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EOCO clears Roads Ministry of corruption allegations in contract awards

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has concluded its investigations into alleged organised crime in the award of contracts at the Ministry of Roads and Highways.

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The probe stemmed from claims made by Professor Stephen Adei, a former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

In October 2023, Professor Adei publicly expressed concern about corruption in the awarding of road contracts. He alleged that individuals seeking contracts were told they must pay a bribe of one million cedis upfront.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways denied these accusations, insisting their procedures for awarding contracts are transparent, competitive, and adhere to legal requirements. They subsequently requested EOCO to investigate the matter.

According to a confidential report on the investigation obtained by Graphic Online, EOCO 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.

Following this, EOCO closed the case, deeming the allegations unsubstantiated.

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

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The Ministry reiterated its commitment to transparency and due process in awarding contracts.

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