Tuesday, June 8, 2010


THERE IS A HEAVY STINK permeating the corridors of the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) over the revelations that the bearded Municipal Chief Executive, Dr. Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, has handed over a juicy contract worth millions of dollars to a company without going through due process.

The details of the chubby contract awarded by the Mayor, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuige to SW Global Limited are just emerging, but already, leading figures in the assembly are raising hell over the contract, with some disputing whether any such contract has been signed due to the magnitude of the contract.

The contract to SW Global is to provide software to support the former’s initiative of implementing the business operating license regime, but many in the assembly are raising concern about the fact that it id not go through tender.

It has also emerged that some stake-holders in the Assembly are not enthused about the manner in which the contract was given out without their knowledge, particularly since it was not advertised, there was no tender, and only one company was allowed to do a presentation on it to the assembly.

So far, it has emerged that the agreement between the AMA and SW Global Limited was signed on the 24th day of January 2010.

According to the terms of the contract, it shall be for seven (7) years from the ‘Effective Date’ and shall be renewable upon written notification by either party, not later than six (6) calendar months prior to the end of the Term.

Interestingly, the AMA cannot terminate the Agreement but if SWG determines that there are insufficient sources of revenue to recoup the cost of deployment of infrastructure and costs associated, “SWG reserves the Right to terminate this Agreement upon sixty (60) days written notice’.

Yesterday when this blog contacted the Presiding Member of the Assembly on phone and after a brief introduction and asking the relevant questions, he said, “I don’t know the one I am speaking to, come to my office and let’s talk. The question you are asking I need to know the one I am talking to.”

A certain Mr. Robert Ansah who claims to be an Adviser to the Mayor told this blog to seek clarification with the Mayor before he speak or better still contact the Legal Department of the Assembly.

“I am privileged to have that information, but I am not allowed to share it,” he said.

He continued that ‘do you understand, if I did have the information or whatever information I have from the Mayor, I am not at liberty to share it except on his express permission so if you needed me to desperately to speak with, you might need to call the Mayor and get permission and I could talk to you’.

The Revenue Chairman told this blog that he was only ready to talk if a representative comes to the offices of the AMA located off Asafoatse Nettey Road, High Street but not on phone.

Mr. Adu of the Procurement section of the Assembly said he was on his sick bed saying “I have just had surgery and I am not supposed to be talking, when I get to the office next week, come and let me explain issues to you’.

We gather from a source that it is true a company has been contracted to install software that will help the Assembly boost its revenue generation.

Asked whether due diligence was done he answered in the affirmative saying ‘nothing was done…. no feasibility was done and the Assembly under Oko is flouting the procurement law with impunity’.

Monday, June 7, 2010


The investigator from the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) who investigated the charges of financial loss affecting former Foreign Minister Mr. Akwasi Osei Agyei, has said that eleven out of the 28 companies that bought the rice were not part of the original tender to sell the rice!

He has also said, under cross-examination that some of the companies that bought the rice bought them at quotations lower than those quoted in their bids.

Mr. Akwasi Osei Agyei, former Foreign Minister under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, and Mr. Charles Gyimah, former Chief Executive Officer of the National Investment Bank, are standing trial before a Fast Track High Court in Accra on charges related to causing financial loss, and diversion of 300, 000 bags of rice imported from India.

Under cross examination by Colonel (Rtd) Johnson, the counsel for Mr. Charles Gyimah, the witness said that several companies that won the bid to buy the rice were not part of the original set of companies that put in tenders to buy the rice.
He said that even though 38 companies put in bids to buy the rice and 28 companies were finally shortlisted, eleven of those that actually bought the rice did not put in tenders or quotations at all, but bought some of the rice all the same.
Again, he said under cross-examination that some of the companies that bought the rice bought them at prices that are lower than those quoted in the bids.

The witness Godfred Agyapong, under further cross-examination said that the investigation was conducted by a team of seven investigators in his outfit. He remembered the names of five of them, and said that interrogation of a witness was done by one officer who was not part of the investigators.

He said that the Ministry of Trade and Industry had expressed interest in importing the rice at a point. He did not take a statement from the former Minister of Trade and Industry under whose tenure the whole business commenced, he told the court.
Mr. Agyapong said that he did not conduct the entire investigation and so cannot speak to all aspects of the case. He told the court that he had concluded that there was financial loss.

Counsel told witness repeatedly that he was confused when he said that he did not come across any evidence suggesting that the importation was ordered by President Kufuor. This is because he had a statement from one Mr. Sarpong Ampratwum of NIB suggesting that the importation was ordered by the former President.

He said that he did not take a statement from President Kufuor, or the High Commissioner from India.

He said that he did not investigate a memorandum from Cabinet on the rice issue.
At a point the witness said that he did not know in answer to a question, prompting a statement from the lawyer to the effect that there are a lot of things he did not know as an investigator.

He said that by the time the rice arrived at the Tema Harbour Mr. Charles Gyimah was no longer the Chief Executive of NIB. He said that the rice was sold by a committee at the bank, of which Mr. Gyimah was not a part. He said that when the rice arrived at the ports the NIB took charge of the rice, but when they informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs they told them that they had not imported any rice.

He said that at the time that the rice was being sold the 2nd accused person was not in office at the NIB.
Cross-examination continues on June 17.