Feature Article of Sunday, 22 April 2012

Columnist: Benjamin, Thelma

Woyome: Ray Smith, MPOWPAK and The President (Part 3)

…Investigative Piece On Ray Smith Secret Letter To The President

Austroinvest’s two Directors happen to be Ray and Ingeborg Smith. Again, their lawyer in Ghana is Mr. Tony Lithur

Ray Smith’s assertion that there was a joint claim by Alfred Woyome and Austroinvest seems to be contrary to the facts gleaned from available documentary records. The claim was made exclusively by Alfred Woyome. The Agreement that was entered into between Alfred Woyome and Austroinvest was for Austroinvest to do the syndication of the funding. The share of benefits alluded to by Ray Smith was applicable to funds syndicated by Austroinvest. In the event, therefore, that Austroinvest did not ultimately do the syndication, they could not be ordinarily due the stated share of payments made in respect of the syndicated funding. [Ratio of 4:5; Austroinvest: Alfred Woyome]. This Sharing ratio was agreed upon because provision had to be made for the American Foreign Trade Services Limited [AFTS], who later facilitated the syndication of some of the funds. When the bank nominated by Austroinvest was approached for the syndication, [the RAIFFEISEN ZENTRAL Bank], they stated clearly that the Directors of Austroinvest [Ray and Inge Smith] were only customers of the bank and that they were not going to involve themselves in the financing of the project. Therefore, the syndication was actually completed by Alfred Woyome, with the help of AFTS. When the bid process was terminated, AFTS made a formal demand, through their lawyers, on Alfred Woyome, a demand that was met through Alfred Woyome’s lawyers in the USA.

When it came to Alfred Woyome putting up his formal claim on the Government of Ghana, he needed to be consistent with all subsisting documents and previous Agreements. In view of this, Austroinvest had agreed [via an Agreement with Alfred Woyome] to represent the other parties involved in the actual syndication of funds. AFTS had, by then, metamorphosed into Waterville America when the Directors of AFTS decided to sell their company to Waterville. Since the original Agreement between Alfred Woyome and Austroinvest was still in subsistence, both parties amended it to reflect the involvement of other parties who actually supported Alfred Woyome to secure the funding; on this basis, the expectation was that Austroinvest would pay these parties their due when they received the agreed share of the money. When Alfred Woyome realized that there were other interest groups behind Austroinvest [outside of the Smiths and also outside of those who actually arranged the funding with him], Alfred Woyome instructed his lawyers to withdraw from the amended Agreement on the basis that Austroinvest needed to show evidence of work that they [together with their hitherto hidden interest parties] had done. Tony Lithur proceeded to court on the instruction of Austroinvest demanding the Austroinvest “share” in the court-awarded money to Alfred Woyome and copied the Attorney-General and other parties who were not part of the arrangement between Alfred Woyome and Austroinvest. It is instructive to note that Tony Lithur, upon instruction from Austroinvest has voluntarily withdrawn the case from court before the criminal prosecution of Alfred Woyome began.

It, again, appears to be untrue and false that the Directors of Austroinvest had ever spent any money in the financial engineering effort led by Alfred Woyome. This is evidenced by Waterville’s letter assigning the financial engineering aspects/rights to Alfred Woyome. This letter was clear and did not mention Austroinvest at all. Alfred Woyome’s subsequent communication to Austroinvest was meant to cover the interests of those parties who had been integrally involved and instrumental in securing the funding, and for the purposes of clarity, this refers specifically to “AFTS”, who were erroneously referred to as Waterville BVI instead of Waterville America Inc. The letter in which this erroneous communication was sent was later formally withdrawn from Austroinvest.

It is insightful to note that the so-called secret letter from Ray Smith to President Mills was dated 19th December, 2011, 3 days before Alfred Woyome’s financial assets were ILLEGALLY FROZEN by the EOCO. Subsequent to this, the much maligned and largely unconvincing EOCO report was issued.

In his reported letter, Mr. Ray Smith intimates that Alfred Woyome’s primary motive was to get functionaries of the New Patriotic Party to be jailed; that assertion is not supported by fact. The facts are as follows:

• Ray Smith did not spend a dime on any of the activities and processes leading to the syndication of funds for the CAN 2008 and related projects and could, therefore, not fathom the reason why Alfred Woyome had to claim what he claimed from the State. Realizing now, that Alfred Woyome’s claim was meritorious, he, together with his wife and colleague Director of Austroinvest, wants a share of income that they did not earn, or help to earn.
• Alfred Woyome had insisted that those who were involved in the illegal termination of the contracts for CAN 2008 and the unwarranted truncation of the original bid process [including the deliberate non-utilization of the funds sourced] should be made to take responsibility for their actions. Alfred Woyome believes that Mr. Ray Smith and his cohorts were attempting to protect some elements within the New Patriotic Party for their parochial interest.

Thelma Benjamin
Freelance Journalist with
Wiener Zeitung