MP ready for war over dubious charge in Woyome saga

Posted: March 5, 2012 in Crime
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Osei Bonsu Amoah, MP for Aburi-Nsawam says he will to the end to clear his name in the Woyomegate.

The embattled Member of Parliament (MP) for Aburi-Nsawam, Osei Bonsu Amoah, currently facing charges of corruption and causing financial loss to the state in the Woyome saga, has stated that he did no wrong in the award of a contract to Waterville, Micheletti and Consar, for the construction of stadia for the hosting of the CAN 2008.

The MP, in explaining his side of the story at a press briefing organised by the minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament on Tuesday, to condemn the actions of the police over his illegal arrest, said though there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between government and the aforementioned firms in building the Kumasi, Accra and El-Wak stadia, Waterville was not able to raise funds, as per the dictates of the MoU, hence the abrogation of the said contract.

“The then government had a MoU with three companies – Waterville to look for funding, Consar and Micheletti to build the stadia in respect of the Kumasi and Accra Sports facilities.

“Beyond that, a contract was also signed in April. By August 1, the Attorney-General had written to Waterville, not the local contractors – that in your case, you’ve not been able to raise the funding, the purpose of which a contract was signed with you.

“In that case, we cannot sign any agreement that we had with you to Cabinet and Parliament, to make it effective, because you have not fulfilled the condition precedent.

“And that is how come Waterville opted out. In the meantime, a Cabinet sub-committee said that, to be fair to you, these local contractors were on site, and you were looking for money –you are saying that you assisted them in their being on site and then clearing the site, etc., sit down with the consultants and let’s know even with the local contractors how much you have put in.

But, because we don’t have any contract with you, we can only pay the contractors, who will then reimburse you for what you claim you have put in, because they will even know. And that is exactly what we did.

“And as we were leaving, we have told the whole world that every money due Waterville in this arrangement have been paid to the local contractors, who have never denied it – either Consar for Kumasi or Micheletti for El-Wak and Accra. This is what happened. Now, where does causing financial loss come in?” the embattled MP contended.

The Aburi-Nsawam MP was on Sunday arrested in front of his house at Parakuo Estates, near Dome, by a number of armed policemen in three vehicles, when returning from Parliamentary assignment.

He was then sent to the Police Headquarters for questioning, and later released on Monday, February 20, 2012.

Mr. Amoah told reporters that under his watch as Deputy Minister of Sports, he worked under four substantive Ministers, namely Mr. Osafo Maafo, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Prof. Dominic Fobih and Ms. Elizabeth Ohene, and that he never took any decision on his own.

According to him, his letter to Waterville, having no objection for their movement to the site of the project, was in response to a letter written to his office by the former, after Consar had earlier written to Waterville seeking their approval to go to site.

“What I wrote was that Consar had requested that they wanted to go to site as contractors, because we were waiting for CAF inspection, to find out whether we had began the construction, for them to give us the go ahead that we were ready for the games.

“Consar wrote to Waterville that they wanted to go to site, Waterville wrote to us, and we wrote back, and I, in particular, wrote that the Minister had no objection to your going to site. Within a few weeks, they had demobilized, because they were waiting for the proper contract, so to speak, which came to effect in April,” the Aburi-Nsawam MP asserted.

To him, all the records of the said contract were there for everybody to see and, therefore, wondered why anybody or the police could accuse him of causing financial loss to the state.

Prior to his response, the Minority Leader, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, accused the police of defying the authority of the Speaker of Parliament in arresting and detaining Mr. Amoah.

According to him, on February 13, 2012, the police sent a request to the Speaker of Parliament for the release of the Aburi-Nsawam MP for investigation. However, on February 14, 2012, the Attorney-General, Benjamin Kunbuor, wrote to the Speaker requesting the withdrawal of the earlier request and police invitation, and gave the assurance that if it became necessary to invite Mr. Amoah, “he would resort to the usual route.”

He could not, therefore, understand why six days after the Attorney-General’s encounter with the Speaker, an arrest could be made without the notice of the Speaker. This, he noted, was a clear defiance to the Speaker’s authority. “The authority of the Speaker of Parliament is being challenged by the police for not informing her of the arrest of Mr. O. B. Amoah,” he noted.

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