Financial Malfeasance Uncovered at Ghana Ministry of Works and Housing

Saglemi Housing Project
Saglemi Housing Project

This is not a case of washing my Party’s dirty linen in public. It is rather the New Democratic Congress’s (NDC) dirty linen wrapped around my New Patriotic Party (NPP) which must be washed in public.

There is a video circulating on Social Media in which Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea (former Minister of Works and Housing) stated that Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu (former Chief Director, Ministry of Works and Housing) and his accomplices would face the full rigors of the law for fraudulently signing a “First and Restated Agreement”, a “Second Restated Agreement” and a “Third Amended and Restated Agreement” on the Saglemi Housing Projects.

The Agreements were between the Ministry of Works and Housing and Construrora OAS Ghana Ltd.

The original document was signed between the Ministry of Works and Housing and Construrora OAS Ghana Limited on 4th January 2013 for the construction of 5,000 housing units at a total cost of US$200 million.

The “First and Restated Agreement” signed on 27th February 2014 reduced the housing units to 1,502 at the contract price of the same US$200 million.

On 31st July 2017, Mr. Solomon Asoalla (the Chief Director of the Ministry of Works and Housing) reviewed the “Second Amended and Restated Agreement and signed the “Third Amended and Restated EPC Agreement”.

He did not have the legal authority to do that.

The “Third Amended and Restated Agreement” extended the term of the agreement to December 2017 at a reduced contract price of US$181,081,000.00.

Both former Chief Director Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu and current Chief Director Solomon Asoalla have caused massive financial losses to the State and must be investigated according to the recommendations of the Attorney General of Ghana.

On 16th November, 2018, Hon. Atta Akyea (then Minister of Works and Housing) wrote a letter to the Attorney General’s Department of the Ministry of Justice for advise on these illegally amended agreements.

In a response dated 8th May 2019, the Attorney General’s Office (Ref. D6/SF45) recommended the following:

a. “Since the First and Restated Agreement witnessed a substantial reduction in the scope of the Agreement from 5,000 units to 1,502 units, the Ministry ought to have re-submitted the Agreement to Parliament for approval. Failure to do so therefore renders the First and Restated Agreement NULL and VOID.”

The “Second and Restated Agreements” dated 21st December, 2016 were signed by then Chief Director Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu.

b. The State Property and Contracts Act, 1960 (CA6) provides as follows :

“It shall be lawful for the Minister responsible for a subject or department or some other person authorized by him to execute a contract for and on behalf of the Republic on any matter falling within his portfolio.”

“There is no evidence that the Chief Director Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu was clothed with capacity to review the First and Restatement Agreement of 4th January, 2013.

We are of the view that in the absence of any evidence to the effect that the Chief Director was authorized by the Minister to review and sign the Second Restated Agreement which in any case was not submitted to Parliament is on this ground also NULL and VOID and of no legal effect.

The original EPC Agreement signed by the parties on 3rd January 2014 remains the only valid agreement binding the parties.”

c. “The term of the original Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Agreement signed on 3rd January 2014 expired in June 2017 even though the Contractor has not completed
the construction of the 5,000 housing units.

Till date…even though the Contractor has completed only 1,412 housing units, he has been paid US$ 179,904,757.78.

The Ministry is advised to demand Specific Performance of the obligations of the Contractor as contained in the expired Agreement.

Alternatively, a demand may be made by the Ministry on the Contractor for a REFUND of all overpayments as well as INTEREST subject to the conduct of a value-for-money audit.

In the absence of a valid explanation for the variation of the terms of the Original Agreement, it is advised that the matter be referred to the appropriate authority for CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION.”

Signed: Gloria Afua Akuffo (Miss)
Attorney General and Minister for Justice.
8th May 2019.

In the meantime, both former Chief Director Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu and current Chief Director Solomon Asoalla are walking about as free men since the Attorney General gave her candid
advise on 8th May 2019 (almost 2 years ago).

After plunging the NPP Government and the Ministry of Works and Housing into such a big mess, Chief Director Solomon Asoalla still had the effrontery to apply for a 2-year contract with the Ministry of Works and Housing so he can continue to milk Ghana dry and also attempt to cover up his corrupt acts.

If his request is granted, it will be tantamount to a full endorsement of his nefarious activities.

Solomon Asoalla must not only be sent packing because he is 60 years old, he must also be investigated for criminal offences leading to financial loss to the State.
We won Elections 2016 partly due to our uncompromising position on corruption.

We did not spend our time and resources to campaign for the NPP to win elections only for the NDC crooks to rule the nation.

It would be politically absurd for the NPP to go into opposition due to the corrupt practices of NDC agents lurking within the system.

More to follow.
Quaisie Asamoah,
Dallas, Texas, USA.

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