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29.11.2005 General News

Consultant in court over bribery

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Accra, Nov. 29, GNA - An Investment Consultant on Tuesday appeared before an Accra Circuit Court for allegedly collecting 280,000 pounds from a consulting firm to influence a public officer. Harry Boadi Sintim-Aboagye is alleged to have collected the money as bribe from Mr Francis Kosi Segbedzi of Architect Co- Partners (ACP), an international firm, under the pretext of influencing Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, to facilitate the payment of consultancy fees for working on the Ho Regional Hospital. Aboagye charged with three counts of accepting bribe to influence public officer, pleaded not guilty.

The court admitted him to a 200 million cedi bail with two sureties to reappear on December 13.

Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr Patrick Sarpong said Mr Segbedzi was the complainant and co-partner of Architect Co-partners. Prosecution said in 1975, Architect Co-Partners was appointed by the Ministry of Health as consultants to render pre-and post contract consultancy services for the construction of the Ho Regional Hospital. In December 2000, the construction of the hospital was completed and handed over to the Government but ACP had to be paid an outstanding balance of 2,827,641 pounds sterling.

Prosecution said the complainant felt that the payment was being delayed and in his bid to get the monies paid, he came into contact with Sintim Aboagye, who claimed to know Dr Osei, who was then a Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, whom he said he could influence.

In January and February 2003, Sintim-Aboagye, therefore, accepted a total of 280,000 pounds sterling in three instalments to enable him to bribe Dr Osei, to pay the complainant's money.

Even though, some payments were made to ACP, leaving a balance of 709,910 pounds sterling to be paid, a check at Dr Osei's office indicated that no amount was given to him.

During investigation, Aboagye admitted taking the monies but denied giving any of the monies to Dr Osei.