Woyome GH¢51m judgment debt saga Former Minister mounts witness box
By Ivy Benson
The former Deputy Minister of Finance in the Kufuor Administration, Mr. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, took his turn yesterday at the Financial Court, in the line-up of witnesses in the case in which Businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is being held for fraud, after receiving a-GH¢51Million judgment debt paid to him.
The appearance of the Deputy Finance minister comes directly after the Former Minister of Education, Youth and Sports in the Kufuor Administration, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo had made his presence in the witness box.
In his evidence-in-chief, Mr. Agyemang-Manu indicated that Mr. Woyome in 2005 came to his office to seek for an introductory letter to enable him access loans from banks to finance the projects he bided for.
According to the witness, he consulted his boss, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo, the then Minister of Finance, who gave him the go ahead to give Woyome the introductory letter he requested for.
However, in cross-examination conducted by Mr. Safo Buabeng, counsel for the accused person, witness stressed that Woyome was seeking for the loan on his own volition and not on behalf of Government.
Additionally, Mr. Agyemang-Manu noted that he had no clue as to the intention of the accused person, when he appeared in his office requesting for an introductory letter to help him get some loans from the bank.
Woyome is currently facing two charges of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state. He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and he is currently on a GH¢20Million bail with three sureties.
The facts as put out by Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms. Cynthia Lamptey indicated that sometime in January 2005, the government invited bids for the rehabilitation of the Accra (Ohene Djan) and Kumasi (Baba Yara) sports stadia, and the construction of two more stadia in Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale.
At the end of the bidding process, a number of companies were shortlisted and invited to submit proposals for the projects among which M-powapak Gmb/Vamed Engineering Gmbh & Co KG was eventually declared by the finance and evaluation committee as the most responsive after which it was recommended to the tender review board.
However, before the tender could receive final approval, the government terminated the process, which had in the course of the process seen Vamed assigned its rights and responsibilities to Waterville Holding (BVI) Ltd.
The prosecution said after the termination of the tender process, Waterville protested against the termination and got the government to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with it on November 30, 2005 to commence rehabilitation works on the Accra and El-wak stadia.
The Chief State Attorney told the court that the MoU required Waterville to engineer funding for the project on behalf of the government from Bank Austria Creditanstalt AG and guaranteed by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
The state prosecutor said on December 19, 2005, Waterville engaged M-powapak led by Woyome to provide it with financial engineering service in respect of the projects and a formal contract for the rehabilitation of the Ohene Djan and El-wak stadia was entered into by the government and Waterville on April 26, 2006.
However, before the contract could become effective, the government terminated the contract due to Waterville’s inability to engineer funding for the project, among others issues as contained in the MoU and which formed a condition precedent to the contract, the court heard.
Waterville, the prosecution said, initially protested against the termination but eventually accepted it and proceeded to claim monies for the initial works done under the MoU.
The government paid substantial amount of Waterville’s claims, out of which the company fully paid M-powapak, represented by Woyome, for the financial engineering services acknowledged by him in a termination agreement dated November 25, 2006, which brought the relationship between the two to an end the prosecution informed the court.
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