Despite having absolutely no track record about road construction, Ghana’s COCOBOD has gifted the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, aka Wuntumi, a road contract worth a whopping US$ 45 million without going through competitive bidding or legal procurement process, Whatsup News can report.
This questionable contract was given to Wuntumi on November 12, 2020, just about the same time leaked documents from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Special Prosecutors Office (SPO) revealed that since December 2019, President Akufo Addo has swept under the carpet a damning investigation revealing that the COCOBOD boss, Joseph Boahene Aidoo and a suspected accomplice had stolen some GHC 21.6 million of taxpayers’ money in a dubious insecticide contract.
The latest scandal from COCOBOD contained in a leaked document referenced, GCB/GHA/SS-CF/26.30KM/V.I/01, the COCOBOD had virtually given free money to Wuntumi’s company, Hallmark Civil Engineering Limited, which was officially registered as a company barely two years ago.
It involves the construction of a 26 kilometer road at Dadieso-Akontombra in the Western North Region. Yet, Wuntumi is known for both legal and illegal gold mining operations, it is, therefore, curious how he racked up enough track record to secure such a mouth-watering road contract.
Information picked up from insiders indicates that the contract was given without recourse to competitive bidding or adherence to legal procurement procedures.
“We are pleased to inform you that Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has approved the award of Contract for the Construction of Dadieso-Akontombra Road (4.00-26.30), Awaso-Asawinso (Bibiani Jn) Western North Region to your company,” the leaked confirmation letter to Wuntumi reads.
The only condition precedent was for Wuntumi to sign a contract agreement upon submission of a performance bond or security for 10 percent of the contract price issued by a reputable bank or 30 percent of the contract price from an insurance company. “Failure to submit the performance security within Twenty-one days (21) days from the date of the letter shall constitute sufficient grounds for the annulment of the award contract,” COCOBOD wrote.
This is the second leaked information about how the NPP’s Ashanti Regional Chairman has been given preferential treatment by state institutions.
Shortly after the NPP assumed power in 2017, the Ghana Export and Import Bank (EximBank) reportedly advanced some GHC 8 million to Wuntumi to cultivate maize.
Insiders at Eximbank have revealed how Wuntumi has simply not repaid the money more than three years after he was supposed to have started a maize farm.
Wontumi has often bragged about his wealth, most of which came from questionable gold mining operations. It is therefore curious why he was granted the loan for farming.
Wuntumi was just one of 85 people, mostly linked to the ruling party, who have virtually taken free money from the Eximbank, as massive corruption threatens to drown the Akufo Addo administration.
There are suspicions that all the monies and contracts given to Wuntumi as mostly decoys meant to re-route funds to the Ashanti Region, the political stronghold of the NPP for the December 7, elections.