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16.07.2012 General News

Osafo Maafo testifies in Woyome case; produces 'an interesting letter'

By The Statesman
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Former Finance Minister Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, testifying in the ongoing criminal trial of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome over a GHC51 million payment to him, produced a letter he called 'an interesting letter.'

The letter, according to Mr Osafo Maafo, was critical because it was written by Vamed Engineering, Mr Woyome's partners, in which they were reacting to a letter from the government terminating a tender process for the construction if stadia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament.

Mr Woyome secured GHC51 million judgment award for roles his M-Powpak played in the transaction.

He claimed monies for financial engineering as well as damages for illegal termination of the contract which his company and its partners won.

But Mr Osafo Maafo testified that what was terminated was not a contract but a tendering process.

He explained that when Ghana won the bid to stage the tournament, the government set about inviting bids for the construction of two new stadia at Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale as well as the refurbishment of the Accra and Kumasi Sports stadiums.

Vamed and M-powapak entered a joint bid for the contract in 2005, offering to build the two new stadia in Takoradi and Tamale at the cost of $67 million and $60 million respectively.

He said the government considered this too high as the government had budgeted for $40 million each for the projects.

At a cabinet meeting to discuss the matter, he submitted in court, then President Kufuor said he had in a previous trip to China, had discussions with construction firms in that country and believed they could make a better offer.

On the basis of that, a decision was taken to terminate the tendering process and undertake sole-sourcing because given the time frame within which the construction works needed to start, starting a new tender process was practically impossible.

Therefore, the government wrote to the National Procurement Authority for authorisation to do the sole sourcing.

Mr Osafo Maafo said when the companies which had submitted bids - including Vamed cum M-Powapak - were written to about the abortion of the tender process, Vamed in their reply said "VAMED ENGINEERING ('VE') is a company which is active in the sector health care projects only and has no qualification and no interest in the award of contracts for stadia projects."

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