Politics

Saglemi Housing: I may be asked to answer some questions – Ex-Dep. Min.

Mr Samuel Yaw Adusei, a former Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing under the erstwhile Mahama administration, has said he may be called to answer questions in court over the Saglemi Housing Project.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Afua Akuffo, has recommended criminal investigations into the conduct of the actors in the $200-million, 5,000-unit Saglemi housing project.

A letter dated 8 May 2019 signed by Ms Akuffo and addressed to the current Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, indicated that the parties to the contract, namely the government of Ghana and Construtora OAS Ghana Limited, were bound by the agreed accrued rights and obligations.

Following from the accrued rights and obligations of the parties, the then-Attorney-General advised that the Ministry of Works and Housing had the right to demand specific performance of the obligations of the contractor as contained in the original agreement.

The advice from the Attorney General further stated that the original contract expired in June 2017 and for that reason, “there can be no termination of a non-existent agreement as requested by the ministry”.

The Ministry of Works and Housing had requested the Attorney General to advise them on the options available for the termination or otherwise of the contract.

As a result, the Attorney General said: “The agreement, having expired in June 2017, the purported notice of termination by the contractor has no basis in law and is, therefore, of no effect”.

“The ministry is, therefore, advised to write formally to the contractor rejecting the purported notice of termination,” the letter stated in response to the contractor’s notice of termination.

The Attorney General, after reviewing the documents the Ministry of Works and Housing submitted to her outfit, observed that both the Executive and parliamentary approval for the Saglemi project was for 5,000 housing units for the cost of $200 million.

“From the documents reviewed, there is no evidence justifying the variation of the scope of the agreement in the first and re-stated agreement signed by then-Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Collins Dauda, which reduced the number of housing units to be constructed from 5,000 to 1,502 though the price remained $200 million,” it said.

The opinion noted that the restated agreement should have been sent back to Parliament for approval, following the substantial variation and failure which had rendered the restated agreement null and void.

It said although the Chief Director of the Ministry of Works and Housing, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, signed the second and restated agreement dated 21 December 2016 with the contractor; there was no evidence to show the Chief Director was clothed with the capacity to review the contract.

When asked to respond to the issue while speaking on CTV’s Ghana Kasa programme hosted by Kwame Tutu on Thursday, 16 May 2019, Mr Yaw Adusei said: “I am picking up signals that I may be called to answer questions on this project following the AG’s recommendation and, so, I will not want to comment on this at the moment.”

“I was at the ministry and I know what went on, I know who has given what kind of advice to the current minister for which the AG has issued these recommendations.

“All I can say for now is that the Mahama administration did well in the housing sector to provide affordable houses to Ghanaians.”

Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/.com with additional files from Daily Graphic

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