The Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister of Justice has dragged a former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH), Alhaji Collins Dauda; his successor, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, and three others to court, accusing them of wilfully causing financial loss to the state over the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project.
The state is pressing 52 counts of criminal charges against the accused persons for intentionally misapplying $200 million of state funds by paying for 1,412 affordable housing units at Saglemi, instead of 5,000 units, as Parliament had approved.
Alhaji Dauda and his alleged accomplices are also charged for wilfully causing financial loss to the state, contrary to Section 179A (3) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).
The other accused are Alhaji Dauda’s successor at the Housing Ministry from April 2015 to 2017, Agyeman-Mensah; the Chief Director at the ministry from 2009 to 2017, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu; the Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS, the Brazilian company which constructed the affordable housing project at Saglemi, Andrew Clocanas, and a director of RMS, the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) consultancy subcontractor, Nouvi Tetteh Angelo.
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 certificates, contrary to Government Contracts (Protection) Act, 1979 (AFRCD 58), and dishonestly causing loss to public property.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, on behalf of the A-G, filed the charges at the Accra High Court last Friday, just before the courts rose for their annual vacation.
The prosecutor alleged that although $196.43 million had been spent on the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, the contractor having been paid $179.9 million, investigations carried out revealed that the cost of works executed on site, including consultancy services, was about $64.98 million, with only 651.75 acres of land used, out of the 2,172 acres available for the project.
“Investigations further revealed that only 668 housing units were completed by the contractor. These are, however, not habitable,” the A-G said, adding that “not a single house under the project has been sold and the facility remains unpaid, resulting in huge financial loss to the Republic of Ghana”.