The Tamale High Court, presided by His Lordship Eric Ansah Ankomah, has granted bail to the embattled Chief Executive Northern Development Authority (NDA), Sumaila Abdul-Rahman, and three others.
The three others are Stephen Yir-eru Engmen, Deputy Chief Executive (Operations), Patrick Seidu Deputy Chief Executive (Finance & Administration) and Andrew Kuundaari, Chief Executive A&QS Consortium Limited.
The four accused persons were granted a bail of GHS500,000 each amounting to GHS2 million with three sureties each.
The accused person, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them.
They are expected to reappear in court on February 28, 2023, for case management.
The court also ordered the accused persons to deposit their travelling passports at the court.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), recently directed for criminal prosecution of the three for breaches of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).
The Special Prosecutor (OSP), Kissi Agyebeng, charged the accused persons with conspiracy to directly or indirectly influence the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract.
Mr Abdul-Rahman, Mr Seidu, and Mr Kuundaari have been charged with a further count each of directly or indirectly influencing the procurement process to obtain an unfair advantage in the award of a procurement contract, while Mr Yir-eru Engmen has been charged with a further two counts of the same offense.
It will be recalled that two Deputy Chief Executive Officers of the Northern Development Authority(NDA) were sacked by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
A statement signed by the Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare read “ We wish to inform you that, H.E the President has decided to terminate your appointment as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority with effect from 21st March 2023.”
The statement further directed that the sacked Deputy Chief Executive Officers of the Northern Development Authority hand over their duties and any official property in their custody to the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority before his departure.
The Northern Development Authority (NDA) has been in the news in recent times over some alleged corruption-related cases at the office.
The complaint Mr Martin Kpebu alleged that the Public Procurement Authority approved the award of GHC5,720,000 on 16 January 2020 and that no approval was sought for the inflated figure of GHC10,400,000.
The complaint further alleged that though the contract has expired, NDA has gone ahead to implement the same and paid about GHC3,000,000 and that there was an attempt to pay an additional 5,000,000.
Before the filing of the complaint by Mr 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 Ten Million Four Hundred Thousand cedi contract (GHC10,400,000.00) to A&QS by NDA under the IPEP.
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Dr Anamzoya denied executing any such contract. He claimed that on 28 January 2020, he signed (for and on behalf of NDA) a contract awarded by NDA to A&QS of Five Million Seven Hundred and Twenty Thousand cedis (GHC5,720,000.00) based on approval by the Public Procurement Authority (hereafter, PPA) dated 16 January 2020.
He contended that the document containing the contract sum of Ten Million Four Hundred Thousand cedis (GHC10,400,000.00) was doctored by the transposition of his signature onto that document, which numbering does not tally with the remaining pages of the document.
Dr Anamzoya’s object of petitioning the Chief of Staff was twofold – to expose the perpetrators for punishment and to clear his name.