Lawyers of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a businessman on Thursday tendered documents at an Accra Fast Track High Court that their client did not defraud the State.
They said their client went through legitimate means to obtain the GH˘51.2 million judgment payment. Mr Osafo Buabeng, one of the lawyers during cross-examination of Mrs Mangowa Ghanney, Legal Adviser to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP) said the accused acquired the GH˘51.2 million judgment settlement through legal means.
He subsequently tendered six different documents in court to prove that the accused went through genuine means to obtain the money.
Woyome has pleaded not guilty to defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the State. He has been granted GH˘20 million bail with three sureties to be justified.
Mrs Ghanney, first prosecution witness stood by her testimony to the court that, it was the former Attorney General, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu who ordered that the money should be paid.
Witness said she was involved in the negotiations between MOFEP and the accused and corrected some of the figures quoted by the accused and his lawyer.
When asked by Mr Osafo Buabeng, whether she was aware of a document written by Mrs Effie Simpson, Acting Chief Director at MOFEP to the accused? She said the letter might have been written after the civil action by the accused and reference made to the default judgment.
When quizzed by the defence about a memo she prepared on the issue and whether she could produce a copy to the court, witness said a copy might be at MOFEP but could not produce a copy since it was forwarded to Budgeting Department of the Ministry.
Mr Osafo Buabeng prayed the court to order the witness to produce a copy of the memo at the next adjourned date.
Mr Justice John Ajet-Nassam, the trial judge consequently ordered the witness to produce a copy of the memo to the court at the next sitting on June 22.
The prosecution's case was that, sometime in January 2005, the Government invited bids for the rehabilitation of Ohene Djan and Baba Yara Sports stadia and the construction of two more 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 &Co, K.
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 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 Banks 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 Watervilles 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 November 25, 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.
Meanwhile, based on these fraudulent misrepresentations, the accused got the Government to pay him GH˘51, 283,480.59, thereby willfully and fraudulently causing huge financial losses to the State.
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