Home » Former PPA Boss Discharged After Prosecutor Withdraws Charges

Former PPA Boss Discharged After Prosecutor Withdraws Charges

Discharged PPA Boss Faces New Charges, Trial Witness Under Cross-Examination

by Victor Adetimilehin

Accra, Ghana – In a surprising turn of events, Ghanaian prosecutors withdrew corruption charges against former Public Procurement Authority (PPA) CEO Adjenim Boateng Adjei and his brother-in-law Francis Kwaku Arhin after nearly two years of trial.

The move came on April 22nd when a Principal Prosecutor from the Office of the Special Prosecutor, Adelaide Obiri Wood, informed the court of their intention to pursue new charges against Mr. Adjei. Ms. Wood stated that they would not be continuing the prosecution of Mr. Arhin in the new case.

The original charges, filed in May 2022, included 18 counts of using public office for personal gain and nine counts of manipulating procurement processes for unfair advantage. The new charges reportedly focus on similar allegations but with a reduced number of counts.

Fresh Start for Adjei, But Questions Remain

Mr. Adjei’s lawyer, Kwame Acheampong Boateng, expressed disappointment over the delay caused by the new charges. He stated, “Having gone through trial for nearly two years, we thought the matter would be resolved expeditiously.”

Adjei is expected to be arraigned on the new charges imminently. These charges reportedly involve eight counts of using his position for personal gain and manipulating procurement procedures to gain an unfair advantage in awarding contracts.

Mr. Adjei served as CEO of the PPA from March 2017 to August 2019. He was dismissed from his position by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following recommendations by the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ). The dismissal stemmed from a documentary titled “Contract for Sale” which exposed alleged corruption within the PPA.

Case Still Unfolding as Journalist Undergoes Cross-Examination

The development comes amidst Ghana’s ongoing fight against corruption in public office. The Special Prosecutor’s Office was established by President Akufo-Addo in 2018 specifically to investigate and prosecute such cases.

Manasseh Azure Awuni, the investigative journalist who produced the documentary “Contract for Sale,” was the prosecution’s star witness in the original case. Mr. Awuni was undergoing cross-examination by defense lawyers when the decision to withdraw the charges was made.

The withdrawal of the original charges and the introduction of new charges raise questions about the direction of the case. It remains unclear why prosecutors opted for this approach and how it will impact the overall investigation. Furthermore, it remains to be seen how the new charges will proceed and whether they will result in a conviction for Mr. Adjei.

The outcome of this case is being closely watched by Ghanaians concerned about corruption within the public sector. The Special Prosecutor’s office faces pressure to deliver a successful prosecution, while Mr. Adjei awaits his arraignment on the new charges.

Source: Graphic Online 

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