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Witnesses Not Available To Testify In Woyome's Case – Prosecution   
 
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03-Jul-2012  
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The prosecution in the case against Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the businessman involved in the GH¢51.2 million judgment payment on Tuesday prayed the Financial Court hearing the matter to adjourn the case because their witnesses are not ready.

It said though they had been able to contact the witnesses, they had not been within the jurisdiction of the country for a long time.

Mr Matthew Amponsah, a State Attorney, who held brief for Ms Cynthia Lamptey, Chief State Attorney, said the witnesses were employees of companies involved in the transactions.

Woyome is standing trial for defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the State. He has pleaded not guilty and been granted a GH¢20 million bail with three sureties to be justified.

Mr Amponsah said during the prosecution’s interaction with the witnesses, it was realised that they would need some valuable documents from them.

He explained that it was actually the witnesses who drew the prosecution's attention to those documents and their relevance to the case, but due to the short notice at the time they could not readily make available the documents to the State.

Mr Amponsah, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the case for the prosecution to prepare fully for the next sitting.

Mr Musa Ahmed, a member of Woyome’s legal team, said the decision to adjourn the matter depended entirely at the discretion of the court.

Mr Justice John Ajet-Nassam, the trial judge, who said he was not happy with the turn of events, asked the prosecution whether the State was serious in prosecuting the case.

He said at the last adjournment, the prosecution told the court that they did not know that the defence was going to complete its cross-examination of the first witness and would have brought their next witness.

The trial judge said he was fascinated to hear the prosecution telling the court that their witnesses were not available and asked the prosecution whether apart from those witnesses they could not have brought others.

The case was, however, adjourned to July 12.

The prosecution's case was that, 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 process, some companies were short-listed and invited to submit proposals for the projects and among them were M-powapak Gmb/Vamed Gmbh 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 final approval, the Government terminated the process.

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

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

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

The company arranged bridge financing and subsequent to the MoU, Waterville was authorised 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 against 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 in Government and falsely represented to government officials that the 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 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 Ltd which services had been fully paid for and acknowledged by the accused in a termination agreement
 
 
Source: GNA
 
 

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