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19.12.2011 General News

NDC, Betty exposed

By The Statesman
NDC, Betty exposed
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National Democratic Congress bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Monday claimed the amount of GH¢42 million awarded to him by an Accra High Court had nothing to do with his close association with the ruling government.


The Member of Parliament for Assin North, Kennedy Agyepong, last week stated that the judgement debt of GHC42m paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, bankroller of the ruling National Democratic Party, was “for no job done” and described the July 9, 2010 ruling by an Accra High Court, presided over by IO Tanko Abu as a travesty of justice.

 
The court had ruled for the enforcement of a negotiated settlement for the sum of GHC42m between the state, represented at that time by Attorney-General Betty Mould Iddrisu, and the NDC financier for alleged contract executed in respect of the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament.

 
Some people, including Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Member of Parliament for Asokwa, have described the whole process that to led to the payment of the amount as 'pre-meditated”, warning that Mrs Betty Iddrisu could end up being dragged to court for causing financial loss to the state.

 
Indeed, the New Statesman can state on authority that Betty Mould Iddrisu had written to the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Kwabena Duffour, to effect the payment before the final determination of the case. The minister refused to effect the payment at that time.

 
Apart from failing to file a defence to the case, counsel for Mr Woyome exploited some basic mistakes made by the then Attorney General to push his case through.

 
The ruling delivered by Justice Tanko stated, inter alia, “Whereas mistake has been set out in the affidavit in support as the ground on which the Defendant/Applicant seeks to set aside the terms of settlement, no material supporting the alleged mistake has been provided.”

 
“It would sound preposterous to suggest that the parties did not at the stage of signing the terms [of the negotiated settlement] appreciate the nature and effect of the document they were signing. The Defendant/Applicant being legal advisor to the government is certainly far from being in the class of 'protected persons' and would therefore be bound by the terms of settlement of a suit she signs, save where there are exceptional grounds for setting them aside as fraud, endue (sic) influence or illegality in which case the procedure to set aside is on the authorities by fresh writ and not by motion as the Defendant/Applicant has purported to do in this case,” the ruling exposed what some people see as sheer professional negligence on the part of Attorney-General.

 
Also, painstaking checks done by the New Statesman indicate that there are no records at the Ministry of Youth and Sports detailing any contract between the state and Mr Wayome in respect of the stadia project.

 
Our checks also uncovered that no former ministers and officials under whose charge the stadia project was carried out were consulted for their inputs.

 
Some officials at the ministry told the paper they were very surprised about what they see as “highly dubious means to give free money to somebody just because he finances your party.”

 
According to them, the ministry as a practice does not deal with individuals in the award of contracts. “We only deal with entities; and I can tell you we never dealt with any entity called Alfred Wayome. I therefore find it difficult to understand why we can even be sued by an individual who had no contract with us,” one official noted.

 
Available information indicates that the NDC bankroller had only fronted for a company, VAMED Engineering Company, which engaged in abortive bid for a contract in respect of the stadia construction project.

 
According to the MP for Assin North, Kennedy Agyepong, the company's bid was rejected because its quotation was too exorbitant.

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