The dismissed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, has broken his silence on the millions of cash deposited into his bank accounts within the two and a half years he was in office.
According to his lawyers, “the figures being circulated around are only a total turnover of inflows with corresponding outflows.”
A.B. Adjei was busted in the ‘Contracts for Sale’ investigation by The Fourth Estate‘s Editor-in-Chief, Manasseh Azure Awuni, in August 2019. A company he owned with his brother-in-law, Talent Discovery Limited, was exposed as winning restricted tendering government contracts and selling to other companies and individuals without the approval of the awarding state entities.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo suspended him and referred the matter to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) for further investigations.
In 2020, the president dismissed Mr Adjei after CHRAJ investigations found him guilty of conflict of interest, unexplained wealth and breaches of the procurement law.
CHRAJ recommended Mr Adjei’s dismissal and banned him from holding public office for 10 years. He appealed the ban at the High Court and lost.
In 2022, the Special Prosecutor charged Mr Adjei and his brother-in-law, Francis Kwaku Arhin, with 18 counts of procurement-related corruption.
CHRAJ also revealed that the total amount deposited into Mr Adjei’s accounts since he assumed office in 2017 stood at GHc14.8 million.
“We find the Respondent’s [Mr Adjei’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),” CHRAJ’s report said.
The Special Prosecutor at the time, Martin Amidu, released a press statement in which he commended CHRAJ for its report.
“The only problem with the CHRAJ report is that for some reason it understates the amounts disclosed by the bank statements from the three bank accounts of Mr Adjei exhaustively reviewed by the Auditor-General and this Office,” Mr Amidu said.
The Special Prosecutor disclosed that from 2017 to August 19, 2019, Mr Adjei had 15,691,559.30 Cedis, USD 4,467,655 and 54,500 Euros deposited into his three bank accounts.
Both CHRAJ and the Special Prosecutor at the time said prior to assuming office, the amounts deposited into Mr Adjei’s accounts were insignificant when compared with what went into his account during his time in office.
In fact, the CHRAJ Report said “the Respondent [Mr Adjei] opened USD Account Number 9040002473180 at the Stanbic Bank on 03 April 2017, after his appointment as CEO of PPA.”
In a rejoinder sent to The Fourth Estate, which broke the story, Mr Adjei’s lawyer, Oriental Law Consult, explained how the millions of cedis got into his account.
“We are further informed that the publication sought to create an erroneous impression that, our client had millions of cedis in his personal accounts when the facts clearly show that, the figures being circulated around is only a total turnover of inflows with corresponding outflows. For instance, an initial ¢100,000 deposit can be turnover into millions over a period of time by just withdrawals and re-depositing of same,” the lawyers said.
The OSP got the courts to freeze Mr Adjei’s accounts at the beginning of its investigations but he later got the courts to defreeze the accounts and he withdrew the money.
Reacting to The Fourth Estate‘s story on the withdrawal of funds from his accounts, the lawyers for Mr. Adjei said: “The said publication which sought to suggest that our client had millions of cedis sitting in his account and had gone to withdraw same dubiously is palpably false and tantamount to making our client vulnerable to attacks that could risk his life.”
“Our client has always conducted his affairs within the ambit of the laws of Ghana and has consistently been guided by statute and principles in the discharge of his duties during his tenure in office,” the rejoinder said.