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Feature Article of Sunday, 8 July 2012

Columnist: Otokunor, Peter Boamah

Judgement Debt And Corruption

: - The Elephants Smoke Screen. {Part I}

Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue and because hypocrisy stinks in the nostrils one can’t be mistaken to rate it as a more powerful agent for destruction.

The recent months have seen one of the worse forms of hypocrisy ever articulated on earth. The NPP’s type of politics which I have often described as “politics of pilolo” has taken uncontrollable dimensions in recent times. It is clear that, the abysmal misrule, the crass corruption and the looting of state property that characterized the NPP’s administration, has damaged their political image beyond the standards of the dust bin. This political game of scavenging and feeding on every political left-over has finally landed the NPP unto what has popularly become the Woyome Saga. A brief recall into the genesis of the Woyome saga brings to light, how on 6th January 2005 an advert was published in the Daily Graphic newspaper inviting “expressions of interest” in respect of the award of contract for the construction of CAN 2008 stadia. After a detailed evaluation of the tenders, Vamed/Mpowapak and three other companies were recommended by the Financial Evaluation Committee as financially responsive in a report dated July 22, 2005. Subsequently, in a letter dated 5th August, 2005 the Central Tender Review Board informed the Minister of Education & Sports (Osafo Marfo), of its concurrent approval for Vamed/Mpowapak to undertake the construction works.

For reasons known to Kufuor and his looting cabal, the tender got abrogated by the government sometime in September 2005 and Shanghai Construction Group was given the contract for the construction of the CAN 2008 stadia. However, evidence shows that when the decision was to be taken by cabinet to abrogate the tender process Hon. Osafo Marfo in a memorandum to cabinet dated 27th July, 2005 had cautioned cabinet of the fact that Shanghai Construction was not qualified for the award and for that matter a termination of the tender process would amount to a breach of the Public Procurement Act.

He added that “if on the other hand the recommendations arising out of the tender will be set aside, then we should marshal our forces and make a decision which we can defend nationally and internationally”.

However, in his letter dated 22 August, 2005 to Vamed/Mpowapak he communicated the government’s decision to terminate the tender process. Consequently, in an MOU signed on 30th November 2005, Waterville was given the right to commence rehabilitation works on the Kumasi, Accra and El Wak stadia. Subsequent to that, MOES in a letter dated February 6, 2006 authorized Waterville to move to site pending the written contract which was eventually signed on 26th April, 2006. However, the contract was terminated again and Waterville put a claim for € 21,569,946.71 for actual work done and the NPP government paid an amount € 11,935,706.55, but for unexplained reasons the NPP government failed to pay the difference of € 9,634,240.16.

I have taken the pain to refresh our memories on this matter because of the mischief that has engulfed the discourse on this matter and the need to understand what brings about judgment debt.

The million dollar question therefore, is why Kufour’s administration abrogated the contract to bring in Shanghai Construction Group and what is the interest of Kufour in the Shanghai deal?

Secondly, what explains the signing of the MOU and the contract with Waterville after cabinet took a decision to terminate the tender process? What is the interest of Prez Kufour in Waterville? Why would any government abrogate a contract of about € 30million and be ready to pay € 21,569,946.71 for just the clearing of the site? The answers to these questions are crucial in our quest to understand the dichotomy between corruption and the payment of judgment debt.

I believe by the NPP’s logic they must be held liable for corruption in the payment of the € 11,935,706.55 to Waterville.

It is also important to emphasize the point that in this payment made by the NPP no court ruled for the payment to be made.

So by their logic again, one can easily conclude that the NPP government dabbled in an organized daylight thievery to rob the state of € 11,935,706.55, because Ernesto Terraconi (Owner of Waterville) is a very good friend and a business partner of President Kufour.

It is even more interesting to note that, the company that finally completed this contract is Michelleti which is also owned by Ernesto Terraconi, Former President Kufour’s best friend and business partner. One may ask why I keep on describing Prez Kufour and Terraconi as business partners? It is widely held believe that President Kufour is a shareholder in Terraconi’s Villagio Project opposite Kufour’s home, adjacent to the famous Kufour hotel at Tetteh Quarshie Interchange which was also a center of controversy some few years ago Whiles you prepare yourself for PART 2 of this piece, I would want you to comb for some answers to the following questions as well:

Why would the Kufour’s cabinet of which Akuffo Addo was a part, abrogate a contract knowing the legal implications on the state?

Where was Akuffo Addo when this breach against the Public Procurement Act was being perpetrated?

What was the role of Akuffo Addo in this otherwise avoidable financial loss debacle?

Why did Kufour’s cabinet disregard the cautions of Osafo Marfo and went ahead to terminate the tender Process?

What was the interest of Kwadwo Mpiani and President Kufour in the Shanghai Construction Company?

Who was WOYOME in all these?

What was his relationship with Kwadwo Mpiani and President Kufour during this period?

Watch out for the unfolding drama.

Peter Boamah Otokunor 3RD July, 2012

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