Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress, Sammy Gyamfi.

The National Communications Officer for the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi says contrary to popular opinion, Parliament was not kept in the dark about the Saglemi Housing Project.

According to him, when a decision was taken to include the infrastructure cost, which had originally been excluded and for the project to be phased, Parliament was informed about the developments.

“If you check the record produced by the Ministry (Works and Housing) in February, 2018 on this project, it says that on May 23, 2014, one week after construction had begun, a presentation was made by the contractor to the Parliamentary Committees on Water Resources and Housing, and Finance – detailed presentations of all these facts were made to them. So Parliament was not kept in the dark.”

Mr Gyamfi stated that at the time, the designs had been agreed, adding that it was also highlighted that the project would be in phases. He explained that phase one was expected to be 1,506 units and the proceeds will be used for the subsequent phases.

The NDC Communications Officer said that following the detailed presentations to the Committees, members visited the site. He emphasised that Parliament was carried along throughout the process.

“If you check paragraph 259 of the 2018 budget statement, which was approved by Parliament, presented by Ken Ofori-Atta, Parliament was informed that the job was being done in phases and that phase one was 1,506 units,” Mr Gyamfi added.

His comment comes after Attorney General’s Office preferred criminal charges against former Works and Housing Minister Collins Dauda.

This is because of his role in the controversial Saglemi Housing Project, which government officials have since 2017 described its cost, as inflated.

The Asutifi South MP, his successor, former Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, and three others, are facing 52 counts of criminal charges for intentionally misapplying public property, willfully causing financial loss to the Republic, and dishonestly causing loss to public property.

Mr Dauda was accused of making payments to companies involved in the project like Construtuora OAS Ghana In the particulars of offences, Collins Dauda 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.”

According to the details of the case, $196,428,891.66 has been spent on the Saglemi Affordable Housing Project.

The contractor is alleged to have been paid $179,904,757.78. However, investigations conducted revealed the cost of work done on the site 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.

However, Mr Gyamfi maintains that there is no evidence of criminality against Mr Dauda adding that whatever the former Minister did was in the interest of the country.

Meanwhile, the Accra High Court has granted former Housing Minister, Collins Dauda, a self-recognisance bail in the Saglemi Housing project trial.

The legislator, the first accused person, was also asked to deposit his passport with the court Registrar.