Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wereko-Brobby's counsel protests against procedure

The Counsel for Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana @50 secretariat, Mr Akoto Ampaw, Wednesday told the Commission of Inquiry probing the activities of the secretariat that the procedure by which a witness gave his evidence-in-chief did not follow laid-down rules.He, therefore, appealed to the commission to ensure that the right thing was done.He said the commission gave witnesses the opportunity to rehash their evidence-in-chief after they had made their submission and had been cross-examined by counsel present.Mr Ampaw said the commission did that when it got to its turn to cross-examine the witnesses, a situation he said made him worried about the deliberations at the commission's sitting Wednesday.But the Chairman of the commission, Mr Justice Isaac Douse, quickly rebutted, saying that the probe was not a courtroom and that they had to play some advocacy role for witnesses who had some difficulty.The case in reference by Mr Ampaw was that of the Manager of Dorotpress Engineering Ser-vices, Mr Theophilus Pesseh, a witness, who submitted memoranda to the commission on an outstanding balance of ¢62.4 million in respect of work he had done for the secretariat.Mr Justice Douse said the memoranda submitted by Mr Pesseh was not clear because the language could not be read and understood so he was given an opportunity by the commission to submit his case in a local language of his choice.Mr Pesseh said he was .given an initial payment of ¢10 million by Dr Wereko- Brobby at the AU village while the remaining ¢62.4 million was not paid.He said Dr Wereko-Brobbey, through a contractor, called Arikamah and gave him contract to undertake plumbing works at the village.Mr Pesseh said he completed plumbing work on 13 houses at the village but Dr Wereko-Brobbey personally paid him only ¢10 million, which he took out of a polythene bag when he visited the site.He said Dr Wereko-Brobbey often visited the project site personally with polythene bag containing money to pay workers.Mr Pesseh said the workers including masons and carpenters normally formed long queues to receive their money on daily basis from Dr Wereko-Brobbey at the village. The witness was cross-examined by Mr Ampaw.On whether he had any document to show that he had entered into a contract with his client to render services to the secretariat, Mr Pesseh said he had no document to that effect but stated that orally he had a contractual agreement with Dr Wereko-Brobbey and that it was based on that that he (Dr Wereko-Brobbey) paid him ¢10 million.Mr Ampaw maintained that his client had no business with Mr Pesseh because he did not contract him to undertake any work for the secretariat.He, therefore, directed Mr Pesseh to contact the said Mr Ankamah for his outstanding balance.A member of the commission, Madam Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, told the witness that he had a serious difficulty because he did not have any document to prove the fact that he was contracted by the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat to work for the secretariat.She, therefore, asked Mr Pesseh to provide the commission with names and contact addresses of witnesses, if he had, to enable them to ascertain the truth of his assertions.Mr Justice Douse told Mr Pesseh that if he could not provide witnesses to corroborate his claim then he had to contact Mr Ankamah who sublet that work to him for his balance.The Chief Executive Officer of Starship Ventures, Mr Felix Quartey, said he had obtained judgement in his favour against the Ghana @50 Secretariat to pay him his outstanding balance with interest totalling GH¢120,159.27.He said the outstanding balance was GH¢72,538, which the secretariat defaulted in paying, a situation which compelled him to seek relief at the court of law.The Manager of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Mr Kwaku Manu-Asiamah, told the commission that the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat owed two companies, Novotec and Adhro, that undertook the work at the park.He said Novotec provided air conditioners which were fixed at the memorial park but had not been paid his ¢ 150,300,000 while Adhro had an outstanding balance of ¢721,934,275 to be paid.
Source:Daily Graphic

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