US$200m Saglemi Housing Project case: A-G files documents

The Attorney-General (A-G) and Ministry of Justice has filed documents it intends to rely on to prosecute Alhaji Collins Dauda, a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, at the Accra High Court.

The disclosures are yet to be served on the accused, four others and their counsel.

Mrs Hilda Craig, a Senior State Attorney, told the court that prosecution would file more documents and asked for three weeks adjournment.

The case has been adjourned to February 21, 2022.

Mr Dauda was granted self-recognisance bail six months ago by the Criminal Division 4 of the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Comfort Tasiame for allegedly causing $200 million financial loss to the state in the SaglemiAffordable Housing project.

His alleged co-accused, Messrs Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, a former Minister of Works and Housing, from April 2015, to January 2017, and Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, the Chief Director of the Ministry, from July 2009 to April 2017, and two others were granted bail totaling $322 million for allegedly issuing false certificate and dishonestly causing loss to public property.

 The other accused include Andrew Clonacas, the Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited, and Nouvi Tetteh, the Director and the majority shareholder of Ridge Management Solutions DWC-LLC. He is also the director of VHM Ghana Limited.

The facts according to Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney-General  and Minister of Justice, then prosecuting were that when Alhaji Dauda took office in February 27, 2014, accused reviewed the original agreement of the project and signed the ‘First and Restated Agreement’ with Construtora OAS, without Parliamentary approval.

He said even though $196,428,891.66 had been spent on the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, with the contractor having been paid$179,904,757.78, investigations revealed that the cost of works executed on the site, including consultancy services, was about $64,982,900.77.

Mr Dame said that only 651.75 acres of land out of the 2,172 acres of land made available by the MWRWH to the contractor for the project had been developed.

The prosecutor told the court that investigations indicated that only 668 housing units were completed by the contractor. 

The Attorney-General stated that these houses were, however, not habitable, adding that not a single house under the project had been sold and the facility remained unpaid, resulting in huge financial loss to the State.

Mr Dame told the court that in August 2012, then President, John Dramani Mahama, granted executive approval to the MWRWH for the construction of 5000 affordable housing units for sale to workers through mortgage arrangements provided by the Ghana Home Loans to be implemented by Construtora OAS Limited.

The A-G said the project was to be funded by a Buyer’s Credit of $200 million provided Messrs Credit Suisse International (Credit Suisse).

BY MALIK SULLEMANA

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