The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has directed the criminal prosecution of the chief executive officer of the Northern Development Authority (NDA) and his two deputies.
The move is based on the findings of the Office of the Special Prosecutor on investigation into the activities of the Northern Development Authority and A&QS Consortium Limited.
The Special Prosecutor in his report cited Sumaila Abdul-Rahman, CEO, Stephen Yir-eru Engmen, deputy chief executive (operations) and Patrick Seidu deputy chief executive (Finance & Administration) Authority be prosecuted for respective breaches of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).
The two deputies of the NDA have already been asked to step aside from the Northern Development Authority effective March 2023.
The OSP started formal investigation into the activities of the NDA upon a petition by Martin Luther Kpebu, a private legal practitioner.
By a written complaint dated 15 June 2022 and addressed to the Special Prosecutor, Kpebu requested for investigation into the operations of NDA and the actions of its CEO and board chairman.
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 IPEP for the contract sum of GHC5.72 million.
However, upon 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 also 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 further alleged that though the contract has expired, NDA has gone ahead to implement same and paid about GHC3 million and that there was an attempt to pay an additional GHC5 million.
Petition to Chief of Staff
Prior to the filing of the complaint by 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.
In his petition titled “Falsification of A&QS Contract under the IPEP”, Dr Anamzoya stated that his attention had been drawn to a document purportedly signed by him awarding a contract in the sum of GHC10.4 million to A&QS by NDA under the IPEP.
Dr Anamzoya denied executing any such contract.