19th December 2011
The Executive Director
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO)
Old Parliament House
PETITION TO INVESTIGATE FORMER PRESIDENT KUFUORAND THE GOVERNMENT CABINET OF 2005/2006 FOR WILFULLY CAUSING FINANCIAL LOSS TO THE STATE
On September 6, 2010, In the High Court of Justice, Commercial Division, His Lordship Mr. I. O. Tanko Amadu ordered the State of Ghana to pay a judgment debt of approximately Fifty Two Million Ghana Cedis (Ghc 52m) to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome and over twenty five million Euros (€25m) was paid to Waterville (BVI) through Arbitration.
By this development, the State of Ghana has lost huge sums of the tax payers' money through the abrogation of a contract by former President John Agyekum Kufuor and his cabinet, to Waterville/Vamed Engineering, which event occurred on August 22, 2005. The Central Tender Review Board in accordance with the Public Procurement Act 2003, Act 663, had awarded the contract to Waterville/Vamed Engineering on August 5, 2005. The contract was finally signed between Government of Ghana and Waterville on April 26, 2006.
Additionally, although no evidence has been adduced to the public as yet to show that Shanghai Construction Group; the company which finally executed the contract mentioned supra, formally bid to undertake the job, my checks also show that Shanghai Construction Group did not demonstrate proof of technical and financial capabilities, which were the basic qualification requirements set out by the LOC/MOEYS, and formed the primary criteria for rejecting other companies who subjected themselves to the highly rigorous bidding process. I refer you to Cabinet memo as attached.
I also find it disturbing, that government funded the project with a Commercial loan of about two hundred and fifty million dollars ($250m) at a variable interest of around 10%, a decision that was against governments' own advertised procurement financial requirement. It also contradicted the Judgment of the Central Tender Review Board, who upon careful assessment of proposals, were satisfied with the capacity of Waterville/Vamed Engineering to finance the contract with a soft loan of about €1.2b with a 15% pure grant and the rest at 2.1% fix interest rate, coming from an A+++ Bank, Bank of Austria, guaranteed by the World Bank's MIGA.
Although the Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports at the time had cautioned the then government through a cabinet memo dated 27thJuly 2005 about the implication of their actions, and Colin Russell, lawyers of Waterville/Vamed Engineering had written to government on the August 27, 2005 threatening possible future legal action against government if contracts duly awarded to their clients were illegally terminated, copies attached, the Kufuor cabinet ignored the caution and proceeded to terminate the contract.
Sir, as a tax-paying citizen of Ghana, I am deeply concerned about the possible breach of Ghana's procurement law, a situation which potentially undermines our collective efforts at combating corruption. I am also deeply troubled by the fact that the indiscretion of public officers in this matter has caused financial loss to the state through payment of Judgment debt, and in servicing avoidable high interest rates on Commercial loans.
These monies, which are taken from the consolidated fund, will have dire negative repercussions on development projects being undertaken by the state in areas of Education, Health, Social, Infrastructure and jobs creation for our people.
I respectfully call on your outfit to thoroughly investigate the following;
1. The possible act of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, in view of the circumstances leading to the loss of the amount mentioned above.
2. To identify all public officials who through the performance of duty and/or exercising of discretion may be complicit in any instance of financial loss found by your enquiry?
3. To recommend appropriate sanction against any and all officials found culpable in the affair of causing financial loss to the state through wilful negligence, etc.
In my considered opinion, your findings and recommendations will repose confidence in Government amongst the Ghanaian public and tax-payers who expect public officials entrusted with the management of their moneys to judiciously and proficiently manage such funds.
To a large extent, I am convinced that your enquiry and findings will not only enhance our stature internationally in matters of financial propriety and transparency and build confidence in the tax-paying public of the states commitment to securing their best interest, but also, will go a long way to legitimize the moral obligation of continual tax payment by Ghanaians; many of whom get by on meagre earnings.
Finally, it will be in keeping with the recommendations made by the Auditor-General in his 2010 report on the Consolidated Fund. He advised that “to save the state from incurring such avoidable expenditure (being judgment debts), any public officer whose negligence leads to the imposition of debt on the state should be surcharged accordingly.”
Akyena Brantuo Benjamin
NB: This Petition takes precedence over my earlier petition dated 15th December, 2011 on the above.
The President Of Ghana
The National Security Coordinator
National Security Secretariat
The Attorney General And Minster for Justices
The Director Of CID,
Ghana Police Service
The Speaker Of Parliament