My investigators have been compromised – SP Martin Amidu on why he didn’t probe ‘Contract for Sale’

The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has written to explain to explain to the public over why his office (Office of the Special Prosecutor) has till date not been able to probe the allegations in the “Contract for Sale” investigative piece of story filed by Manasseh Azure.

The said story implicated then CEO of the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Adjenim Boateng Adjei, over breaches of the Public Procurement Act as well as conflict of interest in his line of duty.

In a five-page report dated Friday, November 13, 2020, Amidu told a very sad story of how investigators, who were on secondment to his office, were compromised and in the various cases they were investigating.

He said his outfit in collaboration with the Auditor-General and the Registrar of Business had begun investigations into procurement malpractices by Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei, prior to the referral from the Office of the President to probe all the allegations in the ‘Contract for Sale’ story.

The investigations into the procurement malpractices by Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei, according to Amidu, was led by the Acting Head of Investigations of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

To move at a faster pace, he froze all the bank accounts of all the suspects together with their legal entities. In the process, he secured the bank statements of Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei, his brother-in-law, Mr. Francis Arhin, and other suspects.

The bank statements were then made available to the Acting Head of Investigations at his office for further action.

“I then sent a soft copy of the bank statements by way of referral to the Auditor-General who was collaborating with this Office in the investigation of the procurement malpractices for analysis to assist the investigation. The Auditor-General in letter with reference number AG/01/19/123 of 4th 2019 under the subject title of “Review of Bank Statements Mr. Adjenim Boateng Adjei for the Period 01/01/2017 – 31/08/2019” forwarded to this Office his review of the Bank statements. I also arranged with the Auditor-General to send down the auditors who conducted the review of the bank statements to assist the investigators of this Office to understand the issues clearly. The review of the bank statements was passed on to the investigators through the Acting Head of Investigations”.

“The staff of the Audit Service who reviewed the bank statements of Mr. Adjei after their first meeting with the Acting Head of Investigations and the case officer would not come back to assist the investigations. When I pressed the matter of the reluctance of the Staff of the Audit Service to assist the further investigation of the case, the Auditor-General informed me that his staff had reported to him that they could not work with my investigators on the case. I conveyed the information to the investigators and wanted to know what the problem had been. They said they did not know of any problem. In the interim, it was becoming apparent from the manner the investigations were being conducted by the staff of seconded investigators to this Office that two of them were compromised because the Acting Head of Investigations and the case officer used less than one hour to search the premises of Talent Discovery Limited (TDL), Mr. Adjei’s residence, and Mr. Francis Arhin’s residence and literally found no material exhibits. Not even a telephone or iPad. Further intelligence disclosed that one of the investigators was in constant communication with one of the lawyers of the suspects. I raised the matter with the investigators at management meetings.”

“Eventually, when I got the Auditor-General several months down the line to be candid with me on why his staff refused to collaborate with the two investigators in the case, he informed me that his staff reported to him that when they first met with my staff, they were told by my seconded staff investigators that the case was so good that each of them could benefit from it. I confronted the Acting Head of Investigations with the facts but he flatly denied them. But the same scenario was playing in other cases such as three very serious on-going investigations at the National Lotteries Authority, for suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences”.

“Most ongoing investigations were being unduly delayed for no apparent reasons in spite of constant reminders from the Special Prosecutor. The resolution of the Adjenim Boateng Adjei case was taking too long to investigate because my second staff investigators appeared compromised. I, therefore, asked for an interim report to be submitted to the President on the referral on the Adjenim Boateng Adjei case. When the first draft report was submitted to me, I felt scandalized. I called a management meeting on 10th August 2020 with the investigators and pointed out how the incriminating evidence in their possession were inconsistence with their interim report. I suspended all on-going investigations in all cases except those affecting pending cases in court. I asked the investigators to tabulate within one week the total deposits Mr. Adjei had made into his bank accounts. This is outstanding to date.”

“My Officer never started the investigations into the “Contracts for Sale” allegations because of the attitude of the investigators into the on-going investigation into the procurement malpractices the Office was handling before the referral from the Presidency, and this explains why Mr. Manasseh Azure has still not been invited to make a witness statement”, Amidu’s letter to the public in part read.

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