Get all your Ghana news here!















Press Release

NPP, May 24, 2012



Ladies and gentlemen of the media:
We have invited you here to talk to you about the ninety-four million euro (€94,000,000) settlement money given to Construction Pioneers (CP). The former Attorney-General has issued a statement in which she seeks to absolve herself from blame. Further, the NDC tabloids have been striving, albeit vainly to establish that the payment of settlement amounts to CP has arisen out of negligence or lack of action by the NPP administration. This media encounter is meant to disembowel the GoG – CP saga and let the good people of Ghana know the sequence of events. It is the contention of the Minority NPP group in Parliament that as in the payment of several other judgment debts by the NDC government, through the conspiracy of a cabal, good money has been given away for free.

The three contracts of the Biriwa – Takoradi Road Project (BTRP), the Assin Praso –Yamoransa Road Project and the Akim Oda Area Roads contracts were all entered into between CP and the Ministry of Roads and Transport on December 5, 1996 two days before the Presidential and Parliamentary elections of 1996.


It is important to state, ladies and gentlemen, that the Biriwa – Takoradi Road Project (BTRP), the Assin Praso – Yamoransa Road Project and the Akim Oda Area Roads contracts were all awarded to CP as part of the settlement of disputes which had arisen out of earlier contracts awarded to self same CP.

The Biriwa – Takoradi Road Project (BTRP) was awarded to Construction Pioneers (CP) in 1996. The contract provided for the construction of an asphaltic concrete overlay of the Biriwa – Takoradi section of the Accra – Cape Coast – Takoradi Highway. CP and the Ministry of Roads and Transport, as part of the contract negotiation, agreed on rates for the BTRP project.

The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) however later discovered that CP had “loaded” or “padded” the rates in the negotiated contract which action had increased the contract price by 44 million DM. Indeed, it later surfaced that the DM44 million represented a so-called loss of profit to CP in respect of the uncommenced Yamoransa – Assin Praso and the Akim Area Roads Project. This loaded contract is what Dr. Ato Quarshie, the then sector Minister, signed. When CP’s attention was drawn to this, and, upon the insistence of the GHA, agreement was reached that the “padded” rates should be unloaded from the contract price.

In 2001, it was found out that some payments had been effected to CP on the BTRP based on what Ghana government suspected, were fraudulently “padded” rates. Clearly, therefore, the “padded” rates which CP had promised to unload were after all not unloaded! Accordingly, in mid 2001 government suspended payments for works done under the BTRP contract when it surfaced that the padded rates or loaded amounts were the ones that had been captured in the Payment Schedule Agreement. Works on the Assin Praso - Yamoransa Project as well as the Akim Oda Area Roads Projects never commenced.

On 14th March and 5th April 2002, CP commenced arbitration proceedings against the Government of Ghana. They sought to claim the following:

1. €26,618,747.88 inclusive of interest up to that date in addition to interest thereafter in respect of unpaid certificates.

2. €8,637.03 (inclusive of interest through that date) plus interest thereafter in respect of design fees.

It is significant to note, ladies and gentlemen, that all three contracts name the laws of Ghana as the applicable law. In effect, the BTRP contract provided that in the event of any conflict the applicable law is the law in force in Ghana. When the arbitration commenced, the Republic of Ghana claimed that CP had engaged in fraud with the padding of the BTRP contract rates which had resulted in the transfer of about DM48 million to CP’s accounts and on 4th and 5th March 2003 Ghana argued and requested the Arbitral Tribunal to decline jurisdiction to enable the matter of fraud to be dealt with in Ghana under the relevant law which is the Arbitration Act, 1961 (Act 38). Now, Section 27(2) of the law provides:

“Where an agreement between the parties provides that differences which may arise in the future between them shall be referred to arbitration, and a difference which arises involves the question of whether a party has been guilty of fraud, the High Court may, so far as may be necessary to enable that question to be determined by the court,

(a) Order that the agreement shall cease to have effect, and

(b) Give leave to revoke the authority of an arbitrator or umpire appointed by or by virtue of the agreement.”

Following after the jurisdictional objection, Ghana applied before the High Court to revoke the authority of the Tribunal. The court granted this application on April 17, 2003.


On 16th July 2003 CP appealed against the High Court’s revocation order. The appeal is still pending. Notwithstanding the revocation order issued by the High Court of Ghana, the Arbitral Tribunal went ahead with the arbitration and made its first award on December 22, 2003 rejecting Ghana’s jurisdictional objection.

On October 30, 2007, a District Court in Washington DC, USA ordered CP to make a settlement proposal to Ghana on or before November 13, 2007 and for Ghana to either accept or make a reasoned counter offer on or before November 27, 2007.

Indeed on November 7, 2007 CP wrote to GoG to propose an “overall settlement between CP and Government of Ghana” in which they claimed a total of €153.546 million as at November 30, 2007. They however insisted that they were not keen to pursue their total claims and called for mediation. Later CP wrote GoG and proposed through their attorneys on November 13, 2007 that they would accept €95 million “in full and final settlement of all outstanding matters”. Further, CP called for “a resolution of the collateral disputes between CP and GoG i.e. tax issues through the date of the settlement, conclusion of the “fraud” investigation of CP, Robert Ploetner (MD of CP), Bernard Ploetner, CP’s Ghanaian employees and any other such matters”.

Earlier, we have spoken about the fraud issue involving “loading” or “padding” of contract rates. CP had agreed to unload the rates, Later it was discovered that CP had been paid the loaded rates which had surprisingly been captured in the Payment Schedule Agreement. Government insisted on recovering the over payment. Did it make any legal or financial sense to agree to settle and pay €94 million to CP when government had insisted and CP had conceded to “loaded” rates which had been used to pay CP?
The BTRP, the APYRP, the earlier Obuase Town Roads contract and the Accra City Roads & City-Centre Rehabilitation contracts did not allow for tax exemptions without Parliamentary approval. There were no Parliamentary approvals for tax exemptions, so it meant CP ought to have paid taxes. Taxes were not paid. This also became a subject of litigation. Indeed, the Public Accounts Committee has established that CP owes GoG DM284 million (€145 million) and GH˘5.2 million in tax liabilities at the time GoG entered into agreement to pay the company €94 million as settlement payments (ref. Daily Graphic March 2, 2012). In the face of the pendency of such a strong case for the State why did anybody effect or cause to be effected payment to CP?

On August 3, 2004 the Tribunal issued its second partial award and ordered Ghana government to pay CP the sum of €24,617,524.86 and (old) ˘22,168,951,015.83 including interest as of March 1, 2004 in respect of the CP’s claim for unpaid certificates. In addition, GoG was to pay €7,218.60 in respect of CP’s claim for design fees.

On October 2, 2006 the Tribunal issued its third and final award of €1,316,185.82 as costs and fees to CP against Ghana but rejected 3 out of CP’s 4 remaining claims. CP was claiming €15,225,359.23. The Tribunal also held that Ghana should pay $270,000 in arbitration costs and $1,568,481.08 in attorneys’ fees.

When the Tribunal in October 2006 issued its final award on the BTRP in which the Tribunal rejected 3 of CP’s claims and drastically reduced the fourth claim, granting only €1.3 million out of €15 million, CP started to sense a weakening of its position.
On November 2, 2006 exactly a month after the third and final award issued by the Arbitral Tribunal in respect of the BTRP, Ghana filed a motion in High Court to set aside these three awards (the first and Second partial awards and the final award). The motion is still pending before the High Court.

While CP’s appeal against the revocation order is still pending before the Court of Appeal, and the motion to set aside the awards is still pending before the High Court, CP sought to enforce the awards issued by the Arbitral Tribunal in a District Court in Washington DC, USA. The District Court stayed proceedings pending the determination of either CP’s appeal against the revocation order of the High Court or the Government of Ghana’s motion to set aside the awards given by the Arbitral Tribunal.

On April 10, 2007 in respect of the OTRP, the Tribunal issued its final award. GoG did not contest liability in this matter. Significantly, the Tribunal adopted all GoG’s arguments and their method of calculation and awarded CP €1.7 million out of the €5 million CP sought for interest payment. Clearly, this ought to have further strengthened GoG’s negotiating capacity in the CP affairs.
The May 25, 2007 District of Colombia Appeals Court ruling gives deference to the High Court of Ghana as having primary jurisdiction in arbitrations of such nature. Additional muscle is thus provided to the hand of Ghana in its engagement with CP in these contracts.

This contract was entered into by CP and the Ministry of Roads and Transport on December 5, 1996 for the construction of the asphaltic concrete overlay of the Assin Praso - Yamoransa road. Even though the contract was entered into in 1996, CP was not authorized to commence the execution of the contract until December 6, 2000, a day before the general elections of 2000. This was however subject to the performance of certain conditions precedent which required CP to submit a performance security and also fulfill insurance requirements. CP did not meet those conditions.

Later, however, CP submitted a claim for work done up to March 31, 2001. Additionally, CP made claims for expenses relating to mobilization and some preliminary works as well as for expenses incurred as a result of suspension of the contract project. On July 5, 2002 CP requested for arbitration on these matters. Indeed, subsequently, CP requested the Arbitral Tribunal to stay the arbitration proceedings in this contract pending the determination of the issues in the BTRP contract. This position of CP notwithstanding the Tribunal is seeking to proceed with the arbitration.
The claim of CP in the Assin Praso – Yamoransa road project is three-pronged:

1. €665,441.24 (DM1,301,489.95) for the 1st certificate inclusive of interest up to November 30, 2001 plus accruing interest until payment is effected;

2. €944,356 (DM1,847,000) for demobilization and repatriation of equipment and expatriate staff; and

3. €12,766,700.63 (DM24,969,496.10) for lost profits and other damages.

The position of the Republic in this matter up to the time of change of government from NPP to NDC in 2009 was that the contract was never commenced because CP was unable to comply with the performance security and insurance requirements which operated as conditions precedent to the contract.

This contract involved the construction of 207km of road from Akim Oda to Nkawkaw, New Abirem to Asamankese and Akim Oda to Kade. This contract was entered into by CP and the Ministry of Roads and Transport on December 5, 1996. As in the Assin Praso – Yamoransa contract, the Oda project was never commenced due to failure of CP to fulfill the necessary pre-conditions in respect of performance security and insurance requirements. On September 6, 2002 CP requested for arbitration for what it alleged as a suspension of contract even though no notice of commencement had been issued in this contract. In the face of the non-issuance of notice to commence work, the contractor, CP, never took possession of the sites.

The claim by CP is for €45,881,531.63 (DM89,736,476) representing what they claim to be profits lost by CP plus accruing interest until paid.

The position of the Republic in this matter up to the time of change of government from NPP to NDC in 2009 was that CP’s failure to commence the contract is not attributable to non-performance on the part of GoG but rather due to CP’s failure to fulfill the conditions precedent stipulated in the contract. CP, after GoG had stated their position, called on the Arbitral Tribunal to suspend arbitration proceedings on the contract. In spite of this the Arbitral Tribunal gave an indication that they would proceed with the case.

The Ministry of Roads and Transport and CP entered into an agreement for the completion of outstanding works on the Obuasi township roads. This was on July 12, 2000. All construction works under the contract have been concluded and GoG has made some payments. It is abundantly clear that there are outstanding payments under the contract and CP has a legitimate claim for which reason CP initiated Arbitral proceedings for the recovery of amounts due. CP’s claim was for a total of (old) ˘34,447,411,158.95. On April 10, 2007 the ICC Tribunal finally ruled in favour of CP and ordered the Republic to pay CP an amount of €7,752,898.39 plus prevailing interest rates of German banks beginning October 1, 2006 until full payment is made.
Arbitration cost of $420,000 and legal cost of $304,000 were also awarded and Ghana was ordered to pay this within 30 days from the notification of the final award which was on March 11, 2007. If Ghana did not pay up the legal and arbitration cost was to attract an interest of 6.25% per annum.

The position of Ghana in this matter was that the Republic accepts its obligation in respect of the Obuasi Town roads project but argued that since substantial overpayments have been made to CP in respect of the Biriwa – Takoradi Road Project it will make sense to sort that major case out to enable both GoG and CP to know their respective status of obligations before any further payments by either party could be effected.

Notwithstanding, following the failure of the Republic to effect payment as directed by the ICC Tribunal in this matter, CP sought to enforce the final award in a High Court in London.
Ladies and gentlemen of the mass media, these are the hard bare facts underpinning the GoG and CP engagement.

As has already been mentioned the first three contracts BTRP, APYRP and the AOARC all named the Ghana law as the applicable law. It appears very strange that the Arbitral Tribunal will persist in relying on international law concepts. It is the equally strange that despite a High Court of Ghana’s revocation order the Tribunal proceeded and is proceeding with its arbitration in the face of jurisdictional objection.

By a majority decision the Arbitral Tribunal has been issuing orders and awards against GoG. It is instructive to note that one of the arbitrators, Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante dissented from the Awards noting inter alia, that the majority’s reliance on international law concepts was inappropriate, as Ghana law is the law which is to govern the arbitration.

For the avoidance of doubt it is important to advert attention to the following pertinent issues and to ask the relevant questions:

1. First, the negotiations in respect of such capital intensive negotiated contracts between CP and the Ministry of Roads and Transport which was done in 1996 was poorly conducted as GHA was not involved at the onset.

2. The agreements were international business transactions and, by Article 181(5), Parliament ought to have approved of them. None of the negotiated contracts had Parliamentary approval.

3. The position of GoG had been that CP had evaded tax. It is only Parliament which by Article 174 (2) can waive or vary tax in favour of any person or authority. Parliament never granted any waiver or variation so CP must pay tax for any works done.

4. CP insists that they had tax exemption. CP should tell Ghanaians who granted the tax exemption to them. Was it the then Minister, Dr Ato Quarshie who they had the negotiations with? Even if it is true that Dr. Ato Quarshie granted tax exemption to CP it would be null and void because it violates Article 174(2) and (3). It is noteworthy that the same Dr. Ato Quarshie gave evidence as CP’s witness against the government of Ghana in arbitration proceedings in London.

5. CP had agreed to unload the loaded rates upon the insistence of GHA so why did they not unload the rates after all?

6. CP in all these made claims for design fees. Given the fact that the contract involved asphaltic overlay which did not involve any project design why did CP submit claims for design fees? If any design of asphalt mix or thickness had to be done, that was going to be part of CP’s own work design, and hence would not and should not involve any claims. Why did government cave in to make such payments?

7. Why should the NDC government proceed to make payments to CP when GoG had earlier sought and obtained revocation order from the High Court and filed motion to set aside the awards by the Arbitral Tribunal?

8. A contract cannot be deemed to have been entered into if the contractor, in this case CP, fails to provide performance security and insurances for the works and other specified matters. In both the Yamoransa – Assin Praso Road Project and the Akim Oda Area Roads Projects CP failed to provide Performance Security and Insurances for the works and that explains why no issue of notice to commence work was effected. That is why CP could not, and did not commence the works.

9. In the two contracts of the Yamoransa – Assin Praso Roads project and the Akim Oda Area Roads project the contractor, CP, never mobilized to site and hence there is no evidence that:

(a) site camps were provided within the project corridor;

(b) plant/equipment were moved to the site

(c) physical works were done on any sections of the roads
There cannot be any liability on the part of Ghana or GoG to CP in these circumstances and government had no business making any payments to CP in respect of these. Even if CP mobilized to site they did so at their own risk and expense since their failure to satisfy the conditions precedent in the contract rendered the contract ineffective and unenforceable.

10. It is abundantly clear from the above matters that in respect of the Yamoransa- Assin Praso Road Project and the Akim Oda Area Roads Project CP cannot legitimately make and sustain any claim.

11. In the Biriwa-Takoradi Road Project some works had been done but rates had been inflated or loaded which needed to be unloaded and hence GOG was required to sort out any overpayment to CP.

12. In the Obuasi Town Roads works had been done and payment had to be done. Government dutifully accepted responsibility.

13. In the two projects which government acknowledged works had been done and payments had to be affected apart from the padded rates in the BTRP, taxes had to be paid because there were no tax exemptions or variations approved by Parliament.

14. Clearly, the people who negotiated the settlement, those who authorized or caused the authorization of payment and those who effected payment of the dole out to CP amounting to 94million Euros have by their commissions contributed to paying for wrongful claims and caused serious financial loss to the State.

a. It is pertinent to note that in these claims by CP on GoG, the country was represented by Mr. Bashiru the former Chief Executive of GHA. Indeed, Mr. Bashiru was the Chief Executive when Dr. Ato Quashie negotiated the contracts. He has retired from GHA but is still alive. It is instructive to note that Mr. Bashiru is the current chairman of the GHA Board. Why was he not contacted before whatever settlement amount was paid out? What was his stance on CP in the 2001 – 2008? What is his stance now?

b. Mr. Swanzy Baffoe was the Deputy Chief Executive at GHA in charge of Development. He has since retired from the Authority but is still alive, why was he not contacted?

c. Mr. Asare of the GHA was a key officer with respect to the project in question at the era of Dr Ato Quashie. He has been part of the team that has been representing Ghana in the CP contracts. He ought to have been contacted. Why would anybody neglect to contact such a person and proceed to engage in any so-called settlement?

d. Mr. Orleans is a retired principal State Attorney who is one of the lawyers who represented Ghana. He would be of tremendous service. Why was he not contacted?

e. Mr. James Quashie was a consultant at the Ministry of Finance who was contracted by the former Minister of Finance, Hon. Yaw Osafo Maafo to review and advise GoG on the various claims by CP. He has retired. He spoke for Ghana and he will speak for Ghana on this matter.

f. Ms Ama Gaizie, the Solicitor-General was the coordinator of all the meetings that the Attorney-General summoned in respect of the CP affairs. She knows a lot. She knows the position of Ghana in these matters.

15. At this juncture one must know the role of the then Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Idrisu and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Dufour in this deal. The Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Idrisu was the one who called for settlement in spite of the abundance of evidence that CP has no strong case against Ghana.

i. How did the Attorney-General start negotiations to settle when she knew that her predecessors had sued CP for fraud and had in addition filed suits to vacate the awards to CP in respect of the BTRP.

ii. How could the Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Idrisu, alone go ahead to negotiate such colossal amounts without assistance or collaboration from the Minister of Finance?

iii. Apparently the initial instructions for such payment emanated from the office of the Hon. Attorney-General. The critical question is, does the Minister of Finance, Dr. Duffuor take instructions from colleague Ministers or from the President in such matters that do not ensue from the budget of the A-G’s Department?

iv. Our investigations have established that there was no cabinet approval for the CP payments. “The Daily Guide” of Friday, May 18, 2012 quotes a response to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament signed by the Chief of Staff, Mr. Henry M. Newman which states inter alia: “I regret to inform you that we have not found any information in respect of Cabinet approval of the (CP) settlement Agreement “…The letter continues, “by a copy of this letter the Hon. Minister for Justice and Attorney-General (sic) is expected to liaise with you (PAC) on this to discuss possible issues arising therefrom”. How did it happen that the Minister of Finance, Dr. Dufuor effected or caused to be effected the payment of ˘2.25 trillion from the Consolidated Fund to CP without Cabinet approval?

v. A decision to pay such a colossal amount of €94 million, that is, over two hundred and twenty-five million Ghana cedis (GH˘225 million) or two trillion, two hundred and fifty billion (old) cedis which is not captured in the budget of any MDA must be approved by Cabinet or the President. His Excellency the President told the nation in January this year that if provision is made in the Budget Statement for any payment under any MDA he does not involve himself or his office in the authorization of the payment. The €94 million payment to CP is not covered in any line item under any MDA in any budget. Mr. President, did you authorize this payment?

vi. Without any shred of doubt the President knew of the payment of the over ˘2.25 trillion to CP and the circumstances surrounding it. It is impossible for the Minister of Finance, acting on his own accord, to pay out a colossal ˘2.25 trillion from the Consolidated Fund and dole it out to CP without President Mills’ knowledge and approval, in particular since there is no line item provision for it in the budget of MDA. It would only mean that the President is not in control.

vii. Finally, it is instructive to note that GoG has since November 21, 2007 filed application to set aside the BTRP awards. The question is why did the Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu and the NDC government not see to the final determination of this matter but rushed to settle?

Whose interest were the people who did the negotiation to settle serving? Ladies and gentlemen of the media, there are many more questions to be asked. Clearly, the nation has been shortchanged to the tune of €94 million which is over GH˘225 million or ˘2.25 trillion cedis.

For Priority Intervention Programmes for 2012 fiscal year the Government of the NDC could only allocate GH˘30 million to SADA; for MASLOC it could only allocate GH˘35 million; GH˘28 million for removal of schools under trees; GH˘22 million for scholarships to all Ghanaian students both home and abroad; GH˘10 million to the University of Health and Allied Sciences – Ho; GH˘10 million – University of Energy and Natural Resources – Sunyani; GH˘10 million for Malaria Vector Control Programme countrywide; GH˘2 million each for the construction of Maternity Hospital, Tema; Children’s block KBTH …….This same government finds it convenient and appropriate to give a dole out of GH˘225 million to CP. That is NDC government’s priority! There is something wrong with the prioritization agenda of the NDC.

Ladies and gentlemen, cabinet has denied authorizing the payments to CP, so who authorized the payments? The then Hon. Attorney-General, Mrs. Betty Mould-Idrisu and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kwabena Dufuor have many questions to respond to in this dole out. The President, John Evans Atta Mills, cannot be allowed to preside over such rot.

In Uganda, a case involving an over payment of sixty million dollars ($60 million) has caused the resignation of both the Attorney-General and the Minister of Finance. The two are being prosecuted in court.

As a way forward it is important for the Ministry of Finance to be strengthened with the relevant legal persons with the necessary competencies in financial contract negotiations in order for them to proffer the proper advice to the Minister. Failure to do this might result in situations where incompetent, self-seeking, fraudulent, negligent, inefficient, corrupt, fraudulent, compromised, complicit ministers might induce or convince misrepresentations to make gargantuan claims on the limited resources of State. These are perilous times for Ghana.

President Mills must immediately authorize the appropriate agencies to plunge into this CP dole out which stinks to the high heavens. The nation waits in bated breath. Or are we in for a long haul in this era of selective justice?

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your indulgence. Ghanaians are people of tremendous patience but this CP fraud and dole out is simply intolerable!

Thank you for your patience.








Release, May 18, Ghanadot - In the 6.00 pm news bulletin of Joy Fm on Monday, 15th May 2012, the station reported that a UNDP research had cited the Kufuor Administration for neglecting Agriculture and rather spending twice as much on the Military. ...More 




Release, May 24, Ghanadot - It is the contention of the Minority NPP group in Parliament that as in the payment of several other judgment debts by the NDC government, through the conspiracy of a cabal, good money has been given away for free.. ..More 


Visa changes aimed at skilled workers

WashTimes, May 24, Ghanadot - Most Americans are deeply skeptical of expanding immigration, especially in the middle of an economic slump — but a bipartisan group of senators said Tuesday that high-skilled immigrants could provide just the kind of spark the economy needs to help pull it out of a prolonged rut.  ..More



Had enough of Woyomegate?

Commentary, May 24, Ghanadot - ts easy to observe that Woyomegate is the biggest corruption case in our history of granting contracts even though there were bigger project undertakings in the past than the simple refurbishing of stadia.....More

  ABC, Australia
The EastAfrican, Kenya
African News Dimensions
Chicago Sun Times
The Economist
Reuters World - World News
All Africa Newswire
Google News
The Guardian, UK
Africa Daily
IRIN Africa
The UN News
Daily Telegraph, UK
Daily Nation, East Africa
BBC Africa News, UK
Legal Brief Africa
The Washington Post
Mail & Guardian, S. Africa
The Washington Times
Voice of America
New York Times
Vanguard, Nigeria
Christian Science Monitor
Yahoo/Agence France Presse
Ghanaian Paper
Market Place
Official Sites
Pan-African Page
Social Scene
    Currency Converter
Educational Opportunities
Job Opening
Send This Page To A Friend:

The Profile Africa Media Group