Kufuor Stopped Stadium Contract – Woyome
Alfred Agbesi Kofi Woyome
Alfred Agbesi Kofi Woyome, National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller and businessman yesterday alleged that former President John Agyekum Kufuor interfered with the bidding process which denied him the right to go ahead with the stadia construction for the Confederation of African Nations (CAN) 2008 tournament.
Woyome said he got to know about the decision of the former President after he was informed by Yaw Osafo-Maafo, former Minister for Education Youth and Sports, that the former President had asked that Shangai Construction in China should be included in the list of bidders.
The accused person, who is on trial for allegedly defrauding the state to the tune of GH¢51.28 million, said this in his continuing cross-examination in-chief led by his counsel, Osafo Boabeng, in court presided over by Justice John Ajet-Nassam.
The NDC bankroller admitted that he was informed that the ex-President had stated the amount involved in the stadia construction was too huge and that he had been to China and had seen stadia built with $18 million which was far less, compared to the amount his New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was going to spend on the stadia for CAN 2008.
Osafo-Maafo had earlier told the court that the ex-President saved Ghana millions of Cedis by allowing Shanghai Construction – which was into self-financing – to take over the stadia construction.
Mr. Woyome also stated that after Ghana’s former Ambassador to China was asked to work on the Shanghai agreement, he rather dealt with Dr. Kofi Amoah, who was the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) instead of Osafo- Maafo, adding that it was since then that the government had nothing to do with him.
He said he had a letter signed by the former Ghana Ambassador to China which he wanted to tender in evidence but the State Attorney, Mr. Mathew Amponsah, objected to it saying, Woyome was not a party to it; but the judge overruled the objection and the letter was tendered in evidence.
Mr. Woyome disclosed that the former Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister for Justice, Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, had in a letter explained that ‘The claim for Woyome is for financial engineering for the concurrent approval by the Central Tender Review Board (CTRB),’ adding, ‘It formed the basis of a binding agreement between Vamed and the Government of Ghana.’
The businessman also said it was Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu who separated his financial engineering role from the contract signed with the Government of Ghana.
Explaining further, he stated that Betty had explained in another letter that ‘The claim for Mr. Woyome dated April 16, 2010, was in respect of financial engineering’ for work on the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
In addition, he said he was paid 2% of the total expenses, including the cost of ten regional stadia as well as clinics, hospitals and one national accident and emergency centre; and was to work with the Energy Commission, among others.
The accused bankroller posited that it was Mould- Iddrisu who separated the financial aspect of the bid from the technical aspect of it when he tried to have the matter settled amicably.
The accused, who claimed he had won the contract after the Tender Review Board had given him a concurrent approval, said he was informed by Osafo- Maafo about the final stage of the contract and tendered a letter to that effect.
The NDC man argued that the claim of $18 million for the stadia construction was not true because it fell below the price listed for the building of stadia by FIFA.
The letter to support Woyome’s claims that that Yaw Osaafo Maafo, former Minister for Education, Youth and Sports had written a letter to LOC Chairman of for CAN 2008, Dr Kofi Amoah that he could not include Shanghai Group into the list of bidders is yet to be found as the ministry has not confirmed they had found it.
The case has been adjourned to June 18 2014.
By Fidelia Achama
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