The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, says the criminal proceedings initiated against the former Works and Housing Minister, Collins Dauda, is only an excuse by the government to justify why it has abandoned the Saglemi Housing project.
Describing the court action as frivolous, the opposition party member said the government must rather be blamed for causing financial loss to the state.
“The case against Hon. Collins Dauda and others are frivolous and a poor attempt by the vindictive Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government to create a convenient excuse for their abandonment of the Saglemi Housing project. If there has been any financial loss to the State at all, then it has been occasioned by the people who have recklessly abandoned and supervised the deterioration of a 90% complete project for almost five (5) years. The Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government should stop persecuting innocent people and rather take urgent steps to complete the project which they have left to rot. The Ghanaian taxpayer deserves better,” he said in a public statement.
The Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame earlier this week filed court processes to prosecute former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda; his successor, Dr. Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, and three other persons for allegedly causing financial loss to the state wilfully over the now-abandoned Saglemi Affordable Housing Project.
The state is pressing 52 counts of criminal charges against the accused persons who he accuses of misapplying the state’s $200 million to pay for less than 1,500 affordable housing units at Saglemi, instead of the 5,000 units parliament granted approval for.
But according to Sammy Gyamfi, Alhaji Collins Dauda was not responsible for making payment for the project, hence it is unfathomable that he is being charged for wrongdoing.
“Hon. Collins Dauda was not responsible for either raising IPCs or effecting payment for work done. The project consultant (AESL) who raised all the IPCs hasn’t been accused or charged by the Akufo-Addo government for any wrongdoing,” he noted.
He also contended that the Attorney General cannot claim that Alhaji Dauda short-changed the state by building less than 1,500 housing units instead of 5,000 housing units since there was no indication that the project has been completed without more housing units being built.
“For emphasis, the claim that Parliament approved an agreement for 5,000 housing units, but that was reviewed to about 1,500 houses without recourse to Parliament, is false. Firstly, at no point did government indicate that it was going to stop the project at building 1,500 houses only, which is just Phase 1 of the project.”
Mr. Gyamfi further accused the Akufo-Addo government of rather being responsible for causing financial loss to the state.
Collins Dauda didn’t alter Saglemi Housing agreement – Eric Opoku
The Member of Parliament for Asunafo South, Eric Opoku, has refuted claims that former Works and Housing Minister, Collins Dauda, changed aspects of the Saglemi Housing deal without recourse to Parliament.
Serving as Mr. Dauda’s spokesperson on Eyewitness News, Mr. Opoku said the former minister stuck to the contract details signed by the minister before him.
On the court case, Mr. Opoku said Mr. Dauda had no issue being held accountable since he was a public servant.
“If he is being called for his stewardship, he has no problem at all, except that he is worried about the fact that the whole matter has been twisted for the sake of propaganda.”
“He has not been served [with the writ yet]. He has not been given the opportunity to respond to the issues,” Mr. Opoku added.