Thursday, May 18, 2017

Benin: No Case In Case Of Triennial Program Of Access To Drinking Water

In Benin, a case was dismissed in the case of PPEA II, named after the three-year program of access to drinking water financed by Dutch cooperation. In 2015, an audit carried out by the Netherlands revealed a fraud of CFAF 2.6 billion.
The case had led to the resignation of the then Energy Minister Barthélémy Kassa. He had become a Member of Parliament and the request for the waiver of his immunity by the courts had been rejected. The decision was rendered on Monday 15 May, almost 2 years to the day after the investigation began.

It is a non-place for the 12 persons charged, executives of the Water Directorate responsible for implementing the PPEA II and economic operators. The reason: criminal, there is no responsibility because they acted under the command of a legitimate authority. The investigation revealed that then Finance Minister Komi Koutché and Energy Minister Barthélémy Kassa had taken two orders to rearrange the annual work plan for the project and reallocate the unused appropriations in 2013 at the beginning from the program.

For a connoisseur of the file, this "  non-place hides unspoken  ". Several questions arise: why did the two ministers not take the advice of the Netherlands, as requested by the procedure? None of them could be questioned by the courts, which did not allow to situate their responsibilities. The audit of an international firm, requested by the Benin government, had involved Minister Kassa.

Another question: what did the reallocated funds actually do? And then, are there any other motivations when one of the businessmen involved is the brother-in-law of a very close friend of President Patrice Talon, whom MP Barthélémy Kassa Recently showed its support for the government? According to RFI, the ambassador of the Netherlands asked to meet the Minister of Justice Joseph Djogbenou.

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