Consar, Michelleti deny dealing with Woyome in stadia construction

Alfred Woyome
Alfred Woyome

Mr Stephano Ramella Pezza and Mr Jimmy Castagna managing directors of Consar Limited and Michelletti and Co respectively, have denied working with Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome, then Financial Engineer of Waterville Holdings.

The Managing Directors of the construction firms confirmed knowing Mr Woyome casually but denied working with him officially when they were made sub contractors by Waterville Holdings, which was the main contractor during the rehabilitation of the Ohene Djan and Baba Yara Sports Stadia and construction of two others in 2008.

This was disclosed on Tuesday when the two men appeared before the sole Judgment Debt Commissioner in Accra to answer questions on their dealings with Mr Woyome and Waterville Holdings.

Both men admitted to working directly with Mr Andrea Orlandi, Managing Director of Waterville Holdings, adding that Woyome was not in the picture at all at that time.

Mr Stephano Ramella Pezza tendered in documents among which included a contract between Consar and Waterville and payment schedules for works done on stadia renovations based on quantity surveyors reports to the Commission as demanded.

He confirmed the payment of $2.7 million to Waterville, adding that Consar had in its possession all the necessary documentations and receipts to that effect.

He noted that Consar, which had been in the country for the past 30 years, did not owe Waterville in any way as they had paid the company (Waterville) all cost meant to be paid as stipulated in the agreements.

According to Mr Pezza, the contract between Waterville and the Ghana government was abrogated when Waterville failed to provide funding for works on those stadia as pressure was mounted on government for them to be completed.

He said the abrogation of the contract compelled Waterville to start making demands for monies already spent on the two projects.

He told the Commission that all equipment used during the construction by Consar belonged to the company, adding that all other equipment imported into the country went through the right process.

He told the Commission that Consar did not sign any agreement with Michelletti, which was also a sub construction firm, as they were competitors.

Mr Castagna the MD of Michelletti admitted to the Commission that his company took over the construction and the renovation of both the Ohene Djan and Baba Yara stadia with its own equipment when the government abrogated its contract with Waterville and made a payment of $950,000.00 to them (Waterville).

He pledged to submit to the Commission documentations covering its dealings with Waterville from when it was made a sub contracting firm to when government fully handed over the contract to his company to enable the Commission check the extent of its dealings with Waterville.

Dometi Kifi Sokpor, Lawyer for the Commission, expressed satisfaction with answers given by the two witnesses when they appeared before the Commission.

Also appearing before the Commission was Professor Bruce Baboeng-Yakubo, Chief Director, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, who said the Ministry was not aware of any amount paid to Nana Owusu Akyaw Prempeh II, Chief of Worakesi in 2008.

He noted that although the Ministry was aware of a court order to pay compensation to the Worakesi Stool for lands taken by the colonial government in 1943, it did not have much insight into to the amount involved.

Yesterday, Nana Owusu Akyaw Prempeh II, who appeared before the Commission, said the traditional authority received GH¢27 million for lands taken by the colonial government in 1945, meant for the construction of a hospital.

He noted that the then government then shifted the construction to another site and handed the 107 acres of land to the State Housing Company (SHC) instead of giving it back to the traditional authority.

He said SHC then gave portions of the land to the Police Service for the construction of barracks and used the rest to construct houses for sale without paying compensation to the stool.

This, he said, compelled the traditional authority to send the issue to court which culminated in the payment of GH¢27 million.

He said the court initially ordered the government to pay them GH¢49 million but upon negotiations with the Attorney-General, they settled on GH¢27 million which was paid in 2008.

Source: GNA

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