A MOMENT OF TRUTH PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL COMMUNICATION OFFICER OF THE NDC, COMRADE SAMMY GYAMFI ON THE PPA- “DONKOMI” CONTRACTS FOR SALE SCANDAL
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the press. I welcome you all to today’s edition of “Moment of Truth”. On behalf of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), I would like to thank all of you for your diligent pursuit of the truth in our governance and development process.
Friends from the media, we have invited you here to address you on the damning revelations of corruption contained in the “Donkomi – Contracts for Sale” exposé by freelance Journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni. We particularly commend your colleague, Manasseh Azure Awuni for defying the odds to conduct this splendid expose’ which has brought to light yet again the naked rape of the public purse by the Akufo-Addo government.
Truth, they say, cannot be suppressed. Try submerging it in water and it will emerge more forcefully than before. Try burying it in the sand, and it will sprout like a seed. This is what the Akufo Addo government has refused to see; the reason for which the government keeps getting exposed and embarrassed almost every single day.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, we do know from the “Donkomi” Contracts for Sale Documentary, that Talent Discovery Limited (TDL), a private company incorporated as recently as June 2017 and partly owned by an appointee of President Akufo-Addo, Mr. A.B Adjei, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), has been shortlisted and awarded at least 14 contracts by several Ministries and state Agencies in the last two (2) years. Even more worrying is the fact that, 13 of these contracts were awarded under restricted tendering to TDL in violation of Section 38 of the Public Procurement Law. We also know, that these contracts were in turn fraudulently sold by TDL to other companies with the acquiescence and/or approval of the awarding MDA’s and State Agencies.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the NDC is unsurprisingly scandalized by these chilling revelations contained in the “Donkomi – Contracts for Sale” Expose’ which shows how pervasive and deep-seated corruption has become under the Akufo-Addo government. This scandal further reveals, how officials of the Akufo-Addo government have turned the whole government apparatus into an organized crime agency for the sole purpose of looting and milking the state dry without shame or conscience.
It is important to state, that the PPA scandal goes beyond the person of Mr. A.B Adjei and his fraudulent TDL Company, who are now being used as a smokescreen to conceal a whole syndicate of organized crime in the high echelons of this government. We say so because the contracts which have been awarded to TDL in the last two (2) years emanated from, and in fact, were awarded by several Ministries and State Agencies such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Roads and Highways, Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Special Development Initiatives, Ministry of Inner Cities & Zongo Development, Cocobod, Ghana Water Company Limited, the Bank of Ghana, just to mention a few. It is evident from the “Donkomi” expose’ that these State Institutions threw the national interest to the dogs and kept shortlisting and awarding various juicy contracts to TDL under restricted tender even when they knew that the company was not executing the contracts. It is therefore clear to us, that behind this whole scandal is a long chain of MDAs and various state actors who either initiated, aided, facilitated and/or abetted the corrupt activities of TDL. Therefore, to narrow this down to Mr. A.B Adjei is to attempt to solve a deep-rooted problem from the top.
Friends from the media, it is clear from the “Donkomi” documentary that the group of people who are currently governing our beloved Ghana have no interest in addressing the socio-economic challenges that confront Ghanaians other than their selfish, narrow and parochial interest. As such, instead of awarding contracts to credible, competent and deserving companies, the Akufo-Addo government chose to award as many as 14 contracts to a phoney company, TDL whose intention was never to execute any of the awarded contracts other than selling same to other Companies with questionable capacities. This perhaps explains why the Akufo-Addo government has failed woefully to deliver any significant infrastructural developments in the country despite being the most resourced government in Ghana’s history.
The NDC is deeply worried and appalled at the alarming rate and increased spate of corruption under the watch of President Akufo-Addo. Ladies and gentlemen, you would recall how in the run up to the 2016 General Elections, then Candidate Akufo-Addo promised Ghanaians that he was going to protect the public purse if elected, and indeed rode on the back of an anti-corruption campaign into office. However, since assuming office, President Akufo-Addo has forgotten about his solemn pledge to fight corruption and has rather elevated the canker to an unprecedented level.
Ladies and gentlemen, the conduct of Mr. AB Adjei as captured in the “Donkomi” documentary is only a reflection of the grand corruption and in some cases daylight heist that is being practised at the topmost echelons of the Akufo-Addo government. Under the almost three (3) years tenure of President Akufo-Addo, it’s been one stinky corruption scandal after the other with no end in sight. The NPP’s famous campaign rhetoric of ID1F has now metamorphosed into One Day, One Fraud, thereby creating a traffic jam of corruption cases in the minds of Ghanaians.
According to the Center for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana has lost a whopping 9.6 Billion Ghana Cedis to corruption since President Akufo-Addo assumed office in 2017. Surprisingly, this amount far exceeds the amount of GHS3.6 billion which has so far been invested in the main flagship program and much-touted Free SHS program of the Akufo-Addo government.
Today, President Akufo-Addo prioritizes the promotion of corruption and spares no opportunity to defend the corrupt activities of his errant appointees. He has perfected the act of being a clearing agent of corruption in his government. His failure to live up to his much-vaunted anti-corruption credentials and punish corruption on the part of his appointees is what has emboldened many in his government to engage in corruption with such brazenness and boldness.
Aside normalizing the practice of corruption in his government, President Akufo-Addo himself is not left out of the ongoing rot in his government, as evidenced by the executive approval he gave for the fraudulent and highly inflated mytelineous deal through which Ghana would have lost a whopping $800m but for the vigilance of the NDC minority caucus in parliament.
These are the reasons why Corruption has become a very attractive and profitable venture in Ghana today, as it is one’s surest ticket to promotion under President Akufo-Addo. In fact, it is safe to conclude that the fight against corruption has been lost under the watch of President Akufo-Addo.
Distinguished friends from the media, part of the reasons why President Akufo-Addo is to be blamed for the stinky PPA scandal is the very appointment of the PPA CEO, Mr. A.B Adjei. Ladies and gentlemen, the mandate of the PPA is to curb fraud and corruption in the procurement of goods, services and works by Public Institutions. Hence, persons who are appointed to head that sensitive institution must be men of high and unimpeachable integrity.
As you may be aware, Mr. A.B Adjei was indicted and dismissed together with others during his days at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) for financial misappropriation of about $72 million as far back as 2003, thereby bringing into question his integrity and moral standing. This begs the questions as to why of all the distinguished people in the NPP, it was Mr. A.B Adjei that President Akufo-Addo could appoint to the crucial and highly honorable position of CEO of the Public Procurement Authority. Obviously, a man of such low moral standing cannot be expected to be above-board in his dealings at such a critical entity.
What has suddenly happened to the deafening chorus of “We Have The Men” by the NPP in opposition? Or was it the President’s own penchant for corruption that drove him to overlook the competent men and women in the NPP and rather appointed a man already tainted with graft and sleaze, whom he thought could help him perpetuate his corruption and state capture agenda? Your guess is as good as mine.
Friends from the media, the NDC is irked by the funny and puny knee-jerk reactions taken by the President since this matter broke. The President has resorted to his usual face-saving gimmicks by suspending the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the PPA pending investigations by the Special Prosecutor and CHRAJ into the matter. The NDC holds the view, that the suspension of Mr. A.B Adjei to all intents and purposes, is not deterrent enough. We think that the damning acts of corruption which Mr. A.B Adjei is captured in the “Donkomi” documentary as engaging in including his own confessions should have at worst, been met with an outright dismissal for other actions to follow.
We believe that this suspension of Mr. A.B Adjei is yet another ruse which is only meant to deceive Ghanaians into seeing his government as one that is committed to the fight against corruption. But, the good people of Ghana are discerning and will not be hoodwinked by this face-saving gimmick. They know too well how similar cases of suspensions under President Akufo-Addo ended with a recall and sometimes promotion of such errant appointees.
Furthermore, we ask why the Governing Board of the PPA, an accomplice in this grand corruption is still in place? Ladies and gentlemen, it is important to state, that the suspension of the CEO of PPA is meaningless unless it is linked to the immediate dissolution of the PPA Board. We say so because, it was the PPA Board which despite knowing that Mr. A.B Adjei is a shareholder of TDL, went ahead to approve the award of as many as 14 contracts to the company under restricted tender in flagrant disregard for the Public Procurement Law and in contravention of all acceptable principles of fairness and openness.
The PPA Board failed in their duty to observe the provisions of the Public Procurement Law and the rules against conflict of interest, but rather aided and abetted the corrupt activities of Mr. AB Adjei and his TDL. The complicity of the PPA Board in this scandal is beyond doubt and obvious even to the uninitiated. For the board of the PPA to claim that they don’t play a role in the award of contracts is very unfortunate, as this constitutes an abdication of their fiduciary role as a board. What are they being paid for?
We submit that the continuous stay in office of the PPA Board is a clear testament of the fact that President Akufo-Addo has no genuine interest to unravel the full extent of this scurrilous sandal and is not committed to the fight against corruption. This fact becomes even more glaring when the lackluster disposition of President Akufo-Addo on this matter is juxtaposed with the alacrity with which he dissolved the governing Board of the Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) who ironically, were fighting against the procurement violations and corrupt deals of the CEO of the company, Madam Frances Essiam.
Also, we wish to ask why the Ministers and relevant officers in charge of procurement in the Ministries of Works and Housing, Roads and Highways, Education, Special Development Initiative, and the Heads of COCOBOD, GWCL, BOG, etc are still at post. We know that the procurement processes relative to the 14 contracts which have been awarded to TDL emanated from and were actually awarded by these State Institutions. We also know, that TDL illegally sold these contracts to other companies with the acquiescence or approval of some of these Ministries and State Agencies.
The NDC holds the view, that all Ministers and state actors who in one way or the other initiated, facilitated or participated in the award of contracts to TDL and the subsequent sale of those contracts to other companies must be suspended forthwith. The scope of investigations into this scandal must be expanded to include all these complicit MDA’s and State Agencies. Only then, can we stand a chance of unraveling the full extent of this stinky corruption scandal.
However, the critical question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not Ghanaians can trust President Akufo-Addo to deal decisively with this matter given how similar cases have been handled with flippant disregard for accountability by him in the past. If for nothing at all, we know that the suspension of the former Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Pious Hadzide in the matter of the Australian Visa fraud scandal and the complaint filed by the President to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) against Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi following Anas’ Number 12 Expose’ yielded no results whatsoever. They were all a camouflage which were meant to dissuade Ghanaians from talking about those scandals at the time. The NDC will therefore not be surprised if the clearing agent does so again.
If we may ask, since when did the President start believing in the competence and decisions of CHRAJ? Not too long ago, President Akufo-Addo disregarded adverse findings made by CHRAJ against his cousin and Finance Minister, Hon. Ken Ofori Atta over the issuance of the 2.25 Billion Eurobond. Does it not smack of odious hypocrisy for him to now petition CHRAJ to investigate the latest PPA scandal? What is the guarantee that this time around he will accept and act on the findings and recommendations of CHRAJ?
Besides, ladies and gentlemen, given recent complaints by the Special Prosecutor about how appointees of President Akufo-Addo have been frustrating and sabotaging his mandate, the NDC doubts whether anything good can and will come out of the investigations of the Office of the Special Prosecutor into this matter. We do not think that the SP will get the needed cooperation from the relevant MDAs and state actors to conduct credible investigation into this matter, especially now that several of these persons and institutions stand indicted in this scandal.
Distinguished friends from the media, it goes with saying that the PPA ”Donkomi – Contracts for Sale” scandal is yet another classic in the Akufo-Addo government’s league of rotten skulduggery to ever hit our nation. Perhaps even more disturbing is the President’s numbness to the rising spate of corruption in his government. In the circumstances, we believe that once again, President Akufo-Addo is demonstrating bad faith to his own avowed fight against corruption in this matter. We are therefore calling on the President to for once demonstrate his so-called moral high ground on the subject of corruption by taking the following immediate and uncompromising actions to save his sinking reputation;
- We demand the immediate dismissal of Mr. A.B Ajei for this egregious crime, rather than the mild suspension that has been handed to him.
- We demand the immediate dissolution of the PPA Board for complicity, and abetment of this heinous crime, or for sleeping on their job.
- The suspension of all actors in the various MDA’s and agencies who played various roles in aiding and abetting the procurement of dubious contracts by TDL pending a forensic investigation into this matter.
- We demand the immediate arrest and prosecution of Mr. A.B Adjei,
as well other officials of TDL such as the General Manager, Directors and other stakeholders of the company.
Anything short of the above decisive actions will go a long to fortify wide public opinion which was recently amplified by Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, that corruption under Akufo-Addo is the worst ever, and that President Akufo-Addo will go down as the most corrupt President in Ghana’s history.
We thank you for your attention and may God bless our homeland Ghana.
(NATIONAL COMMUNICATION OFFICER, NDC).