Professor Stephen Adei has forced the Governing Board of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ratify the illegal recruitments made by the controversial Commissioner of Support Services Division of GRA, Madam Julie Essiam.
Following DAYBREAK’s publication that made startling revelations on violations of rules and regulations on recruitments of personnel into an institution that forms part of Ghana’s Public Administration System (PAS), Professor Stephen Adei and brother-in-law, Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah quickly called a Board meeting to spend public funds and precious time to ratify the improper and inappropriate actions of the unqualified Commissioner and the incompetent Acting Commissioner-General.
When the full facts of the case of the over thirty recruited personnel were discussed, it became apparent that the arrogant and disrespectful Commissioner had actually planned and executed the ‘limited recruitment’ with the connivance and blessings of Professor Stephen Adei. It came to shocking light and disbelief of some principled members of the Board that indeed Madam Julie Essiam had discussed and sought permission and/or approval of the Acting Commissioner-General and the Board Chairman on some of the persons illegally recruited into GRA.
In those circumstances, instead of apologizing and showing remorse for improper and inappropriate conduct of senior public officials, the two sought and had the dictatorial powers of the Board Chairman to have all the appointments, except one stinking contract of Mr. Samuel Djangmah, ratified.
DAYBREAK gathered that another illegal action on the part of Madam Julie Essiam rather inured to her advantage to get the appointments ratified by a reluctant Board. According to a research conducted by this paper, Madam Julie Essiam had abused her office and power and had used security personnel to enter the premises of a former business partner in an attempt to collect a debt owed her by this former business partner. The matter was referred to the Police for appropriate redress. This reference of the matter to the Police brought Madam Julie Essiam into contact with the Inspector General of Police (IGP). As part of a deal to resolve the matter amicably out of court for illegal entry and trespass, Madam Julie Essiam agreed to employ a child of the IGP.
Our investigations have also stumbled upon very interesting revelations. Madam Julie Essiam had also recruited a relative, Akwasi Owusu Essiam as part of the team on ‘’Data Mining and Analytics’’.
Other reasons given by Madam Julie Essiam were based on alleged approvals given by Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the former Commissioner General, in August 2018 and offer and withdrawal letters of August 2015 and September 2016.
With all due respect, especially to some of the legally appointed and respected members of the GRA Governing Board, these reasons are untenable. We would demonstrate why these reasons were begging the question, particularly from the point of view of Professor Stephen Adei.
Ever since Professor Adei was ‘’illegally’’ appointed the Board Chairman after the coup d’état of 20th September 2019, he has demonstrated his hatred for Mr. Kofi Nti and has tried in various ways to condemn every legitimate act of his with the support of Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah, Madam Julie Essiam, and Mr. Ernest Akore.
No sooner had Professor Adei taken over than he showed his dislike and hatred for Mr. Kofi Nti. It is alleged that on October 7th, 2019, (just three days after the forcible ejection of Mr. Kofi Nti from office), Professor Adei announced the suspension of all recruitments, promotions and postings in GRA. Professor Adei took those illegal actions unilaterally. There was no Board decision on that day and therefore such a decision could not fly, under any circumstance, as a Board decision.
But on that day and subsequently, at Alisa Hotel, the dictatorial and controversial ‘’Professor’’ intimated to his audience that he had actually been appointed by His Excellency the President to be the Chief Executive (Commissioner General) of GRA but owing to his age (over seventy years), he had asked been to allow Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah to be the ceremonial head while he Professor Adei remained the real Chief Executive (Shadow Commissioner General) wielding the real executive power.
Owing to the unfettered powers arrogated to himself, Professor Adei bulldozed his way through in the normal management affairs of GRA while Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah looked on sheepishly. All attempts to make Professor Adei realize that his chosen part of governance was an aberration, against best practices and unlawful usurpation of powers fell on deaf ears.
With the docility and ineffectiveness of Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah as his main weapon and unflinching support and encouragement for ‘’ madness’’ by the Minister of Finance, Professor Adei proceeded and ensured that indeed there were no recruitments, promotions and postings in GRA without his express approval.
Our investigations showed that recommendations for promotions to the rank of Deputy Commissioner made by Commissioners, the Commissioner-General and the Board in September 2019 (before the Ofori Atta Coup d’état) were rubbished by Professor Adei with the flimsy excuse that he did not know those officers and could not come to a Board to be saddled with actions of a previous Board. All attempts to let Professor Adei understand that the right processes and procedures had been followed in recommending the officers to the Public Services Commission (PSC) were ignored by the erratic Professor.
As a matter of fact, Professor Adei is reported as saying that the affected officers could go to court because he was adamant and would not allow a previous Board to tie his hands by placing their favorites in such high positions. Unfortunately, the real reasons for Professor Adei’s actions would be known later but were mostly actuated by malice, his hatred for Mr. Kofi Nti and his desire to get his brother-in-law to become the substantive Commissioner General at all cost.
Readers would reckon and realize that the ratification of the unlawful recruitments made by Madam Julie Essiam and Rev Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah citing previous approvals by the ‘’hated Kofi Nti’’ amply demonstrates the hypocrisy and inconsistencies of the ‘’hypocrite destroyers’’ of GRA.
The other striking reason accepted by Professor Adei using his “bulldozing and bamboozling skills” is the acceptance of decisions made on some of the persons in 2015 by the former regime of Mr. George Blankson as Commissioner-General. Does this not beat the imagination of right-thinking persons?
How come that the GRA could not offer these persons appointments in the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) in the same 2015 or even 2016 for the reasons stated but that decision has to be taken in 2020 (five good years down the line)? This also shows inconsistency, hypocrisy and detrimental discrimination on the part of the tripartite committee. In one breadth, owing to the hatred they have for Mr. Kofi Nti, they try to destroy everything that he did (when it does not meet or suit the whims and caprices) in another instance they approve his earlier action and use it unjustifiably to support their claim (because it fits into their game plan). They pretend to be “Reverends’’, very religious, very pious and very fair but indeed as a matter of fact, they do what fetish priests/priestesses, pagans and satanic idols would not do.
The fetish priests/priestesses, pagans and satanic idols believe in natural justice, fairness and detest discrimination. These so called Reverends and religious persons with big crosses hanging on long chains are diametrically opposes to the teachings of Christ- they hate when they must love, they punish and victimize when they must show compassion, they exceed and abuse their power, authority and office when they must act with circumspection. These are the real accolades of this triturate of GRA destroyers. Gradually, these three key appointment holders in GRA are destroying the very fabric of cohesion, harmony and principles of a public institution.
The three key personalities in GRA today are apostles of disunity preaching peace but practicing hatred, preaching unity of purpose but thriving on divide and rule, preaching probity and accountability but practicing the opposite. The staff of GRA are cautiously watching, gathering evidence and praying for the day that the “frog will die” to be able to measure its real length.
What the staff of GRA are saying is that owing to intimidation, vindictiveness and victimization being perpetuated by the unwelcome tripartite committee, they are keeping their venom but they will pour it out in the immediate period before and after the elections of 7th December 2020. Some of the personnel are warning some of the Executives of NPP who are doing serious businesses with these pretenders to be wary of the future as so much anger and pain are being harbored by majority of personnel in GRA today.
Some of the staff of GRA are comparing the so-called “dark days of Mr Kofi Nti and Mr Fred Charles Anson” to the so-called “glorious days of Mr. Ammishaddai Adu Owusu-Amoah and Madam Julie Essiam” and are saying they prefer the former to the latter.
In fact, some of the GRA officers who spoke to this paper indicated that in their assessment, Madam Julie Essiam is worse than Mr Fred Charles Anson. They said that even though the two personalities have a lot of common traits in their behavior (arrogance, disrespect, abuse of power, reckless dissipation of funds etc.) they varied in degree of acting with ‘’impunity and vindictiveness”. They were quick to add that in terms of academic and professional competencies and qualifications, Mr Fred Charles Anson is far ahead.
The other common trait that the officers cited was the fact that for some strange reasons the two Commissioners Support Services Division (SSD) (former and incumbent) did not and do not respect their Commissioners General. They both acted or act without reference to their Commissioners General with impunity and often did or do the “unthinkable things” contrary to laid down rules and regulations. They always did or do what pleases them, in most cases using the public funds, regardless of what right-thinking members of the GRA community felt, surprisingly with impunity.
The other advantage the two had or have is that they have the support (unflinching one) of the Sector Minister. Again, they have or had very soft Commissioners General but not the fire brand type as in the case of Mr. George Blankson who they claimed trimmed even an Army General to size.
The staff of GRA are wondering why Professor Adei has been allowed unfettered power and authority, as a Board Chairman to do whatever he likes with impunity. According to the staff, Professor Adei speaks with threats and insults, pretending to be a Saint but in fact they claim they have a dossier on the ‘’self – acclaimed Professor Emeritus” as he is alleged to have bestowed the title on himself before the ratification by the appropriate academic council.
The staff say they do not understand why the Ghana Revenue Act spells out the role of the Governing Board and the processes and procedures that must be followed in reaching decisions but the “terrorist chairman” openly and flagrantly violates the Act with impunity.
For instance, the staff argue that the GRA Act provides for a nine-member Governing Board but as we speak today the Board has only seven members even if one were to live with the illegal representation of Mr Ernest Akore as “a Director” of the Ministry of Finance. Thus, there are two vacancies on the board currently following the coup d’état against Major Daniel Ablorh-Quarcoo and lawyer Mrs Julie Addo Yobo.
Our investigations have revealed that the Board Chairman gave the withdrawal of the two persons, and indeed Madam Adelaide Ahwireng, and the two then Deputy Ministers, Carlos Ahenkorah and Kwaku Kwarteng as condition precedent before accepting the position. According to our sources, Professor Adei wanted absolute freedom on the Board to take decisions of his choices without any opposition. The ratification of the unlawful recruitment into GRA by Madam Julie Essiam is one of such decisions.
Why have the two vacancies on the Board not yet been filled? The answer is obvious. It is the fear of the unknown and the need to tame those that are serving now. That surprisingly fits into the game plan of the Sector Minister as well. Otherwise, why did the sector Minister refuse to swear in Mr. Kwame Owusu as the Board Chairman after he had been so appointed by His Excellency, the President, on the recommendation of the Council of State?
The Minister was not comfortable with Mr Kwame Owusu because the latter is a very principled strong party person who cannot be manipulated as it is happening now.
Why would a person of the caliber of Major Ablorh –Quarcoo be withdrawn from the Governing Board? As a former Commissioner of the erstwhile Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a former Director of Ghana Cocoa Board, a chartered accountant and above all a military disciplinarian, Major Daniel Ablorh-Quarcoo should have been a preferred choice but not a REJECT of the “Apostles of Probity and Accountability”
Obviously, Professor Adei was not comfortable with Major Ablorh-Quarcoo who would not succumb to illegalities, unconscionable acts of omission or commission, profligacy and blatant abuse of power and authority. His partnership with Madam Adelaide Ahwireng was a major source of worry for ProfessorAdei, his brother in law and the Sector Minister. It had become clear that Mr Owusu-Amoah was not comfortable with the presence of Major Ablorh-Quarcoo on the Board. Instead of tapping the rich experiences of the former Commissioner, Chartered Accountant and Army Officer, the “destroyers” chose the easier path to ask Major Ablorh- Quarcoo to resign from the Board. This unfair decision has obviously weakened the Board in terms of competent membership. As a retired Army Officer and Accountant, Major Ablorh- Quarcoo had the eyes and penchant for scrutiny, sound and logical reasoning which unfortunately are the woes of the tripartite committee members. The staff argued that without any shroud of doubt they can emphatically state that the three key personalities are incompetent, unqualified and possess poor reasoning power which make them take unpopular and destructive decisions in most situations.
These developments in GRA have become a serious concern for the major stakeholders, the staff, the Unions and Staff Associations. In their letter to the Commissioner General, the Unions had indicated that the Board Chairman had not been showing respect to staff, had embarked on an insulting spree just as the ‘’lady who must always have her way and be obeyed by all”.
The direct involvement of the Board Chairman in the affairs of Top Management has also become a source of worry to staff and the Unions.
Very reliable sources of ours indicate that on two major important issues in recent times, when all the members of the Board, except the chairman, were unanimous in their position on a principled matter, the Board Chairman overruled them and prevented any further discussions or arguments on the issue
The Board Chairman and his “assurance givers” are quick to point to the successes of the Professor at GIMPA. Our research has shown that the Professor took advantage of the rush by Ghanaians and other residents in Ghana to get “Degrees” to commercialize university education. By placing money before academic excellence, the Professor was the first Administrator of a university “to introduce fee paying” in our universities. With this concept, quality grades at the Advanced Level of General Certificate of Education (GCE) and Senior High Schools were immaterial. What mattered most was one’s ability to pay the exorbitant fees. The fees were used as incentive to entice Professors, Professionals and Lecturers to flock GIMPA to ply their trade. In order to ensure the continuous flow of the fat honorariums, allowances and salaries, these Academic staff awarded degrees rather generously to rich candidates and those with ability to pay the fees.
The Professor then used the money to undertake infrastructural developments at GIMPA. But did he offer real effective value for money? Were forensic audits conducted into his stewardship? Why did they agitate for his removal?
Did he practice good governance? Did he allow the principle of “collegiate” to be applied at GIMPA? Did he allow other Professors and Members of the Academic and Non-Academic staff there to participate in decision making? The answers for all the questions were NO.
He run GIMPA as his private school with no room for dissent or divergent views. Any Professor or Lecturer who stood in his dictatorial way was shown the exit. He used intimidation, treachery, blackmail and loud mouth to shut everybody up.
Unfortunately, he has been trumpeting these bad governance practices as his achievements. It is the same strategy and leadership styles that he is practicing at GRA and also at the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)
Professor Adei is a “living contradiction” of good governance. While he claims to be lecturing good governance, he practices the diametrically opposite principles of good governance. There is no doubt that GRA is a “battleground” for his uncompromising, arrogant, dictatorial and unpolished leadership styles.
Unfortunately, the staff and unions argue that he is being goaded on by the Ministry of Finance especially those in the fraternity of Data Bank where the Professor has served in various capacities for several years
The staff and union of GRA intimated further that a special advisor to the Minister of Finance and an illegal member of the Governing Board of GRA, who is also a very close friend of Madam Julie Essiam is one of the major problem of in GRA. This individual is alleged to be so pompous and disrespectful to them and always seeking to highlight on negativities instead of promoting harmonious industrial atmosphere for achievement of the Authority’s goals. This personality is alleged to be always in the office of the Commissioner Support Services Division engaged in contractual documents and financial provisions. The staff and unions are advising the Ministry and NPP government to be wary of this character.
According to the staff and union, they know of his blackmails and association with all types of contracts in GRA. The belief of the staff and union is that he is the real power behind the unlawful appointment of the unqualified Commissioner. Even though they allege that the Commissioner was brought by a Deputy Minister of Finance, the reality is that it is the Commissioner’s friend who calls the shots.
The staff continued by saying that this friend did the same thing during Mr Kofi Nti’s tenure as Commissioner General and yet was the real Judas Ischariot who betrayed Mr Nti.
The staff are cautioning Mr Owusu-Amoah against the absolute freedom given to Madam Julie Essiam and Mr Ernest Akore in running the affairs of GRA. Thus, the staff and the union said emphatically that the tensions in GRA can be attributed squarely to the obstinacy of the Board Chairman, the indecisive, docile and incompetent nature of the Acting Commissioner General, the arrogant, disrespectful and saucy nature of Madam Julie Essiam and the pervasive and pompous nature of Mr. Ernest Akore.
According to the staff and unions until these destructive personalities are brought within legal and regulatory controls, the GRA will continue to witness these avoidable tensions.
For instance, the staff and unions stated that they do not understand why Mr. Owusu-Amoah has failed to terminate the unlawful and controversial contract of Mr. Samuel Djangmah after the board had explicitly directed the Acting Commissioner General to write to terminate that appointment.
Reliable sources indicate that the Acting Commissioner General says he is afraid of Madam Julie Essiam who single handedly gave that unprecedented type of contract with very lucrative terms and conditions never experienced by any retiring Assistant Commissioner in the annals of GRA.
More yet to follow soon