Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye

Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Ocquaye, ordered a parliamentary inquiry into fraudulent housing contracts for Saglemi. Prof. Oquaye ordered Parliament joint committee two weeks to review the agreement and report the results to Parliament.

The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the Works and Housing Committees are responsible for carrying out the investigation.

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The Speaker of Parliament
Credit: Graphic Online

“The House’s Committee on Works and Housing and leadership of Constitution and Legal committee, are urged to review this issue, which has appeared before the House in all its aspects, and to immediately report to this prestigious House within two weeks,” he ordered.

On Thursday [4 June 2020] the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, announced that all former government and non-government officials involved in the $ 200 million agreement would be prosecuted.

The former deputy minister of Works and Housing under the then Mahama’s government, Sampson Ahi, later described the threat of prosecution as unnecessary. According to our source(s), Mr. Ahi said there was no basis for Mr.’s proposal Akyea about crime in this matter.

According to him, because the minister expects a report on the quality/price ratio review, “it is strange that the minister [Akyea] has threatened the former minister with legal action since 2017.”

“If you are auditing is on-going, why do you threaten to bring people to justice,” he added. Atta Akyea said in 2018 that the housing units built so far did not have important facilities such as water, electricity, and sewerage.

The first phase of the $ 180 million project was opened on June 15, 2016, by then-President John Mahama. The whole project is to produce 5,000 housing units for low and middle-income people in the country.

During the first phase of construction, 180 apartment blocks were built, consisting of more than 1,500 apartments near Tsopoli in the Ningo-Pramprom district. However, management has now raised several issues with the project, including allegations that there is no original contractual documents.

This is what the Deputy Minister of Works and Housing, Freda Prempeh had to say earlier about the issue;

“… I find it difficult to accept the fact that you sign a contract and after two or three months, you give the contractor $46 million and by the end of 2014, they had been given $92 million. As I speak with you, they have taken 99.11 percent of the total amount so certain questions need to be answered.”

As an example of the conflicting details, she noted that, “some documents at the ministry tell us that the contractors were contracted to build 5,000 houses. Some papers are also telling us that they were contracted to build 1,502 in the first phase. Some documents are also telling us that they amended the contract to reduce the scope from 1,502 to 1,408. Another document is telling us that they further amended the contract to reduce the scope of work from 1,400 to 1,024.”

She added that the investigations on-going does not mean that the projects will be left unattended to, however, they are doing due diligence before.

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