NPP calls for independent enquiry into Woyome’s case

The minority NPP in Parliament has called for an independent public enquiry into a claim of over GH¢41 million to Mr Alfred Woyome, a business man over a stadium contract with the government of Ghana.

The NPP has also called on President John Atta Mills to relieve Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu of her post as Minister of Education while a truly independent enquiry into the circumstances leading into what the party has described as “the single largest loss to the state since independence,” is launched.

Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, addressing a press conference in Parliament, said they have decided to organize a press conference to draw the attention of “all well –meaning Ghanaians to the apparent fraud, negligence, recklessness collusion and financial loss associated with the payment of  GH¢41,811, 480.59  to one Alfred Agbesi Woyome by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in a purported settlement claim involving rehabilitation of three stadia.”

“This huge and unjustified payment is said to be based on terms of settlement brokered by the then Attorney-General Hon. Betty Mould-Iddrisu.”

The Minority Leader said Hon. Mould-Iddrisu as Attorney-General did not file any defence to the “patently strange, dubious and expensive claim against the government of Ghana by Alfred Woyome, in his personal capacity and who had neither put in a bid nor entered into any contract with the government to construct any stadium in Ghana between 2001 and 2006.”

Giving a background to the saga, the Minority Leader said in 2008 when the government decided to host the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, it decided to build two new stadia and refurbish three other stadia.

He said in 2005, one of the shortlisted companies, VAMED, an Austria firm had proposed to raise 764,117,646 Euros from the Bank of Austria for the project and Mr Woyome was part of the negotiating team of VAMED.

Mr Kyei-Mensah Bonsu said given the urgency of the project and due to what was termed as time constraints and the high financial commitment, the then Ministry of Education and Sports informed VAMED that it was discontinuing with the tendering process.

He said on August 27, 2005 Waterville Holdings Limited (BVI) said to be part of the VAMED consortium which included Micheletti and Co Limited responded and requested for negotiations to resolve what they regarded as breach of process and the Bank of Austria consequently declined to fund the project.

Eventually, Waterville Holdings could not raise the funds and collaborated with Michelleti and Co to build  the Ohene Djan and Elwak stadia and with CONSAR Limited to build Baba Yara Stadium.

“Letters from the then Attorney-General, Hon. Joe Ghartey, dated August 1, 2006 and from the Office of the President dated October 24, 2008 confirm that the government of Ghana had no claims to settle with any other party or individual after Michelleti and CONSAR had agreed to pay amounts outstanding to Waterville Holdings.”

He said Mr Woyome was never known as a shareholder or Director of VAMED not had he made any claim in respect of the construction of stadia from 2001 to 2006 nor did the government deal with him in his personal capacity.

“In a bizarre and highly controversial manner, the first NDC Attorney-General, Betty Mould- Iddrisu, started dealing with Alfred Woyome, who had become a kingpin and bankroller of the NDC.”

The Minority Leader said she facilitated the payment of the over 41 million cedis and contrary to available evidence.

He said in April 2010, before a case could commence in court, Hon. Mould- Iddrisu advised the Finance Ministry to pay two per cent of the value of the stadia project to Mr Woyome, a total stranger and Austro Invest, an unknown company for an alleged breach of agreement with government.

He said on April 19, 2010 Mr Woyome, among others, sued the Attorney-General and Ministries of Justice and Finance seeking for the following reliefs including an order for payment of 44,259,009.48 Euros or its equivalent for the cost of “services rendered” by plaintiff (Woyome) to the government in securing 1,106,587.00 Euros for the construction of sports stadium medical facilities, irradiation plant and tissue culture between 2001 and 2006.

The Minority Leader said the Attorney-General filed entry of appearance but did not file any defence stating there was no defence to the claim in a later application.

He said there are pertinent questions to be addressed which include the fact that Mr Woyome never entered any agreement with the government of Ghana, no services were rendered by him for which he has to be paid, and the fact that the NPP government had not put in a bid in 2001 for the hosting of CAN 2008.

By Eunice Menka

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