Alhaji Collins Dauda
THE TRIAL of Alhaji Collins Dauda, a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing who doubles as NDC MP for Asutifi South in the Ahafo Region, and four others involved in the US$200 million Saglemi Housing Project scandal has once again been adjourned.
This is as a result of the inability of the Office of the Attorney General to file the witness statement of some of the witnesses it intends to rely for the trial.
Winnifred Sarpong, a Principal State Attorney, on Tuesday told the court that they have not been able to “file our outstanding documents which includes some witness statements,” adding that “one of the witness statements has not been signed.”
She, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable them put their house in order and return to the court for the commencement of the trial. The request was not opposed by the defence lawyers.
Justice Elfreda Dankyi, the trial judge, adjourned the case to October 28, 2022, for continuation.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, together with Dr. Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, a former Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing; Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Chief Director at the Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing, contributed to the Saglemi Housing deal when it was prepared and signed. Also playing part were businessman Andrew Clocanas, Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited, as well as Nouvi Tetteh Angelo, Chief Executive Officer and owner of Ridge Management Solutions Ghana Limited. The aforementioned are facing 52 charges, including causing financial loss to the state.
They are also facing charges of intentionally misapplying public property contrary to Section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD) 140, issuing false certificate contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979, AFRCD 58, and dishonestly causing loss to public property contrary to Section 2 (1) of the Public Protection Act 1977 (SMCD) 140.
The state reportedly pumped about $200 million into the Saglemi Housing Project, which the Mills/Mahama administration initiated, but the housing units were never completed, even though the funds had allegedly been exhausted before former President Mahama and his NDC team was defeated in the 2016 polls.
The initial agreement, ratified by Parliament, was for the construction of 5,000 housing units, but by the time the project was being executed, only 1,502 housing units had been earmarked for construction without recourse to Parliament.
Interestingly, the contract amount of US$200 million was spent when even the 1,502 housing units could not fully be completed.
Only 668 were done, according to investigations compiled and sent to the Attorney General’s Department, and these are not even habitable.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak