Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, Eric Opoku, has refuted claims that former Works and Housing Minister, Collins Dauda, changed aspects of the Saglemi Housing deal without recourse to Parliament.
Serving as Mr. Dauda’s spokesperson on Eyewitness News, Mr. Opoku said the former minister stuck to the contract details signed by the minister before him.
Mr. Dauda has been charged with misapplying public funds and causing financial loss to the state.
He has also been accused of altering the original agreement for the Saglemi housing project without parliamentary ratification.
Mr. Dauda and four others have been charged with a total of 52 counts.
But Mr. Opoku maintains that the project was “executed as indicated in the agreement signed by E.T. Mensah.”
He said in the new agreement, the only change was the shifting of the project from four phases to three phases, and that did not require ratification by Parliament.
“So how can anybody say that Collins Dauda varied the decision of Parliament? He only restated the agreement. So, if the contract was varied, it was not varied by Collins Dauda,” Mr. Opoku said.
On the court case, Mr. Opoku said Mr. Dauda had no issue being held accountable since he was a public servant.
“If he is being called for his stewardship, he has no problem at all, except that he is worried about the fact that the whole matter has been twisted for the sake of propaganda.”
“He has not been served [with the writ yet]. He has not been given the opportunity to respond to the issues,” Mr. Opoku added.
The basis for the financial loss charges against Mr. Dauda is for various payments made to companies involved in the project like Construtuora OAS Ghana Limited, VHM Ghana Ltd, Architectural and Engineering Services Limited and Vitor Hugo-Coordencaao e Gestao de Projecto.
According to the facts of the case, $196,428,891.66 has been spent on the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, with the contractor having been paid $179,904,757.78, but investigations revealed that the cost of works executed on the site, including consultancy services, was about $64,982,900.77.
In addition, only 651.75 acres of land out of the 2,172 acres of land made available by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to the contractor for the project has been developed.
Per the charge sheet sighted by Citi News, investigations further revealed that only 668 housing units were completed by the contractor.
These houses have been described as inhabitable and not a single house under the project has been sold, and the facility remains unpaid, resulting in huge financial loss to the Republic of Ghana.
Also facing charges in the matter are four others; Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Andrew Clocans and Nouvi Tetteh Angelo who are facing multiple counts of causing financial loss to the state.
Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah was also a Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing from April 2015 to January 2017, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu was the Chief Director of the Water Resources, Works and Housing Ministry from July 2009 to April 2017, Andrew Clocanas was the Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited whilst the Nouvi Tetteh Angelo is a director and the majority shareholder of Ridge Management Solutions. He is also a director of VHM Ghana Ltd.