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General News Sat, 14 Sep 2019

GHS 410,000 Sibton Switch bribe: The real story

Gilbert Addy, an official of the Central Bank of Ghana has been dismissed for taking a bribe of GHS 410,000 from Sibton Switch, a foreign-based company in order to award the company a BoG contract in 2016, ABC News can confirm.

The Central Bank says it has uncovered Bank Statements that provide evidence to this secret and corrupt deal the official participated in.

Gilbert Addy was allegedly paid this said amount by Sibton Switch and its parent company, Sibton Communications through a shell corporation known as GIB JUST Systems limited. It was later revealed that the embattled official owned the said company as evidence suggests he was listed as a Director and a Shareholder.

According to the Bank, this act perpetrated by the former official violates the Bank’s Code of Ethics and is tantamount to a gross violation of the trust and breach of his duties as an official of Ghana’s mother bank.

“The Bank of Ghana has today dismissed an Official, Mr. Gilbert Addy, for gross misconduct in relation to corrupt transactions and for accepting bribes in connection with the award of a contract to Sibton Switch Systems Limited in 2016 by the previous Management of the Bank of Ghana (BoG). In the light of the gross violation of trust and breach of his duties, the Bank of Ghana has taken action to dismiss Mr. Gilbert Addy,” a release from the Bank sighted by ABC News read.

Background

After the 2016 General Elections, the new management of BoG embarked on a contract review of all deals entered into by the former management of the Bank. It was revealed that the former management had awarded a contract to build, operate and own the Ghana Payment Systems Infrastructure to Sibton Switch. The checks of the Central Bank revealed that the awardee had failed to meet all the conditions precedent of the contract. With this, the contract was terminated.

However, on 9th April 2018, Sibton Switch filed an application, Request for Arbitration at the International Dispute Resolution Center, at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) against BoG for terminating their contract.

“The Claimant, Sibton Switch, went to the LCIA seeking relief in the sum of USD 478 million from the respondent, Bank of Ghana”, BoG detailed in the release.

With this suit, the Bank’s International Legal Counsel, Hogan Lovells was notified to represent the Bank at the Court. As part of the preparation for the hearing, Lovells came down to Ghana on two different occasions to find facts and collate sufficient evidence. Some staff related to this deal were directly or indirectly interviewed.

It was during this investigation by the legal counsel that a sham contract between Sibton Switch and the shell corporation, GIB JUST Systems owned by Mr. Addy was uncovered. The contract further detailed that an amount of USD $ 500, 000 was to be again paid to him.

The Central Bank alleges that email records in relation to this corrupt deal were deliberately deleted to hide all traces. However, through email backups, the correspondences that escaped EOCO when the Sibton contract was under investigation were retrieved.

According to the Bank, Mr. Addy who was the Project Manager for the interoperability project and was supposed to represent the Bank’s interest rather accepted a bribe sum which is 14 times higher than his annual salary at the Bank. The contract, which was subsequently awarded to Sibton Switch was one-sided in favor of Sibton Switch and was severely detrimental to the interests of Bank of Ghana.

The BoG averred that, “in addition, the tender price of Sibton Switch was 33 times more expensive than the next most expensive bid, however, Mr. Addy, under the supervision of the Management at the time, ensured that Sibton Switch won the bid.”

Read the full statement below:

Source: abcnewsgh.com
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