The embattled NDC financier Alfred Woyome manipulated documents and information in order to receive the controversial GhC51 million judgment debt, the interim report of the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) revealed.

A copy of the EOCO report in the custody of Citifmonline. com, which was presented to the President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday, said Woyome rode on the negligence and complicity of public officials to dupe the state of “money which he was clearly not entitled to. ”

To buttress its evidence that public officials or those associated with them connived with Woyome to milk the country, the EOCO report established that an amount of GhC400, 000 was “paid to the wife of Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh [Chief State Attorney ] on June 16, 2011” but failed to mention reasons behind that payment.

According to the damning report, although the Chief State Attorney, Mr. Nerquaye-Tetteh, who was directly in-charge of the case for the Attorney-General’s department, had argued that the government did not have a defense to fight the case and for that matter halt the payment that was totally false.

The report said: “There were however enough grounds to defend the action but this was not done. In the files at the AG’s department could be found a lot of evidence which indicated clearly that at the least, Mr. Woyome could not establish his case. ”

EOCO said the former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who resigned recently from government as education minister – the one who undertook all the judgment debt negotiations – “should have made sure that the suit in court was defended. ”

The report also cited the director of legal affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Paul Asimenu, as the “person who wrote the opinion which eventually led to the decision that Mr. Woyome was entitled to his claim. ”

It stated that during interrogations, Mr. Asimenu “admitted that the figures he quoted in his advise as the basis of the evaluation by the finance committee of the CTRB [Central Tender Review Board] on which he served was wrong and that he misled the Hon. AG. He also admitted that he went further to give personal advise to the AG on the correctness of the claim since it was international best practice. ”

“Mr. Asimenu assumed a role which helped in creating the conditions which made it possible for Mr. Woyome to get paid what he clearly was not due,” the EOCO report established.

The NDC financier was awarded the whopping sum in 2010 after having made a case that the erstwhile Kufuor administration wrongfully terminated his contract to build stadia ahead of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

In that direction, a former minister under the Kufuor administration Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who served as a sports minister then, has been mentioned in the report as the “author of the Cabinet Memo dated 27th July, 2005, which informed Cabinet of the illegality of the intended action to abrogate the tender process for the CAN 2008 stadia works. ”

“However, he was the same person, who knowing that it was illegal to terminate the process at the stage it had reached, went ahead and wrote terminating it. It is yet to be fully established however, whether it was Cabinet, which in spite of being warned about the illegality of the act or abrogating the tender process, ordered the abrogation,” the report noted.

It questioned why payments were made out of the consolidated fund for contracts which had been signed with foreign entities, adding that “the investigations are yet to determine whether or not the contracts were subjected to Parliamentary approval. ”

It stated further: “Then again, the refusal by the previous administration to pay Waterville when it had been clear that Waterville had done some work at the instance of the government has led to a situation where interest accrued and loss of profit had to be paid for after mediation.

“Mr. O. B Amoah was the Deputy Minister, who gave the green light for Waterville to proceed to site and start work at a time the contract had not been approved by Parliament. ”

Following huge public outcry and media scrutiny, President Mills ordered the national investigative outfit to look into the facts that led to the payment of the amount, which the opposition NPP has described as the biggest loss to the state in the political history of the country.

On different platforms President Mills has denied knowledge of the payment of the judgment debt to his party’s financier, however, the EOCO report said “…before the MOFEP [Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning] could pay the first installment of GhC17,094,493. 53 as agreed, His Excellency, the President ordered the Attorney General to take action in court to set aside the court’s order and accordingly, the AG applied to court for a Stay of Execution of the settlement. The court, however, refused to grant the application and ordered government to pay according to the settlement reached earlier. ”

Source Citifmonline Ghana

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