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December 30, 2011 | General News

President Kufuor, Others Sued (Woyome)

President Kufuor, Others Sued (Woyome)

An Accra-based lawyer, Mr Chris Arcmann-Ackumey, has sued at the Accra High Court seeking a declaration that former President John Agyekum Kufuor and two other persons have caused financial loss to the state for their roles in the payment of GH¢42 million judgement debt to Mr Alfred Woyome.

Also joined in the writ, filed on December 28, 2011, are Mr Kwadwo Mpiani and Dr Kofi Amoah, a former Chief of Staff in the Kufuor administration and a businessman, respectively.

The plaintiff is further seeking a declaration that the defendants' actions led to the institution of the court cases in which Mr Woyome sued the state, and vice versa, and a declaration that their conduct rendered the court action by Mr Woyome indefensible.

The writ was filed by Mr David Annan, lawyer for the plaintiff, who said he was a citizen of Ghana affected by the omissions of former President Kufuor while he was in office as President of the Republic of Ghana.

In his statement of claim, the plaintiff said under Article 58 of the 1992 Constitution, the Executive authority of Ghana was vested in former President Kufuor during the period January 8, 2001 to January 7, 2009 and that the acts complained of were committed during that period.

He said former President Kufuor took responsibility vicariously or otherwise for all acts done by his ministers or appointees, since, by Article 58 (4) of the 1992 Constitution, all Executive acts were expressed to be taken in the name of the President.

The plaintiff said former President Kufuor's actions regarding the hosting of the CAN 2008 soccer tournament, in particular the process leading to the construction of stadia for the said event, could not be said to be bona fide.

He said on January 6, 2005, the Daily Graphic published an expression of interest tender announcement, to which a company by name Vamed Engineering GmbH responded, went through the tendering process and was shortlisted on April 12, 2005.

He said on July 4, 2005, the process was concluded when the bids were closed, and in the presence of eight bidders, the results were announced for the financing and construction of five stadia in Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi, Tamale and Cape Coast.

The tender processes, according to the plaintiff, culminated in the award of the contract to finance and build the CAN 2008 stadia to Messrs Vamed Engineering, as per a letter dated August, 2005, and the Ministry of Finance gave a letter of introduction to Mr Woyome and Vamed as early as May 5, 2005 signed by a deputy minister.

Therefore, he said, the government, led by former President Kufuor, had recognised the status of Mr Woyome as a financial engineer.

According to him, a company called MPOWAPAK Ltd was the local representative of Vamed and a company called Waterville BVI, with Mr Woyome as alternate director of MPOWAPAK.

He averred that on July 1, 2005, Vamed, which had won the tender process, assigned its rights to Waterville BVI as per a letter from Vamed to Waterville signed by Vamed's Managing Director, with MPOWAPAK and Mr Woyome still being the local representatives of Vamed and Waterville.

The plaintiff said on August 12, 2005, the Minister of Sports, by a letter, purported to terminate Vamed's successful tender, claiming high financial commitments and the inconclusive and non-assuming nature of the financial submission.

He said that act by the former President's appointee was null and void, since it avoided the provisions of the Procurement Act, Act 663, and led to Mr Woyome and MPOWAPAK suing the state for the money due for the financial engineering and damages for breach of rights accrued by virtue of reliance on the Vamed/Waterville successful bid for the CAN 2008 stadia construction and rehabilitation.

The plaintiff said former President Kufuor actually played a direct role in the purported cancellation of the successful bid, as was evidenced by a Cabinet memo submitted on July 27, 2005 by the then Minister of Education, on the subject, 'Report on procurement of works (stadia) for CAN 2008'.

He said the said Cabinet memo showed that the financial engineering was a separate and distinct part of the bidding process and that the defendants could not deny the existence of the distinction, while the memo also admitted the plaintiff's claim.

He said the said memo showed the role that former President Kufuor played in instigating and abetting the illegal truncation of Vamed/Waterville's successful tender bid, which instigation was detailed under the sub-heading, 'Offers after the bid'.

The plaintiff said former President Kufuor indicated that he was inclined towards the Chinese, which view was previously communicated to the Minister of Education by a letter from Dr Amoah dated July 20, 2005.

According to the plaintiff, Dr Amoah submitted a proposal from Shanghai Construction Group dated July 19, 2005 which was not a bid submitted by February 7, 2005 to the Tender Evaluation Committee.

The plaintiff contended that the Shanghai Group was not shortlisted and did not comply with the separate financial engineering requirement of providing a source of funding.

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