Alfred Agbesi Woyome
The trial of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, who has been charged for defrauding the state to the tune of GH¢51.28 million, yesterday resumed briefly at the Accra Fast Track High Court as the letter he claimed that Yaw Osafo-Maafo purportedly wrote could not be found.
Woyome had claimed that Yaw Osafo-Maafo, former Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, wrote a letter to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chairman for the CAN 2008 soccer fiesta, Dr Kofi Amoah, to the effect that he (Osafo-Maafo) could not include Shanghai Group in the list of bidders for the construction of the Accra and the Kumasi sports stadia.
However, Alhaji Yakubu Shaibu, Chief Director at the Ministry, in a letter addressed to the Accra Financial Court, presided over by Justice John Najet-Assam, stated that his outfit was still searching for the said letter which Woyome had told the court was likely to be at the Ministry.
The trial judge had ordered for the original copy of the letter after Woyome had told the court that Dr. Kofi Amoah had written to Mr. Osafo-Maafo, telling the then Minister to include Shanghai Group – which was not part of the bidders – in the bidding process, and that the former Minister allegedly wrote in reply that he could not do that.
Woyome showed a letter to the court which he claimed was written by the former Minister, but the State Attorney prosecuting the case, Mathew Amponsah, objected to the tendering of the said letter on the grounds that there was neither a signature nor authentication on it.
The trial judge, at the last hearing, had to adjourn the case to allow for the Ministry to make available the original letter yesterday, but the court had been informed through a letter that the Ministry was still searching for it.
The case was therefore adjourned to June 9, 2014, after Robertson Kpatcha, counsel for Woyome, had told the court that Osafo Boabeng, who is leading the accused in his evidence in- chief, was involved in an emergency situation and could not be in court to lead the accused.
He consequently prayed for an adjournment of the case, which the trial judge granted.
Woyome had at the last hearing claimed that the Government of Ghana, after refusing to give him the right to build the stadia for the Confederation of Africa Nations football competition in 2008, later used funds he and his consortium arranged with Merchant Bank as an alternative to build the Accra and the Kumasi sports stadia.
According to him, he had a meeting with Lionel Van Lare Dosoo, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and head of the Financial Committee, which was tasked to look into the financial capabilities of the bidders.
At that meeting, he said that Mr. Van Lare Dosoo asked him if he and his consortium had alternative source of funding – as the committee realized it would take four months for the consortium’s funds to be made available for the project.
He said once it was agreed that the funds would be delayed, he presented the committee with an alternative source of financing arraigned by the consortium with Merchant Bank, adding ‘the Government later borrowed from the bank for the construction of the Kumasi and the Accra Sports stadia.’
By Fidelia Achama
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