I Didn’t Get Stadia Contract Approval – Woyome


Alfred Agbesi Woyome , the National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, accused of fraudulently receiving GH¢ 51.28 million judgment debt, yesterday admitted that he was not informed by the Central Tender Review Board (CTRB) about their concurrent approval of his bid.

He told an Accra high court presided over by John Justice John Najet-Assam, that he was informed by the then Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, that his bid had been given concurrent approval.

The accused, who said this during cross-examination by Yvonne Obuobisa, principal state attorney, also said his knowledge about the law on concurrent approval did not say that the board should communicate directly with him.

The businessman was given the said approval letter which was addressed to Mr. Osafo-Maafo by the board to look at after which the state attorney put it to him that Osafo-Maafo had testified that he did not write to him about the said concurrent approval.

Woyome said the former minister had told him about the approval and that it was usually the minister who informed the one whose bid had been concurrently approved.

Woyome also admitted he had written to the then Attorney-General (A-G) about some $500 million which was outstanding, but said it was unrelated to the professional fees for the financial engineering work he did for the government.

According to him, even if he travelled outside to talk to some persons at the instance of the government, he could be said to have incurred cost.

Furthermore, he denied that he misrepresented to the then Attorney-General (A-G) Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, that it cost the state more money when it used Shanghai Construction for the stadia construction than the government wanted people to believe, adding that he had tendered documents on the issue to prove his claim.

When asked to explain what he meant by incurring huge costs in construction in a letter to Betty, the accused person read the said document in court and said he meant Waterville and Vamed but not himself personally.

The businessman last Monday said that the Local Organizing Committee of (LOC) also approved his claims against the government, apart from the then Attorney-General, Betty Mould-Iddrisu.

Woyome told the court that he secured €1.2 billion for the stadia project.

He asserted that the ministry of finance, consultants and other stakeholders supported his claim of financial engineering in connection with the construction of stadia for the Confederation of African Nations (CAN) 2008 football tournament.

Mrs. Obuobisa pointed out to him that the claims in the document were not on behalf of the Waterville and the others but on his own behalf; but he insisted that what he meant was that he and the other firms had incurred costs but he did not mean he personally.

In response to the assertion that he received €3.6 million on behalf of M-Powapak for all the work he said that the said money received was in relation to sourcing for funds for Waterville from Hong Kong Shanghai Bank which was entirely different from the bid.

According to him, he got 85% of the funding which amounted to €1.2 billion with 15% as a grant approved by the sub-committee which Government was required to accept.

The case has been adjourned to November 10, 2014.
  By Fidelia Achama
 

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