Woyome’s Billions And Ex- President Kufuor Ties

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Kufuor’s Ties To Woyome’s Billions Revealed

 As The Herald Spark Villaggio Ownership Debate*

The Woyome-Shanghai scandal is opening a can of worms and revealing issues which been hidden from Ghanaians for many years now.

The deeper one digs into the Woyome affair, more one will find out that ex-President Mr. John Kufuor and his trusted men like Yaw Osafo-Marfo, O.B Amoah, Kweku Agyeman-Manu, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei and Dr. Kofi Amoah are deeply entangled in this messy web of judgment debts.

It reveals how Mr. Kufuor’s claim of being an apostle of the rule of law, as a mere slogan. The ex-president exhibited blatant disregard for parliament by not seeking Parliamentary approval for the Shanghai Construction Group of China, after mysteriously cancelling the Waterville and Micheletti contract.

The unlawful termination of the contract led to the payment of a whopping 38 million Euros to Don Ernesto Taricone owner of both Waterville and Micheletti. The two companies were initially awarded the contract for the construction of the stadia used for the African Cup of Nation (CAN 2008).

Information flitting in suggests that Don Ernesto Taricone got more money for the cancelation of the contract by the Mr. Kufuor, who is a next door neighbour of Don Taricone at the plush Airport West residential area, in Accra.

Don Taricone was very instrumental during the Kufuor era especially during the celebrations of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee. He was awarded huge building contracts under the debt-saddled-corruption-ridden Ghana@50 celebration led by Mr. Charles Wereko-Brobby and Kwadwo Okyre Mpianim.

Mr. Taricone, is also is the owner of the luxurious Trasacco Valley houses near East Legon in Accra. Some of these whose were rented to the Kufuor government for African heads who visited Ghana at the time to celebrate the Golden Jubilee.

Don Taricone is cited in the interim report of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) submitted to President Mills last week, as having given urgency contract to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome to negotiate construction of the stadia, with the Kufuor government.

Out of this urgency, Mr. Woyome, made a claim of GH¢51 million from the Mills Administration, apart from the 38 million Euros the Mr. Kufuor’s government started paying Don Ernesto Taricone.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin North, Ken Agyepong, last week charged the security agency and President Mills’ administration to cast its dragnet wider, by arresting , Ernesto Taricone because he is part the list of persons who have defrauded the country in the Woyome saga.

Ken Agyapong, made the call on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen current affairs programme, Show hosted by Nana Kwabena Bobie Ansah last week Friday afternoon.

The Herald drew Mr. Taricone’s connection Mr. Kufuor. He is indeed, a friend to ex-President John Kufuor. Mr. Taricone is part owner of the plush Villagio apartments next-door to the Mr. Kufuor’s Airport West Residence in Accra, opposite the African Regency Hotel nicknamed “Hotel Kufuor”.

Insiders tell stories of what is suggested to be a cleverly crafted deal between the Kufuor family and Mr. Taricone. It is reported that a substantial portion (60 percent) of the Villagio apartment, which is run under the Trasacco Group of

Companies, is owned by the Kufuor dynasty hidden in the name of “Chief Kufuor and family”. As to how ex-President Kufuor orchestrated the cancellation of Mr. Taricone’s contract, to construct the stadia for the CAN 2008 awarded his two companies- Waterville and Micheletti- and led to him (Tracone) harvesting of 33 million Euros from state coffers is yet to be explained by Mr. Kufuor.

What is unclear is whether Mr. Kufuor stage-managed the abrogation of the contracts to Ernesto Taricone’s Waterville and Micheletti, and awarded it to the Shanghai Construction Group of China, to enable his government pay quickly the two companies the huge compensation under judgement debt, ostensibly for him (Kufuor) to also take his share.

The shocking thing about the Shanghai Construction Group of China deal is that the transaction did not go to Parliament for approval.

The interim report of the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) submitted to President Mills last week, said that the evidence shows that when the decision was to be taken by Mr. Kufuor’s Cabinet to abrogate the tender process, Mr. Osafo-Maafo, the then Minister of Education and Sports, in his memorandum to Cabinet dated July 27, 2005, “warned the Cabinet of the fact that the Shanghai Construction Group did not qualify for the award because the Group had not taken part in the tender, had not been evaluated, had not provided any financial proposals and that the stage the tender process had gotten to, it would be a breach of the Public Procurement Act to abrogate the process”.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo told Cabinet further that “if on the other hand the recommendations arising out of the tender will be set aside, then we should marshal our forces and make a decision which we can defend nationally and internationally”.

In his letter of August 22, 2005, however, Mr. Osafo-Maafo, informed Vamed/Mpowapak of the termination of the tender process, the reasons being the ‘high financial commitments implied in the submissions, the inconclusive and the non-assuring nature of the financial submissions”.

“Subsequent to this letter, Waterville, per the letter written by its lawyer, Colin Russell, datedAugust 27, 2006, protested against the termination, pointing out that the reasons given by MOES was not tenable and the termination illegal. He cited the Public Procurement Act to support Waterville’s case,” the EOCO report said.

Consequently, in an MOU signed and dated 30th of November 2005, Waterville was given the right to commence rehabilitation works on the Kumasi, Accra and El Wak stadia. The MOU stated that a formal contract should be signed within 45 days of the date of the MOU.

Subsequently, per its letter of 6th February, 2006, MOES authorised Waterville to move to site pending the written contract which was eventually signed on 26th April 2006.

“Documents studied so far indicate that these were also terminated and. Waterville put in a claim for a total amount of €21, 569, 946.71, for actual work done and financial engineering. Government then paid an amount of €11,935,706.55 for unexplained reasons, failed to pay the difference of €9,634,240.16.

This amount was outstanding until the change of administration in 2009, when Waterville, taking advantage of the dispute settlement clause of its contract with the Government went for mediation and was eventually awarded an amount of €25,000,000.00 to cover its outstanding amount and accumulated interest, among others. This amount was subsequently paid in 2010”.

Source: The Herald

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