The Ministry of Justice says it has filed grand corruption charges against four employees of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) including its deputy director for Construction and Logistics, who are suspected of buying 29,200 quintals of cement from two factories at a low price and selling it at higher prices.
The officials and experts had purchased the cement in the name of the National Intelligence and Security Service and illegally earned more than 30 million birr for their personal benefit in years 2020/21 and 2021/22.
A statement from the Ministry of Justice disclosed that the defendants are Tesfaye Deme, Deputy Director of Construction and Logistics at the National Intelligence and Security Service, Ashenafi Tesfaye, Head of Construction and Logistics Procurement Department, Tujuba Kelbessa and Mustafa Musa, who were working as procurement specialists.
In its statement the ministry mentioned that the first defendant,Tesfaye Deme, pretended as if the National Intelligence and Security Service had interest in buying cement and then made the sale of a total of 29,200 quintals of cement of which 7,200 quintals in the name of the 3rd defendant, Tujuba Kelbessa, and 22,000 quintals in the name of the 4th defendant, Mustafa Musa from Derba and Dangote cement factories.
The statement added that purchase from those factories was made as on the basis of urgent needs for construction works of the NISS.
A letter was written in the name of the 3rd and 4th defendants, making payments through their personal accounts but purchases were made in the name of the office and the cement was sold in the black market for their personal consumption.
The 2nd defendant also ordered the 3rd and 4th defendants to deliver the letters written by the 1st defendant to Derba and Dangote cement factories, and sell the 29,200 quintals of cement purchased on behalf of the institution.
According to the statement, the defendants were brought before a judge and the charges were read to them before the Federal Higher Court gave an order for the defendants to present their objections on the charges for 16 December, 2022.
In mid-November Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced establishment of a Committee, which he said was tasked to coordinate the government’s campaign against corruption, identify actors in addition to those identified ones in a study, and bring perpetrators to justice.
The newly formed National Anti-Corruption Committee said on 02 December that it has commenced work and announced a major crackdown on corruption and organized theft.
The Committee, led by Temesgen Tiruneh, Director Generation of the National Intelligence and Security Service, said that several high-level officials from land administration and government housing management, security and justice institutions, financial sector, and government revenue and customs offices were identified.