General News Wed, 31 Oct 2012

Gov’t had no business with Woyome – Witness

Kwaku Agyemang Manu, a former Deputy Minister for Finance, yesterday told an Accra Fast Track High Court, Financial Division, that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier and businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, was not sent by the government to source for funds for the construction of the Accra and Kumasi sports stadia.

The witness, who is Member of Parliament for Dorma West, told the court where Woyome is being tried in connection with the GH¢51.28 judgment debt payout, that there was the need to attach a disclaimer in a letter addressed to Austrian and United States (US) Bank when Woyome wanted a letter from the ministry to source for funds for the project.

He said this when he was giving his evidence-in chief led by Mathew Amponsah, a principal state attorney, in a court presided over by John Ajet-Nassam.

The MP consequently read out the letter which he said the ministry gave the accused person. The letter stated that he was not a staff of the ministry or a representative of the government so he was going on his accord, noting that the letter to the bank was to facilitate the process for Woyome.

Explaining the circumstances under which he met the accused person, the MP said in April 2005, after the advertisement for bids to build and reconstruct stadia for the Confederation of African Football (CAN) 2008, the accused person came to him and expressed interest in the process.

According to him, the process was such that the one who would be given the go-ahead to start work was to have enough money for the project so after Woyome came to him, he consulted his boss, the Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo.

He tendered the letter containing the disclaimer but said the original copy should be at the Finance Ministry.

Under cross-examination by Osafo Boabeng, counsel for Woyome, Agyeman Manu noted that he did not receive a term sheet from the accused person.

He said he was not part of the committee that evaluated the bid so he had very little to say about it.

When it was suggested to the former deputy minister that he knew Woyome was different from Vamed Engineering and that was why he separated Woyome from Vamed Enginnering in the letter containing the disclaimer, the witness explained he did not mean to say Vamed Engineering was different from Woyome but to say they were a team.

Mr. Boabeng then took the said letter and told Agyeman Manu that there was supposed to be a project letter so the letter the witness tendered was incomplete, to which the witness admitted and said the project letter would be at the ministry.

The case has been adjourned to today.

Mr Osafo Maafo, who had testified earlier, ended his testimony by maintaining that Woyome had no contract with the government.

He said that one of the aims of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) was to ensure judicious use of state funds.
Source: Daily Guide