Former Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Alhaji Collins Dauda, has been charged with 10 counts of causing financial loss to the state in the Saglemi Housing deal.
Mr. Dauda, who supervised the initiative at the time the project was approved by Parliament, has also been charged with intentionally misapplying public property.
In the particulars of the offences sighted by Citi News, he is said to have intentionally misapplied $200 million “by causing the said amount, which had been approved by the Parliament of Ghana for the construction of 5,000 housing units, to be applied towards the payment of 1,412 housing units under the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project.”
The basis for the financial loss charges is for various payments made to companies involved in the project like Construtuora OAS Ghana Limited, VHM Ghana Ltd, Architectural and Engineering Services Limited and Vitor Hugo-Coordencaao e Gestao de Projecto.
According to the facts of the case, $196,428,891.66 has been spent on the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project, with the contractor having been paid $179,904,757.78 but investigations revealed that the cost of works executed on the site, including consultancy services, was about $64,982,900.77.
In addition, only 651.75 acres of land out of the 2,172 acres of land made available by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to the contractor for the project has been developed.
Investigations further revealed that only 668 housing units were completed by the contractor.
These houses have been described as inhabitable and 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.
Mr. Dauda, who is the current Member of Parliament for the Asutifi South Constituency, had been accused of altering the original agreement for the Saglemi housing project without recourse to Parliament.
The former Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta-Akyea, who had over the years made the allegation against Mr. Dauda, said after Parliament passed the agreement in October 2012, the then-minister reviewed the contract, scaling down the number of units to some 1,500 units, and later to 1,024 units after another review in 2016.
Also facing charges in the matter are four others; Kwaku Agyeman Mensah, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu, Andrew Clocans and Nouvi Tetteh Angelo who are facing multiple counts of causing financial loss to the state.
Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah was also a Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing from April 2015 to January 2017, Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu was the Chief Director of the Water Resources, Works and Housing ministry from July 2009 to April 2017, Andrew Clocanas was the Executive Chairman of Construtora OAS Ghana Limited whilst the Nouvi Tetteh Angelo is a director and the majority shareholder of Ridge Management Solutions. He is also a director of VHM Ghana Ltd.
The first phase of the Saglemi housing project has 1,500 housing units, and was commissioned by John Mahama in 2016, but has been left unused.
The loan agreement was between the Government and Credit Suisse International for $200 million for the construction of 5,000 affordable housing units by Construtora OAS Limited.
The deal agreement was first laid in Parliament on September 28, 2012.
The project, which was intended to reduce the country’s massive housing deficit, is seated on a 300-acre land, with one to three-bedroom apartments for low-income earners.
The project stalled due to a decision by the Akufo-Addo administration to probe the financial arrangements under the project.
The former Minister for Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea, invited the Attorney General to scrutinise the agreements in October 2018.