It is 10 days to Christmas. But, the usual hustle and bustle of activities that herald the annual celebrations is completely absent. In place of the excitement that builds up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, some 2,000 years ago, the average Ghanaian is looking forward to the event in anxiety.
There is no money in the system, and parents and guardians are sweating it out on how to buy gifts for the family. In spite of the roof-top advertisements of building a ‘Better Ghana’, the economy cannot hold for a large number of our country men and women.
Shopkeepers and petty traders who look up to the season to bring bonanza sales are sitting by their wares, and holding their chins. There are not many buyers out there to create the atmosphere of an exciting season ahead. Gradually, the smile is being wiped off the face of the happy looking Ghanaian.
Many homes are bracing themselves for Christmas without a chicken. And yet, state money has been doled out in tens of millions to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the latest bankroller in town, looking after the needs of the ruling National Democratic Congress.
In June and July 2010, when he burst on the scene with the confidence of a peacock, and sponsoring footsoldiers on a jolly ride to South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, little did the average Ghanaian know that state money had been doled out to him in circumstances that could only be described, for the moment, as dubious.
There is nothing on record, according to our investigation, to show that Alfred Agbedsi Woyome, as a person, bid for and was given the right to play any role in the refurbishment of the Ohene Djan and the El-Wak stadiums in Accra, or the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.
There is nothing to show that the NDC bank-roller had a hand in the construction of the two new stadia in Sekondi and Tamale, either.
What is on record is that Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, then Honorary Consul at the Austrian Embassy in Accra, fronted for VAMED Engineering Company of Austria, which put together a package as part of its bid to re-construct the Ohene Djan Stadium.
The company’s financial bid of $100 million was considered by a committee headed by then Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana, Mr. Van Lare Dosoo, as too expensive.
The long and short of it all is that Mr. Woyome was never given any job to execute on behalf of the state, in respect of the stadium rehabilitation and construction, in readiness for the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
We are at a loss rationalising the huge pay-out to the individual, when there is no evidence that he was given a contract, and the same was abrogated without his consent.
What we find even more alarming was the posture of the Attorney-General’s Department, then headed by Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, with Cape Coast Member of Parliament Ebow Barton-Oduro as her deputy.
That the AG’s Office did not defend the suit, and hurriedly doled out GH¢41,811,480.59 of state money to enable Alfred Agbesi Woyome join the ranks of the very rich in Ghana, is scandalous.
Yesterday, The Chronicle called for a probe into the scandal to enable the AG’s office, particularly, the present Minister of Education, to clear her name. We are repeating the call here, because, in our opinion, what played out in court, leading to the financial loss of nearly GH¢42 million, calls for a state enquiry.
This administration prides itself with pursuing an agenda based on probity, integrity and accountability. The Chronicle would like the government to walk the talk, by ordering a probe into the scandal.
It is in the interest of this administration to banish the ghost of the Woyome Empire bankrolled by the state. The GH¢42 million is ill-gotten wealth, we dare the state!
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