Former Mahama officials face prosecution over alleged embezzlement of state funds in Saglemi Housing project

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Some former officials of the former NDC government will in the coming days be hauled before court over the alleged embezzlement of state funds in the Saglemi Housing project.

According to Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, the Ghana Institution of Surveyors are currently engaged in a value for money audit on the project saying all those found culpable of playing various roles in the looting of state resources will not be spared.

The 5,000-unit housing project was started by the Mahama administration in 2012 to provide some form of relief to the ordinary Ghanaian who faced accommodation challenges.

But several years down the line, the project has stalled over allegations of misappropriation of the nation’s scarce resources following revelations that the country was provided with less than 1,500 housing units as against the initial agreement of 5,000 units.

The opposition NDC on the other hand has denied the allegations and counter-accused the governing NPP of allowing the project to rot.

Responding to questions in Parliament today, Thursday, June 4, 2020, Mr. Atta Akyea who is also the Abuakwa South MP, said the government may be forced to terminate the contract since it appears the state has been shortchanged.

He also indicated that both civil and criminal proceedings will be initiated to recover the looted state resources in the contract which was unilaterally reviewed by then Minister, Collins Dauda.

“On the 27th day of February 2014, the then Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Honourable Collins Dauda, MP, on his own motion, rubbished the parliamentary approval and reviewed the original agreement and signed his own First and Restated Agreement with Messrs Construtora OAS Ghana Limited to downsize the number of houses to be constructed to 1,502 housing units with the same contract sum of $200 million.”

“I do not know if the then [Minister] had been bewitched by the Contractor,” Mr. Atta Akyea said.

Continuing further, he said “all the contracts purportedly signed by Hon. Collins Dauda and thereafter some wayward Chief Directors after the original contract had received parliamentary approval, are void ab initio and have no legal consequence.”

Mr. Atta Akyea also assured that “all the traducers of the law will be arraigned before a court of competent jurisdiction to answer criminal charges.”

After listening to questions from both sides of the House, the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Professor Mike Oquaye directed the Works and Housing Committee together with the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to investigate the matter and report back to the House in two weeks.

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