Asabee Case Lingers On

THE CASE of Stephen Asamoah Boateng, former minister for Information and National Orientation and seven others is still lingering on at an Accra High Court with the prosecution calling in their seventh witness.

Mr. Joseph Acquah Nunoo is the budget officer at the Ministry of Finance who prepared a specific warrant for the rehabilitation of the Ministerial block at the Information Ministry in the matter in which the former minister and the others have been accused of breaching the Procurement Act in awarding the renovation contract to Plexiform Ventures.

Led in evidence by Rexford Anthony Wiredu, Chief State Attorney, Mr. Nunoo informed the court that in 2008 as a schedule officer at the Ministry of Information, he received an application for a request of specific warrant for the rehabilitation of the block.

The officer who stated that there were three companies bidding for the contract including Plexiform Ventures, disclosed to the court presided over by Justice Charles Quist that he was asked to process the request which he complied after checking the supporting documents.

According to him, after the specific warrant was done, the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA) on November 19, 2008 requested for release of funds for the project and in view of that a letter was sent to the Controller and Accountant General for that purpose.

However, the witness said the letter was rejected because it stated only one source of funding instead of two sources.

After correcting the anomaly, he forwarded it to the Accountant-General (AG). Mr. Nunoo could, however, not state whether the AG released the said money to the MDA.

Lester Ohemeng, counsel for the former minister and his wife in cross-examination asked the witness if he verified the document attached to the request for the warrant and in response he stated that some of the documents, including the award of contract, were not signed.

The matter has been adjourned to August 9, 2013 for further cross-examination.

Mr. Asamoah Boateng is standing trial with seven others, including his wife, for allegedly conspiring to defraud the state of an amount of GH¢86,915.85. They are alleged to have contravened the Procurement Act by not following due processes in awarding the contract amounting to the GH¢86,915.85 to Plexiform Ventures for renovation works at the ministerial block of the Ministry of Information.

The accused persons were Zuleika Jennifer Lorwia; Frank Agyekum, his Deputy Minister of Information; Kofi Asamoah Boateng, Former Director of Finance and Administration and Dominic Yaw Sampong, Acting Chief Director.

Others were Kwabena Denkyira, Deputy Director of Finance and Administration; Yasmine Domua, Manageress; Prosper Aku of Supreme Procurement Agencies and the company, Supreme Procurement Agencies Limited.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail.

Comments