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Friday, March 26, 2010

SFO Are Comedians: Kofi Jumah


Jumah Maxwell

A former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Maxwell Kofi Jumah, has rubbished claims by the Kumasi Serious Fraud Office (SFO), accusing him of re-allocating a building site designated to the Ghana Traditional Caterers Association (GTCA) to a different firm, the All State Construction Limited.

Speaking on an Accra-based radio station, Oman FM yesterday, Mr. Jumah unequivocally described the SFO as comedians, which come out to only entertain the public when “Agya Koo’s comic movies had run out of the system,” and told the host of the programme to brush aside the story, and talk about what he termed as something better.

“If SFO is investigating the matter, they should include the Squadron Yard and the FBI, I am waiting for them,” he stated. Mr. Jumah, currently the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asokwa, is said to have illegally re-allocated the site to one Kingsley Nana Asante of All State Construction firm, for the construction of a shopping mall on a Build-Operate and transfer basis.

The findings of the SFO indicated that a Memorandum of Understanding, dated September 30, 2003, was signed between the KMA and All State Construction Limited.

The document was signed by the then Metro Chief Executive without a name, with the then Metro Coordinating Director, Albert Anthony Ampong, and Metro Engineer, Charles Apomah Mensah, as witnesses. The SFO, in its recommendation, outlined that the Ghana Traditional Caterers Association took over the building located at the Kejetia from the All State Construction, which had forcibly and illegally possessed the property.

Further on the radio show, he said Kejetia was a lorry park run by the KMA, and nobody else, recalling that under former president Jerry John Rawlings, the World Bank assisted the then government with a loan to reconstruct Kejetia, but insisted that the traders be given a befitting location before being ejected. “What happened was that the Queenmother of the Kumasi Chop Bars Association was married to a former KMA boss’ sibling, and so she was given a piece of land to resettle the chop bar operators,” he explained, adding that the Queenmother, whose name he did not mention, rented the stores she had erected on the said piece of land out to banks and other business operators, and pocketed the money.

Continuing, he said the Queenmother came back, requesting for another piece of land, to which, he (Mr. Jumah) objected, and told her that until she had made plans to give back those stores to the rightful owners (chop bar operators), her demand would not be met.

He noted that another area was given to one Kingsley Nana Asante of All State Construction, who was supposed to develop the area, on condition that the stores would be allocated to any interested person, other than the chop-bar operators.

Mr. Jumah argued that the Kumasi Chop Bar Association’s Queenmother wanted to use any means possible to hold onto the whole of Kejetia, but, according to him, “as long as I live, it will never happen in and out of KMA, challenging her to produce documents to back her claims. “We should be fair and tell the truth, she had committed a lot of things which ought to have sent her to jail,” he expressed angrily. Asked by the host if he had no regrets over what he was accused of, the Asokwa MP concluded, “I did a thorough job, I still stand by it.”

Meanwhile, the SFO has upheld that the rule of law should take its course, directing the KMA to maintain the decision of a Kumasi High Court, which entered judgment on November 22, 2006, in favour of the GTCA.

It said the proper action must be taken to protect the interest of the state in general, and specifically that the KMA. The recommendation follows intensive investigations into the illegal takeover of the project, which had originally been allocated to the GTCA in 2000, with express approval of the then Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Nuamah Donkor.

Source: The Chronicle

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