Former Works and Housing Minister, Mr Samuel Atta Akyea has been explaining why nobody has been prosecuted yet in the ‘abandoned’ Saglemi Housing project even though the government has given an indication of some wrongdoings in the project.
He says the case is with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service and the Attorney-General, and it is up to them to conclude their investigations and prefer charges against the suspects in line with criminal processes.
To Mr Atta Akyea, as far as he was concerned, before he left office as the sector minister, he was aware the police had already taken statements from a former sector Minister, Mr Collins Dauda and former Chief Director of the ministry, Alhaji Ziblim.
The rest, he said was up to those empowered with the investigative and prosecutorial powers under the rule of law to proceed with the matter.
Atta Akyea’s explanation
On Accra based radio station, Oman FM’s Boiling Point programme on Tuesday night, April 27, 2021, the matter came up for discussion, and the panelists and host sought to question government’s slow attitude or inaction in bringing the said culprits to book four years after a New Patriotic Party government, if indeed there was any wrongdoing.
Mr Atta Akyea’s name came up for discussion and a response he gave to Parliament on the issue when he was responding to a question in the Chamber
His response in Parliament repeated the fact that the units were reduced from 5000 to 1502 whilst the cost remained the same and even went ahead to state that US$80million representing 40 percent of the amount was paid to the contractor as mobilisation without a guarantee, which should have been the norm.
The host and panelists of the radio programme therefore sought to question what Mr Atta Akyea did to solve the issue whilst he was still the sector minister.
Mr Atta Akyea therefore phoned into the programme and explained he cannot be blamed, since as a political appointee, he did what he could and reported the matter to the police. He said he reported the matter to the president and the police CID was asked to conduct investigations.
He indicated he was aware the CID has taken statements from a number of people including Collins Dauda, the then sector Minister who started the project and the then Chief Director, Alhaji Ziblim.
Asked why he did not ensure that they were brought to book, Mr Atta Akyea questioned if he was the “IGP”. He said he only indicated that from the facts he was aware of, there was corruption involved and the criminal process ought to take them up but he [Atta Akyea] cannot be held for not doing anything about it.
He insisted it was up to the Inspector General of Police and the CID together with the Attorney-General to allow the criminal process to work and said the CID boss is the one to answer why the case is not moving forward.
He said he even initiated moves to continue the project and that was why the Ghana Institute of Surveyors offered to evaluate the project for the government as their contribution to national development so as to enable government to work to complete the project.
Mr Atta Akyea said a criminal case has no expiry date and that what was important at the moment was for government to look for the additional funding to continue and complete the project and deal with the “criminals” also.
“As for the criminals they will not run away, they [police] will take them to court,” he said.