Woyome trial: Judge demands Osafo Marfo’s letter blocking Shanghai
The Financial Division of the High Court last Monday directed two ministries to produce a letter which challenged the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of CAN 2008’s proposal that a Chinese construction firm be allowed to partake in the bidding process for the stadia construction project.
By the directive, the ministries of Education and Sports are expected to produce the said letter which was alleged to have been signed by then Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo.
Counsel for businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Mr Sarfo Buabeng,is expected to follow up on the search, get the letter and report back to the court on May 29,2014.
According to the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, its order was aimed at ensuring justice and fair trial.
The order followed a request put forward by Mr Buabeng after he withdrew a bid to tender the said letter through Woyome.
The withdrawal was due to an objection raised by a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Yvonne Attakorah- Obuobisa,who argued that the letter could not be admitted in evidence because it was ineligible and not signed.
Continuing with his evidence last Monday, Woyome told the court that Mr Osafo-Maafo signed the letter dated July 24,2005, that informed the LOC that procurement procedures for the stadia construction could not be sidestepped.
According to Woyome, who was
testifying in his GHc 51.2 million criminal case, Mr Osafo-Maafo called him to a meeting and informed him (Woyome) that his consortium had been selected for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008, and further urged him to see then Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Mr O.B. Amoah, for more information.
He said he followed up to Mr Amoah’s office but Mr Amoah told him (Woyome) to hold on, without any explanation.
According to the accused person, he later gathered that the LOC had written to the Ministry of Education and Sports requesting that the proposal of the Shanghai Group of China be considered, although it had not participated in the bidding process which had been concluded.
He said he also learnt that Mr Osafo- Maafo had written back to the LOC indicating that the procurement process could not be circumvented.
Vanlare Dosoo Committee
Woyome took the court through the processes he went through to submit bidding documents on behalf of Vamed Engineering and Waterville.
He said Vamed Engineering transferred all rights for the stadium construction to Waterville, except hospital construction.
The accused person told the court that he appeared before the finance committee set up by Mr Osafo-Maafo to evaluate financial documents his consortium submitted for the bidding.
Aside that, the accused person stated that he also appeared before the Vanlare Dosoo Committee twice to explain certain issues, just like other bidders
had done, and added that a concurrent approval was subsequently issued by the Central Review Tender Board (CRTB) for the award of contract to the Vamed and Waterville group, which he said the committee had “adjudged to have won the bid”.
Explaining further, Woyome said the processes leading to the government guaranteeing the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank would have taken four monthswhich the committee said would delay the stadia construction project.
Based on that, the committee, he explained, asked if his consortium had an alternative financial arrangement to fill in the gap before the financial support from Banc Austria was ready.
“I presented the alternative arrangement which we termed ‘bridge financing’, which was arranged with a consortium of local banks. Merchant Bank was the lead bank,” Woyome pointed out.
According to him, the documents covering the bridge financing were given to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP),but the government later approached the bank and accessed the money after it (government) had abrogated its contract with the consortium.
He said the government eventually used that money to finance the Accra, El-Wak and Kumasi stadia.
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