High Court judge tells AG: Take Collins Dauda’s Case From My Court …if you do not want to prosecute

An Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, has asked the Attorney-General (A-G) to take the case involving Ahaji Colins Dauda and others from his court, if the state is not ready to prosecute it.

The court descended heavily on the A-G, represented by Hilda Craig, Principal State Attorney (PSA), when the case was called on Tuesday, this week.

“If you don’t want to prosecute, take the case from the court,” he told the AG.

Mr Godfred Dame, Attorney General and Minister for Justice

Justice Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa ‘opened fire’ on the prosecution team, following a prayer for a week’s adjournment to enable Eric Amankwah, senior economic officer with the Treasury and Debt Management Division at the Ministry of Finance and 2nd prosecution witness (PW2) in the ongoing Saglemi Housing Project trial to travel.

The judge said the court indulged the prosecution and granted several adjournments when Reverend Yaw Osei, Chief Director of the Ministry of Works and Housing and (PW1), was in the box testifying, but will not countenance it this time round.

According to the court, it will only grant the prosecution adjournment this week to put its house in order by way of filing certain attachments to exhibits that were omitted from the witness statement of PW2.

The court ordered that Mr. Amankwah should be present next week to mount the witness box and will not entertain any excuses from the prosecution.

Ms. Craig had earlier indicated that that the witness is a public officer and needed to travel for an official assignment.

PW1 evidence 

Mr. Amankwah was assigned the schedule officer for the construction of the 5,000 Seglami affordable Housing Project signed between the Government of Ghana and Masser Construtora OAS Ghana Limited in the year 2013.

He said a loan facility of US$200 million was secured by the government from the Credit Suisse International, United Kingdom (UK) to finance the project.

PW1 indicated that the contract was signed on behalf of the government by Dr Kwabena Duffuor, the then Minister for Finance and Economic Planning whilst Chris Chapman, Director of Fixed Income, signed for Credit Suisse International.

In furtherance of the contract, an Escrow Management Agreement was signed on January 4, 2024 with the Ministry of Works and Housing as the developer and account holder. Construtora OAS was the developer and Bank of Ghana was the account bank.

The witness said his duty as a schedule officer was to validate and process certificate drawdown request by Ministry for Works and Housing for payment of beneficiary contractor and consultants for Project Milestone.

The Consultants were Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL), Vitor Hugo-Coordenacao E. Gestao De Projectos, S.A. (VHM) and Ridge Management Solutions DWC-LLC (RMS).

Court Complex

Furthermore, all externally funded projects for construction works are guided by two main sets of documents, the Financing Agreement(s) and the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract.

The financing agreement falls within the domain of the MoF, which is responsible for seeking and negotiating appropriate financing for all government projects in line with contracts signed by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the execution of approved projects.

The Ministry of Finance also procures all the necessary approvals of the financing documents and any subsequent amendments thereof.

The MDAs are responsible for the design and implementation of the project, providing detailed technical information as captured in the EPC contract and other agreements.

He also explained that the contracts and their amendments generally fall within the purview of the MDAs and the Ministry of Works and Housing was seized with that responsibility, since the Ministry of Finance was neither party to the contract negotiations nor the review of the technical specifications of the contracts.

In that regard, the MoF mandate per the agreement was to disburse funds, which in the case of the Saglemi Housing Project the Escrow Management Agreement (EMA) is the guiding document.

The AESL signed a contract with Vitor Hugo Coordenacao E Gestao De Projectos, S.A. (VHM) to provide Technical Consultancy Services to the Project in April 15, 2013 to cover a period of 24 months, and same took effect on April 22, 2013.

The Works and Housing Ministry also signed a contract with Ridge Management Solutions DWC-LLC for Technical Consultancy Services on April 2, 2015 after the First Amended and Restated EPC Contract signed on February 27, 2014 for the Sagiemi Housing Project.

This contract was for only three (3) months and was to commence April 16, 2015.

According to him, between February 2013 and May 2017, the MoF processed various requests for payments submitted by the developer on behalf of the contractor for payments.

In June 2014, the MoF received a request dated June 20, 2014 from the developer and account holder and same was processed on August 4, 2014 to the Bank of Ghana to make payment to Messrs Construtora.

The MoF received another request on June 10, 2014 from the Ministry of Housing for the release of US$7,513,451.72 to be paid by BoG to the contractor and was processed on October 23, 2014.

On November 23, 2013 the MoF received another request to release US$800,000.00 to AESL and US$1,195,100.00 to VHM from the Ministry of Housing.

On September 30, 2014 the MoF received a request of US$150,000.00 to AESL and received another on November 14, 2014 for the release of US$150,000.00 to the contractor.



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