My Beef Is About Cancellation Of CAN 2008 Bid — Woyome

Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome yesterday told the Accra High Court that his bone of contention with the government has been the purported cancellation of the CAN 2008 bid.

He stated that he raised 1.2 billion euros out of the 2 billion euros required for the construction of all the projects for CAN 2008 events.

He was being cross-examined by a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Yvonne Attakorah-Obuobisa, in a case in which he has been accused of putting in fraudulent claims to defraud the state to the tune of GH¢51.2 million and is facing two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.

He said the amount represented 85 per cent of the funding requirement and 15 per cent grant which was approved by the finance sub-committee upon which the concurrent approval was also issued.

The funding, he said, was for the construction of the nine regional sports stadia, an Olympic-sized stadium in Accra and five regional hospitals.

The project, he said, also included the construction of an 800-bed national accident and emergency hospital, a modern spa along the Michel Camp, a cobalt 60 and tissue culture eradication plant to solve food insecurity in the country.

Professional fees

He stated that he had asked the government to pay him 22,129,411.74 million euros as professional fees for the financial engineering for the CAN 2008 and associated projects after the concurrent approval.

According to him, he received 3.6 million euros on behalf of Mpowapak, a company he had represented, for the work he did for Waterville.

That, he stated, had nothing to do with the agreement he had with the government.

“I received 3.6 million euros on behalf of Mpowapak as total payment for a service the company rendered for Waterville.

“The payment of the 3.6 million euros was not the payment I sought from the government of Ghana. The payment I sought from the government was premised on the annulled bid for CAN 2008 for which I received concurrent approval,” he added.

Government had many interests

Woyome told the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, that although the government had interest in the four stadia projects, it also had interest in other projects which were aimed at making Ghana a hub for sports tourism.

He stated that after the purported cancellation of the bid, his lawyer, Mr Collins Erasil, indicated exactly everything on paper to the government, the President and the secretary to the President, drawing their attention to the contract agreement.

According to him, the government was dealing with him and his group on supplier-contract basis, saying, “The concurrent approval was premised on the associated projects because of the conditions given by the financiers.

“The supplier contract included all studies and Local Organising Committee (LOC) report to the Ministry of Youth and Sports of what Ghana had done for CAN 2008,” he stated.

Support from stakeholders

He agreed when it was suggested to him that the supplier contract he mentioned was cancelled before the procurement process commenced, but said the then Attorney-General, upon receipt of his claim, called for opinions from all stakeholders, including consultants, the Ministry of Finance and the LOC, all of whom supported his claim.

He told the court that the government, through the LOC, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, contracted him to do the drawings for all the projects.

Woyome pointed out that he was fully paid for the project he did for LOC and that those “I have not been paid are those for which I took the government to court and the government had paid.”

He stated that Waterville reimbursed him for the work he did for it in 2006 and not in 2005.

The court adjourned the case to November 5, 2005.

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