March 2, 2024
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¢5m payment to NDA contravenes PPA approval in alleged signature forgery in ¢10m case

The Controller and Accountant General Department is reported to be readying to make a payment which will further entrench some irregularities at the Northern Development Authority (NDA) next week.

The Department is set to pay some ¢5 million to the NDA in a deal currently at the office of the Chief of Staff for alleged financial malfeasance.

This follows a former NDA CEO’s petition to the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, over a fraud issue involving his successor.

Dr Sulemana Anamzoya, in the petition, accused his successor, Sumaila Abdul Rahman, of fraudulently falsifying figures and forging his signature to cash in a ¢10,400,000 contract.

The two-page petition, which was copied to President Akufo-Addo, detailed how the Sumaila Abdul Rahman-led management committed the fraud in his name.

“Quite recently, my attention has been drawn to a contract purportedly signed by me whiles I was in office as Ag. Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Authority (NDA), awarding a Consultancy Service contract to A&Q’s Consortium (A&Q’s) in the sum of ¢10,400,000 under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP),” portions of the document sighted by JoyNews read.

According to him, the only contract he awarded to A&Q’s firm while in office was a sum of GH₵5,720,000.

In the petition, the former CEO also noted that the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), on January 16, 2020, approved NDA to use single-source procurement to recruit various consultancy services to implement the IPEP programme.

On the back of this, Dr Anamzoya said he engaged A&Qs to provide Consultancy Supervision for 11 constituencies in the Upper West Region at an estimated cost of ¢5,720,000.

“Even though the award letter I signed has an amount of ¢5,720,000, I have sighted a doctored version of the award letter which indicates that I purportedly signed a Consultancy Supervision Contract to A&Q’s under the IPEP at the cost of ¢10,400,000 which I vehemently deny as having emanated from me (please find attached the doctored contract document).

“As evidenced by the doctored contract attached, my signature was transposed on a contract (with a sum of ¢10,400,000), whose numbering does not tally with the remaining pages of the contract.”

Sources say about 30% of the money was already paid in May 2021 to the Authority.

While the fresh petition sits awaiting action from the government, the Controller and Accountant General sources indicated that the next tranch is said to be released next week.

The New Crusading Guide’s sources at the CAG revealed that “…we [Controller and Accountant General] paid the first 30 per cent and would pay the next 50 per cent to A&Q consortium as spelt out in the contractual document next week.”

However, if this move is to materialise, it will see the payment cumulatively go beyond the ¢5.7 million agreed by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) since ¢3 million of the doctored ¢10 million had already been paid to the consortium.

The sources explained to the newspaper that “until an official letter is written to us to stop the transaction, we cannot on our own refusal to pay the money to the contractor, there are legal implications for us.”

This development will amount to more illegality and loss of needed funds to run the state.

Meanwhile, a private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has drawn the attention of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to accusations of irregularities at the Northern Development Authority (NDA).

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