Joseph Kpemka, the former deputy attorney general, has said there is a solid case against the five individuals charged with causing financial loss to the state in connection with the Saglemi housing project.
The communications director of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has declared that the charges leveled against Collins Dauda and the four others are frivolous and vindictive.
The five men have pleaded not guilty to the charges over the execution of Saglemi after making their first appearance in court last week.
However, speaking about the Saglemi project on Asaase Radio’s news analysis show The Forum with the sit-in host, Benjamin Offei-Addo, Kpemka said: “I think that Godfred Yeboah Dame will not just go to court with this matter, because I was deputy AG in charge of criminal prosecution [while] Dame was in charge of civil.
“I am just running away from something, and I want to hint you that this is what I am running away from. I have very deep knowledge about this matter, perhaps [more] than everybody here, because I have reviewed this matter for over a period of three years.”
Kpemka added: “This matter [Saglemi] came before us and it’s been since 2017 going back and forth, but the real investigation and charges started around 2019 ending/2020 thereabouts, and then today we are where we are.”
Contractors on the Saglemi housing project, near Prampram, in the Greater Accra Region, diverted roughly US$40 million even before work on the project began, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, a seasoned journalist, has also alleged.
The editor-in-chief at large of the New Crusading Guide newspaper said the alleged diversion may have affected the completion of the stalled affordable housing project under the Mahama-led government.
Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday (6 August), Baako said: “The Ghana government paid US$80 million [as a first tranche to the Saglemi contractor], as required by the agreement.
“And on 13 April 2013, $40 million of this $80 million – that is apparently before the works had started – a senior member of that company [the Saglemi contractor, Construtora OAS Ghana Ltd] had organized what he claims to be a loan from the company to the company’s partner outside the country,” Baako said.
“So, $40 million from the $80 million was not used to do anything in this country, straight away moved out. How was the work going to be effectively done? Just ask yourself. And you see, this is what some of these companies do to countries like Ghana,” Baako said.
He said the company in question was “under intense scrutiny by the Brazilian state for corruption-related activities”, hence the diversion of the funds to solve an insolvency problem.
“If 50% of that $80 million was flighted out of the country, obviously it will affect the work, so that one, 40 million went somewhere. It was chopped outside Ghana.”