Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Woyome case - Osafo-Maafo discharged
July 31, 2012 (Page 3 Lead) A former Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo today ended his testimony in the case in which a businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, is standing trial for allegedly defrauding the state to the tune of GHC51.2 million. He has since been discharged by the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam. The court, however, indicated to Mr Osafo-Maafo that he might be recalled when the need arose. Mr Osafo-Maafo told the court he was ready to be recalled anytime but indicated he should be given enough notice. The lead lawyer for Woyome, Mr Osafo Buabeng, had earlier cross examined the witness who said he did not take steps to terminate the bidding process for the construction of new stadia at Essipon in the Western Region and Tamale in the Norhtern Region. He said although, Vamed Engineering, a company represented by Woyome had not been conclusive in its financial arrangements to finance the stadia project, he endorsed a review committee’s report and forwarded it to the Central Tender Review Board. Mr Osafo-Maafo said he could have but he did not reject the recommendations of the committee which reviewed the bid of Vamed/m-powapak and shortlisted them among 70 companies which bid for the project. In his evidence-in-chief, he said the two companies were among companies shortlisted for the stadium construction project but the process had to be terminated by Cabinet because a Chinese company named Shanghai Construction was prepared to construct the two stadia at a cheaper cost. Answering questions under cross examination at the court’s sitting in Accra today, the former Minister of Education said he neither wrote to the losers nor winners of the bid because the tender process was not completed. Asked if he was aware Woyome had been paid money through a court judgment, he said he was, just like every Ghanaian. Hearing continues on October 30, 2012 but Justice Ajet-Nasam urged parties in the case to be on standby because he might receive instructions to hear the case during the legal vacation period.