General News of Monday, 18 June 2012
Editor-In-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako is of the firm belief that the country needs spiritual healing for paying billions of cedis to Construction Pioneer (CP) and Alfred Woyome/Waterville without any form of proper due diligence.
Mr Baako said it beats his imagination how government could allow itself to be fleeced of such huge amount of monies.
According to him, facts available indicate that payments made to Alfred Woyome/Waterville and CP are of “dubious validity”.
He was contributing to discussions on the issue of judgment debts paid to CP and NDC financier, Alfred Woyome/Waterville on Peace FM’s flagship programme, "Kokrokoo".
Taking listeners through how the German construction firm was made richer by some millions of pounds, the seasoned journalist revealed that in early 2000, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), now Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) began investigating CP over some alleged issues of fraud. Interestingly, he said, the investigations were suddenly halted and EOCO officially wrote a letter exonerating CP from any illegality resulting in the payment of €94 million to the company.
“….somewhere in 2009, EOCO under the instruction of then Attorney General (it might be Betty Mould Iddrisu) wrote to the international arbitration committee that the fraud accusation leveled against CP was false,”
To him, that was the defining moment in the whole CP saga. The senior journalist accused the German-based construction firm of making fresh claims when the NDC assumed office despite having been indicted by an SFO report in the early 2000s during the NPP administration.
He maintained that the €94 million settlement payment to Construction Pioneers is an act of fraud since official correspondence between the Ministry of Roads and Highways and CP were overlooked.
Mr Baako also deprecated government’s stance on the payment of judgement debts saying the Mills administration believes it is doing the country a favour by paying judgements debts incurred by the NPP.
Buttressing his point, he alluded to an interview President Mills granted Radio Gold in December of last year.
“This is President Mills in that interview, ‘upon further thought, I thought that the issue is not whether the amount was paid, who paid it.
"EOCO may find itself having to go into other areas. First of all, who incurred the liability? Unfortunately, since this case broke, many people have turned themselves into lawyers and I’m yet to hear anyone talk about whether the liability which was incurred was as a result of a wilful causation of financial loss. It is one issue which we will have to look at and other issues; who were responsible?...I would want to tell the beneficiaries that I am not out to embarrass them -- no. The allegation was made that Mr Woyome was paid because he was NDC. I want the whole of the country to know that since we came to power we’ve paid a lot of judgement debts, and the country must know the size of those debts; who incurred them.
"And the payment, perhaps, as further step, we have to find out who incurred the liability because if the court awarded the judgement or awarded the cost, whatever it is, it’s a way of saying that the beneficiary is entitled to it.
"Now, who made it possible for that beneficiary to be entitled to that amount? So we may have to look critically at the issue of when were these debts incurred and who were responsible?...It is important to find out who caused the loss, who incurred the liability? What did the court say?...So once again, I want to emphasize that the beneficiaries are not my target...,” President Mills said.
This statement by the President, Kweku Baako claims, clearly shows that the NDCs interest lies solely in seeking out those who incurred the liability without actually investigating the veracity of such dubious claims.
He added that the country has lost huge sums of monies in the form of avoidable judgement debts particularly to CP and Woyome/Watervile, hence full scale investigations must be conducted.
“The documentation I have on CP makes me sad. CP, Waterville, Woyome; it tells me this country needs some serious spiritual healing. There must be something wrong with us; either our mind or body or spirit. It doesn’t make sense. The three put together doesn’t make sense to me at all…The CP case really stinks; I don’t want to hear about it…It is a sign that this country is sick and needs spiritual healing…,” Kweku Baako said.
The Newspaper editor was also critical of the way the country keeps piling up debts through borrowing, adding that if the country has been able to pay some 480 million dollars in judgement debts within three years, then there is money in the system.
“…This shouldn’t have happened in the first place. How come within three years, we have to pay judgment debt to the tune of 480 million dollars? It is very striking. It shows that there is money in the country and even if that is the case, does payment of judgment debt show how the country is being well managed? It is a systematic problem…” he added.