15 Months in the Lion’s Den: Prof. Stephen Adei to release explosive book after 2024 elections

Prof. Emeritus Stephen Adei - Academician, Educator, Author and Statesman

Highly respected Ghanaian Academician, Economist, Author, Educationist, lay preacher and statesman, Professor Emeritus Stephen Adei has hinted that he is working on an “explosive” book titled “15 Months in the Lion’s Den”, which he will release after the 2024 elections, for very strategic reasons.

In an exclusive interview with Techfocus24, Prof. Adei said the book chronicles events of his 15-month run as the Board Chairman of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) – the things he witnessed regarding how the government he worked for run the affairs of the country.

“I don’t want to talk plenty now, just wait for my book called I5 Months in the Lion’s Den,” he said.

According to him, he has elected to wait until after the 2024 elections to release the book so that no one will accuse him of deliberately releasing the book in an election year just to influence the direction of voting.

“One of the reasons I am holding on is because I don’t want to influence the politics of Ghana. It is an election year and if I release the book a lot of people would say Stephen Adei intended to influence the elections,” he said.

According to him, the content of the book will make a readers say that the Akufo-Addo government is very bad, but as a statesman who has did not work under the John Mahama government he cannot tell whether John Mahama was better or worse so he cannot put himself in position to be seen as running down one government in favour of the other.

“As a man who has been privileged to work in high public office, I can only talk about what I know – but I cannot do comparative analysis between one thing I know and another thing I don’t know. As a statesman I need to be cared when I say what,” he said.

But he dropped a few hints about how things panned out at GRA during his tenure, saying that when his board took office, they noticed that a lot of the appointments at GRA were due to “connection” and not merit.

He noted, for instance that there were five Acting Deputy Commissioners who were due for confirmation. But when his board took office, they decided to open applications for all qualified persons to via for those positions. In the end, all the five Acting Deputies lost the position to other more qualified persons at GRA.

Prof. Adei also noted that he was aware that the current Commissioner General of GRA, Julie Essiam who was made Commissioner of Support Services just around the same time he was appointed Board Chair, was due for retirement in April 2021. So, it surprises him that recently when she was appointed CG, her stated age was 61. He believes she should be at least 64 by now.

The former GRA Board Chair also said his board met a culture at GRA, where all Commissioners attended board meetings and pushed their agendas as if they were board members. But his board stopped them from attending board meetings and urged them to confer with the then Commissioner General to bring their proposals to board meetings instead of every Commissioner showing up at every board meeting.

“When we did that, we were able to work much smoother and better with little interference from people with parochial interests,” he said.

The retired statesman said he also witnessed how some GRA officials had become accustomed to circumventing due process and compromising the destiny of the entire country. One example he mentioned was how the current CG, who was then a Commissioner for Support Services, side stepped the board and went and negotiated a deal with a company in Kenya without approval.

“I am therefore not surprised that Julie Essiam is today allegedly handed over domestic tax mobilization to an Indian company without following due process and without recourse to the board,” he said.

Prof. Adei said he hopes that soon after the elections, he will get a publisher who will be willing to throw in the necessary resources to get the book out there.


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