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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Prof Stephen Adei Fumbles Over Corruption Allegations

Prof. Stephen Adei

 

The allegations made by Professor Stephen Adei, a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) against the Ministry of Roads and Highways about corruption in the awarding of road contracts have been cleared by the Economic and Organised Office (EOCO).

This follows a petition from the Ministry to EOCO on the allegations made by ,Prof. Adei, a former Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority concerning the influence of bribes in determining the allocation of road contracts.

He alleged that individuals seeking contracts from the Ministry of Roads and Highways were told they must pay a bribe of one million cedis upfront.

After probing, the investigative body said it found Professor Adei’s comments to be “unsubstantiated and highly presumptuous.”

The report suggests Professor Adei’s claims were an oversimplification of the Ministry’s tender process and potentially influenced by a broader perception of corruption in the country, as referenced in a 2022 UNODC report.

The EOCO report further states that while Professor Adei cited a friend who mentioned the alleged bribery requirement, he could not provide a name or any specific evidence to support his claims.
He also acknowledged that his use of the Ministry of Roads and Highways was for illustrative purposes only.

Earlier, the Ministry of Roads and Highways denied these accusations, insisting their procedures for awarding contracts are transparent, competitive, and adhere to legal requirements.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways in a press release issued on 12 April 2024, welcomed the investigation’s outcome, by stating that EOCO concluded Professor Adei’s comments were “unfortunate and general” and that the matter is now “disposed of.”

Furthermore, a coalition of road contractors in Ghana refuted Prof. Adei’s assertions, stating that they had never encountered such demands for upfront payments.

While endorsing the call for EOCO’s intervention, the contractors reiterated that the contract awarding procedures are well-documented and transparent, minimizing the likelihood of corrupt practices.

However, the Ministry reiterated its commitment to transparency and due process in awarding contracts.

-BY Daniel Bampoe

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