspension after an investigative piece by Manasseh Azure Awuni, titled “Contracts for Sale”.
It is was revealed in the documentary that a company Mr AB Adjei co-owned, had sold government contracts it won through single-source and restrictive tendering to the highest bidder.