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General News of Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Source: myjoyonline

Mills, Betty Mould, Martey Newman dragged to CHRAJ

A pressure group has dragged President John Mills before the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice over the controversial judgement debt paid to the National Democratic Congress financier Alfred Woyome.

The Generational Youth Movement is asking the investigative body to find out what due diligence was done by the president and his cabinet before the ¢58 million was paid.

Former Attorney General who supervised the payment, Betty Mould Iddrisu and Chief of Staff Martey Newman have both been cited for investigation by CHRAJ.

President John Mills ordered the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to investigate the circumstances under which the amount was paid.

But critics and other civil society groups believe an independent body is better placed to investigate the matter.

A member of the Generational Youth Movement, Nana Prempeh Agyeman told Joy News President Mills’ unwillingness to have an independent body investigate the matter is what forced them to proceed to CHRAJ.

Describing the payment as “malicious”, the spokesperson said they have also filed a petition at the International Court of Arbitration to investigate Waterville, the Holland-based company on whose behalf Alfred Woyome is said to have collected the judgement debt.

Waterville based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2005 with the erstwhile Kufuor administration was asked to begin work on the construction of two stadia for the CAN 2008 Cup of Nations.

Ex-Deputy Sports Minister O.B Amoah explained Waterville failed to meet the financial obligation for which reason the MOU was later abrogated.

According to him, monies owed Waterville for the initial works done on the stadia have been paid, an explanation Woyome and his spokesperson Benjamin Akyena Brentuo have been quick to dispute.

They argued the NPP government abrogated a contract won fairly by Waterville after thorough procurement procedures had been followed.

They insisted, government had to pay for the cost Waterville incurred in seeking finances for the project; cost for the initial construction works done by Waterville on the Stadia and for wrongly abrogating a contract.

Woyome representing the interest of Waterville took the government to court in 2010 asking for compensation.

Betty Mould Iddrisu who was then the Attorney General believed government had a bad case and went in for a negotiated settlement after which the sum of ¢58 million was paid to Woyome.

The payment provoked a sea of controversy with the opposition NPP describing it as gift to a party financier.

The Youth Movement insists there is the need for an independent investigation into the matter to serve as precedence to posterity.

Nana Agyeman Prempeh said “the citizens of Ghana believe something wrong has happened” and there is a need for an investigation.