Alexander O’Brien, former mistress of erstwhile Minister of Roads and Transports in the John Kufour administration, Dr. Richard Anane, is said to have worked closely with embattled businessman and National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that Alexandria O’Brien (also called Alexandra Anane at a point) allegedly played a major role in the Woyome financial engineering and financial restructuring for the controversial CAN 2008 projects which have so far spiralled into a murky GH˘51million judgment debt.
In an interview, Benjamin Kwame Tawiah, close aide to Mr Woyome, was unequivocal in the role played by Alexandra O Brien. “She was in the office of Alfred Agbesi Woyome in the USA, she was working there,” he said, adding, “She contributed immensely to the securing of all this money [the €1.2bn said to have been secured to finance all the projects for the CAN 2008 tournament but never got to Ghana]”.
According to Mr Tawiah, Alexander O’Brien worked at Alexander Van Cleef (Austro Invest’s representative in the United States), a company closely associated with Mr. Woyome. “We are looking at her expertise, we are talking about a high level, qualified lady for international business, Alexandra O’Brien of Alexander Van Cleef, that’s the lady we are talking about,” Mr. Tawiah emphasised.
Sources close to Woyome claimed that the abrogation of the financial engineering role of Mr. Woyome, in the stadium rehabilitation project of Waterville BVI in 2006, was because of the detection of the NDC financier’s alleged link with Woyome.
According to Woyome sources, all the information passed through the Enquirer newspaper in 2005 on the relationship between Dr. Anane and Alexandra was through the embattled NDC businessman.
Alexandra was allegedly quite cooperative with the Enquirer and was passing on damning information about the minister after their relationship went sour.
According to David Tamakloe, a former reporter of the Enquirer and now Editor of the Republic, and a close associate of Mr. Woyome, the Kufuor government apparently found out that Mr. Woyome had close links with the Enquirer newspaper and they consequently became suspicious.
Mr Woyome at the time was also linked to the NPP’s arch-rivals, the NDC, while pretending to be an NPP member.
Mr. Tamakloe told DAILY GUIDE that this could have been one of the underlying reasons why the CAN 2008 project involving Alfred Woyome was torpedoed by the Kufuor government in 2006.
People close to the Woyome camp have not dismissed the assertion that the relationship between Mr. Woyome, the Enquirer newspaper and Alexandra could have played a key role in the Kufuor government’s final decision even though Waterville itself conceded that it could not raise the money for the stadia project.
According to Tawiah, there were a lot of underlying currents that came into play at the time. “These are things that we would be using at the law courts, the thing is that she [Alexandra O’Brien] was working there [in Woyome’s Office] and when the time comes, she will be in town to give testimonies to this whole financial engineering thing.”
When contacted, one time Finance Minister in the Kufuor administration, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, dismissed this line of argument.
He told DAILY GUIDE that Kufuor government’s sole reason for cancelling the tender process of the 2006 stadium rehabilitation project by VAMED (which later transferred its right to Waterville BV) was pure budgetary considerations. “It has nothing to do with Woyome. People keep bringing in Woyome; Woyome had nothing to do with it, the company [that the Kufuor government was dealing with] was VAMED,” he told DAILY GUIDE in a telephone interview.
According to Mr. Osafo-Maafo, technically, there was no contract between the government of Ghana and Waterville because at no point did the government ever write an offer letter to VAMED.
Alfred Agbesi Woyome is currently on a GH˘20 million bail after he was indicted by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) a few weeks ago for fraudulent misrepresentation.
He is being charged for falsifying documents that earned him the GH˘51.2 million judgment debt from the Mills government.
It is alleged that he knowingly connived with Waterville BVI (who claimed to have contacted some aspects of its financial engineering to Mr. Woyome for the stadium rehabilitation project) to cream off substantial judgment debt from the Mills government.
Certain government officials are said to be complicit in the payout.
Even though Waterville has denied ever benefiting from the claims of Mr. Woyome, there are documents suggesting that the company joined forces with Mr. Woyome to sue the state for damages over alleged abrogation of contract.
Waterville and Woyome went into mediation with government, and per a 13th October, 2010 document, an agreed amount of €25 million was to be paid in a five-month instalment of €5 million each.
Woyome and Waterville again agreed that the former would be entitled to €940,000 of every €5million paid every month. A group calling itself the Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) has asked the relevant authorities to bring Waterville to book. Dr. Clement Apaak, convenor of the group, told DAILY GUIDE that Andrea Orlandi, Managing Director of Waterville, should be arrested immediately.
It is unclear if Mr. Orlandi is still in the country or not.
Source: Raphael Adeniran/Daily Guide
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