State prosecutors yesterday produced in court, various documents to prove their claim that businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome and his partners, Vamed Engineering, had no contract with the State in respect of the construction of stadia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
The documents, which were tendered in evidence through former Education and Sports Minister, Samuel Yaw Osafo-Maafo, showed that Vamed Engineering was unaware of any bid on its behalf for consideration in the tender for the construction of the stadia.
Mr. Woyome is being tried for defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state; charges he has denied since June 5. Three other accomplices who were also put before court with him were discharged on June 5 following a nolle prosequi by the state
According to prosecutors, Mr Woyome in February 2010, made false representation to the government that it owed him two percent of 1,106,470,587.00 Euros for his services in the area of financial engineering for the rehabilitation of the Accra and El-Wak Stadia.
He is further accused of “wilfully and fraudulently causing huge financial losses” of GHC 51,283, 480.59 to the state between September 2010 and September 2011.
In a letter dated September 7, 2005, and tendered in evidence yesterday, Vamed Engineering clarified to the then Ministry of Education and Sports that it “has no qualification and no interests in the award of contracts for the stadia projects”.
The letter, which was in response to one written by Mr. Osafo-Maafo on August 22, 2005 to inform Vamed of Cabinet’s abrogation of the tender process initiated by the government, explained that its services were actively in the health care sector and not stadia construction.
Vamed explained that VA-Tech, an Austrian company, which is independent of Vamed’s activities, made an offer for the stadia projects, but said VA-Tech pulled out because of lack of financing.
“When we got informed that there are hospital projects in relation with the CAN 2008, we immediately made an offer for six hospitals in 2003, which finally led to the signing of six contracts which have not yet become effective due to lack of financing of the hospital projects,” the letter stated.
The letter further explained that Vamed’s contracts and VA-Tech’s offer were based on the assumption that the hospital and the stadia projects would be financed by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC)
However, in his evidence in chief yesterday, Mr. Osafo-Maafo told the court presided over by Justice Ajet-Nasam that following a publicised bidding process on January 6, 2005, seventy companies expressed interest.
Led in evidence by Ms. Cynthia Lamptey, Chief State Attorney, he said the list was shortened to 12 after appraisal of their technical and financial capability as set out in the terms of the bidding process, noting that it was further shortened to four companies.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo said Vamed Engineering which teamed up with M-Powapak to form partnership, was selected as one of the four for consideration for the construction of the two new stadia at 67 million dollars and 60 million dollars in Takoradi and Tamale respectively.
He said the Entity Tender Committee, which he chaired, adopted the valuation report of the Technical and Financial committees report, and which was further submitted to cabinet in view of the amount involved.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo said a special cabinet retreat was held in Akosombo on July 27, 2005 at which meeting he presented the report of the Entity Tender Committee and after debating on it, cabinet concluded that the bid amount by Vamed/M-Powapak was far above the government’s 40 million-dollar budge.
He said he indicated to cabinet at the meeting that any attempt to go for another tender would be dangerous in view of time constraint, so cabinet resolved to do sole sourcing and thus directed him to apply to the Public Procurement Authority for approval on that.
He said Shanghai Construction came up as the company for the sole sourcing since it was ready to construct the stadia at the cost of 38.5 million dollars.
In view of the development, he said, he wrote to Vamed Engineering to notify it about the termination of the tender process on grounds that it had non assuring financial obligations, indicating “we didn’t enter into any contract with anybody”.
After, he said on October 19, he wrote to the Public Procurement Board to request and justify the need for sole sourcing for the stadia project.
On October 26, he said the Board responded to his letter and approved the sole-sourcing.
Hearing continues on July 17.