Feature Article of Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Columnist: Hayford, Ebenezer
On the 8th of December, the Chronicle newspaper published an article on payment of monies to Woyome as a result of judgment debt settlement. Since that day, the story has been given higher dimensional coverage. So high is the interest, that the minority in parliament led by the minority leader Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu held a press conference accusing Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu of negligence and demanding investigation into the payment of the judgment debt. As if this is not enough, last week Nana Akomea called a press conference calling on the President to set up a commission instead of a probe by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO). Similar demands were also made by Akufo Addo during another follow up press conference. Looking at the dimension the story has taken it is imperative to set the records straight. Setting the records straight implies providing the true picture supported by documents. The following is nothing but an impartial truth.
1. That the judgment debt payment to Alfred Woyome is only one of several judgment debts made against the state Examples of judgment debts against the state during Kufuor`s rule were i) Hotel Airport Area ii) Benjilo iii) Cashpro iv) Telecom Malaysia and Akufo Addo`s Brothers case among others.
2. Money payments by the courts settlements to Woyome are rightful payments for jobs and services rendered by Woyome and Companies to the then Ghana Government.
3. That the award of contract for the renovation and construction of the Accra and Kumasi sports stadia ahead of CAN 2008 was won through the legal procurement process but later abrogated.
4. That prior to the abrogation of the contract by the then Minister of Education Science and Sports substantial amount of renovation and construction had been done by VAMED Engineering Company which Woyome was a lead person.
5. After abrogating the contract, the former Govt. led by Kufuor went to contract Chinese Company with no financial backing. The Government was therefore forced to borrow on commercial rate from the Barclays Bank when there was available money which was concessional and approved by the World Bank. This commercial borrowing was at the rate of 10%, causing serious financial loss to the state.
6. The Auditor General`s Dept noted that there was a loss of 42 million to the state. This is only a small fraction of the 276 million financial loss incurred by the state as a result of negligence, incompetence, gross indiscipline and abuse of due diligence by Kufuor`s administration.
Finally, the directive by President Mills to Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate is in the right direction. The investigations however should include all judgment debts during Kufuors administration which includes Telecom Malaysia and the judgment debt of Nana Akufo Addo`s brother.
Dr. Ebenezer Hayford
University of Ghana