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New Judge For Collins Dauda, Others In $200m Trial

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Collins Dauda

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The trial of Alhaji Collins Dauda, a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing who doubles as NDC MP for Asutifi South in the Ahafo Region, and four others involved in the $200 million Saglemi Housing Project scandal has been put before a new judge for continuation.

The case was initially put before an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Comfort Tasiame, who was then sitting as a vacation judge during the legal vacation when the accused persons made their maiden court appearance.

But the case has now been transferred to another Criminal Division of the court presided over by Justice Elfreda Dankyi as the substantive judge in the matter.

The case could however not continue yesterday because the new judge did not have the warrant of the Chief Justice, which permits her to adjudicate on the matter.

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The case was therefore, rescheduled for October 21, 2021, by which time the new judge would have received the Chief Justice’s warrant, which gives her jurisdiction to try the matter.

All the accused persons and their lawyers were all present in court yesterday.

Main Trial

Alhaji Collins Dauda and four others have been charged by the Attorney General’s Department, over their alleged involvement in the $200 million Saglemi Housing Project.

Apart from Alhaji Collins Dauda, Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, a former Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing; Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Chief Director at the Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing when the Saglemi Housing deal was prepared and signed; businessman Andrew Clocanas, Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited as well as Nouvi Tetteh Angelo, the Chief Executive Officer and owner of Ridge Management Solutions Ghana Limited are all on trial.

They all pleaded not guilty to 52 counts of causing financial loss to the Republic among others when the case was put before the vacation judge.

52 Counts

All the five personalities, per the charge sheet signed by the Director of State Prosecution Mrs. Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa on behalf of the Attorney General, are facing a total of 52 counts of intentionally misapplying public property contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD) 140, willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to Section 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58 and dishonestly causing loss to public property contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Public Protection Act 1977 (SMCD) 140.

Specific Charges

Collins Dauda alone is facing one count of intentionally misapplying public property contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD) 140.

He is also facing 10 counts of willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to Section 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) as well as another three counts of issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58.

Collins Dauda and Ziblim Yakubu again are facing another charge of willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to Section 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

More Counts

In the case of Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, he has been charged with two counts of willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to Section 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), and another two counts of issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58.

Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah has also been charged alongside Ziblim Yakubu with 18 counts of willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to Section 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).

Furthermore, Ziblim Yakubu alone has been charged with six counts of willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to Section 179A (3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and three counts of issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58.

In the case of Andrew Clocanas, he has been charged with one count of issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58 and another count of dishonestly causing loss to public property contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Public Protection Act 1977 (SMCD) 140.

Nouvi Tetteh Angelo has been charged with two counts of issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58 and another two counts of dishonestly causing loss to public property contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Public Protection Act 1977 (SMCD) 140.

Interesting Revelation

The state reportedly pumped about $200 million into the Saglemi Housing Project which the Mills/ Mahama administration initiated, but the housing units were never completed even though the funds had allegedly been exhausted before Mr. Mahama and his NDC were defeated in the 2016 general election and left office in early January 2017.

The initial agreement ratified by Parliament was for the construction of 5,000 housing units, but by the time the project was being executed, only 1,502 housing units had been earmarked for construction without recourse to Parliament.

Interestingly, the contract amount of $200 million was spent when even the 1,502 housing units could not fully be completed.

Only 668 were reportedly done, according to investigations compiled and sent to the Attorney General’s Department, and those are not even habitable.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak

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