Investigator testify at Woyome trial

Alfred Agbesi WoyomeAssistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Odame Okyere, an investigator on Tuesday continued his testimony at the trial of Alfred Woyome, the businessman at the centre of the GH¢51.2 million judgment debt at the Accra Fast Track High Court.

He denied claims by Mr Osafo Buabeng, Counsel for Woyome that the documents from the Bank Austria was accessed by the officials of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of CAN 2008 but only the term sheets.

Mr Woyome is standing trial for defrauding by false pretence and causing financial loss to the State. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is on GH¢20 million bail with three sureties to be justified.

ASP Okyere said the offer letter which was secured by Mr Woyome from Bank Austria and presented to the LOC was not addressed to the Government of Ghana.

He also insisted that LOC which was setup by government was just an arm of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

He said the concurrent approval of the documents from Bank Austria by Mr Osarfo Marfo, former Minister of Education and Sports did not mean a final approval was given for the stadia project to be carried out.

He explained that the concurrent sanction was just a temporary support and that when Austro Invest was able to secure the 1.1 billion Euros from Bank Austria before the final approval would be granted.

ASP Okyere further stated that though Mr Woyome claimed he was supposed to earn two per cent financial engineering fees on the1.1 billion Euros for his services however the officials at the Attorney-General Department only did the analysis based the documents provided to them by the accused.

Sometime in January 2005, the government invited bids for the rehabilitation of the Ohene Djan and Baba Yara Sports stadia and the construction of two stadia at Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale.

At the end of the bidding, some companies were short-listed and invited to submit proposals for the projects and among them was M-Powapak Gmb/VAMED Gmb and Company.

At the end of the evaluation process, the Finance and Evaluation Committee declared the financial proposals of M-powapak /Vamed Engineering as the most responsive and recommended them to the Central Tender Review Board.

However, before the Board could receive a final approval, the government terminated the process.

Meanwhile, in the course of the tendering process, Vamed Engineering had assigned its rights and responsibilities to Waterville Holding (BVI) Ltd.

After the termination of the tendering process, Waterville protested and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government to commence rehabilitation works on the Ohene Djan and El-Wak stadia, both in Accra.

The MoU signed on November 30, 2005, required Waterville to engineer funding for the project on behalf of the government from the Bank of Austria Creditanstalt, guaranteed by the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

The company arranged bridge financing and subsequent to the MoU and Waterville was authorized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to move to the site and start work, pending the signing of a formal contract.

On December 19, 2005, Waterville engaged M-powapak, led by Woyome, to provide it with financial engineering services in respect of the projects.

A formal contract for the rehabilitation of Ohene Djan and El-Wak stadia was entered into by the government and Waterville Holding Limited on April 26, 2006.

However, before the contract could become effective, the government terminated same due to Waterville’s inability to engineer funding for the project as contained in the MoU, which formed a condition precedent to the contract.

Waterville, who initially protested the termination, eventually accepted the move and proceeded to claim monies for the initial works done under the MoU.

The government paid a substantial amount of Waterville’s claims out of which the company fully paid M-powapak, represented by the accused, for the financial engineering services rendered under the contract.

Payment to the accused for his services was duly acknowledged by him in a termination agreement dated 25th November 2006, which brought the relationship between them to an end.

Sometime in August 2009, however, the accused having received all monies due him under the financial engineering services rendered to Waterville took advantage of the change of government and falsely represented to government officials that the previous government owed him money for financial engineering services rendered to it under the contract with Waterville.

In his claim to government officials, the accused, who had no contract with government, claimed that as part of the financial engineering services rendered, he managed to arrange €1,106,470,587 for the government through the Bank Austria Creditans out of which he claimed he was entitled to two per cent as financial engineering fees.

Investigations, however, revealed that there were no such funds made available for the benefit of the country by Bank Austria as claimed by the accused.

Further investigations revealed that the accused had no contract with the government to provide any services.

The only arrangement on financial engineering services the accused had was with Waterville Holdings Limited, and those services had been fully paid for and acknowledged by the accused in a termination agreement. GNA

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