General News Sat, 14 Sep 2019

How leadership of Bank of Ghana 'aided' sacked staff to secure Sibton Switch procurement

An official of the Central Bank was on Friday September 13 dismissed for his involvement in 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.

According to a statement released by the Bank of Ghana, bank records revealed that secret and corrupt payments of GH¢410,000.00 were made by Sibton Switch Systems Limited and its parent company Sibton Communications Limited to Mr Gilbert Addy at the Bank of Ghana via a shelf company GIB JUST Systems Limited, which was owned by him.

The corrupt deal was uncovered following investigations by the new management headed by Ernest Addison appointed after the 2016 elections.

According to the Central Bank, “on the 9th of April 2018, Sibton Switch Limited filed a Request for Arbitration at the International Dispute Resolution Centre (IDRC) of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) against the Bank of Ghana for breaching the Master Agreement for the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure entered into by the two parties.

The new management noted that a review of the contract was necessitated after they took over from the predecessors; led by Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku.

“In reviewing the contract the new Management of the Bank reached the conclusion that Sibton had neither acquired the licence nor fulfilled the condition precedent for the effectiveness of the rights and obligations of the parties. The Agreement, which dealt with the grant of exclusive rights to Sibton Switch to build, operate and own the Ghana Retail Payment Systems Infrastructure was therefore terminated on the basis that it never came into effect.” Part of the statement read

Much to the chagrin of the governor Ernest Addison and members of his management team, it appeared the previous management were aware of the dealings of Mr. Addy who was the Project Manager of the transaction.

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

These corrupt payments and bribes were uncovered by the Bank's International Legal Counsel, Hogan Lovells, during their preparation of the Bank's defence to the arbitration claim brought by Sibton Switch, in respect of the terminated contract. As part of their preparation for the hearing in London, International Legal Counsel undertook two fact finding and investigative missions to Ghana from 14th – 17th August, 2018 and subsequently from 8th

– 17th May, 2019, to gather and collate evidence. During these two missions, they gathered materials and interviewed all members of BoG staff who had been involved in this transaction, one way or the other.

“Mr Gilbert Addy was the Project Manager leading the interoperability project. His role was to safeguard the Bank's interests in the project but instead he accepted huge bribes (which were more than 14 times his annual salary at the Bank of Ghana).

It appears that the entire bidding process for the procurement of Sibton Switch was managed with the knowledge of the previous leadership of the Bank of Ghana in 2016, who appeared to be under intense pressure to deliver the contract to Sibton Switch Limited.”

Read the full statement below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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