A Tamale High Court has granted four(4) persons including the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) for the Northern Development Authority (NDA) and his two dismissed deputies bail in the sum of GH¢ 2 million each.
The Court presided over by Justice Eric Ansah Ankomah also barred the CEO, Sumaila Abdul-Rahman, from leaving the country for official duties.
All four(4) persons accused of corruption at the Northern Development Authority(NDA) have pleaded not guilty at their first appearance in court.
The four are the Chief Executive of the Northern Development Authority, Mr. Sumaila Abdul-Rahman; the former Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) of the NDA, Mr. Stephen Yir-eru Engmen; the former Deputy Chief Executive (Finance & Administration) of the NDA, Mr. Patrick Seidu and the Chief Executive of A&QS Consortium Limited, Mr. Andrew Kuundaari who were asked to deposit their passports with the court.
Sumaila Abdul Rahman pleaded with the Court that he has a scheduled travel in relation to his work as Chief Executive Officer of the NDA when he made his first appearance in a criminal prosecution
But the Court declined his request and demanded that he deposits his passport and avoid any form of travel until the final determination of the case.
At the hearing on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, each of the accused persons was expected to provide three sureties to be justified with landed properties..
The accused persons were recommended for prosecution by the Special Prosecutor after a contract alteration scandal hit the Authority where a GH¢5.7Million contract signed by an immediate-past CEO of the company was ‘magically’ inflated to GH¢ 10,400,000 long after the work was done and due for payment.
In a series of exposés by the immediate-past CEO of NDA, Dr. Alhassan Anamzoya, he awarded a contract to a firm called A&QS Consortium while in office at a sum of GHC5,720,000 approved by the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) under the government’s Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).
The PPA on January 16, 2020, gave approval to NDA under Dr. Anamzoya to use single-source procurement to recruit various consultancy services to implement the IPEP program at the amount GH¢ 5.7Million.
However, upon Dr. Anamzoya’s departure from NDA, the contract miraculously ‘falsified’ itself along with the forged signature of Dr. Anamzoya to inflate the total contract sum to GH¢10,400,000 instead of the GH¢ 5.7Million.
Despite the apparent fraud and possible criminal repercussions, payment was effected with only a fraction left to be cleared.
On June 30, it was reported that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department was readying to make the remainder of the payment despite repeated petitions on the matter to the Chief of Staff and the Special Prosecutor.