Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Woyome's case back

By Stephen Kwabena Effah
Friday, July 19,2013
The civil suit initiated by the State to retrieve the GH¢ 51.2 million paid to businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome bounced back at the Accra Commercial Court yesterday, after almost a year of suspension.

Hearing of the case was suspended in August last year to allow Mr. Woyome challenged a decision of the court that granted the State leave to amend its amended case to introduce the element of fraud.

It was also to allow the Supreme Court determine a matter brought before it by former Attorney General, Martin A. Amidu, against Waterville Holdings (BVI) and Mr. Woyome which bothered on the same issues

Following the determination of the two cases by the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, proceedings at the Commercial Court   resumed yesterday, but with an in-camera hearing for the two parties involved.

At about 9:40 am, the Chief State Attorney handling the case, Dorothy Afiriyie Ansah, Mr. Woyome and his lawyer, Robert Kpatsah were called to the presiding judge’s chamber where they spent about 15 minutes
Both parties were tight-lipped on what transpired as they declined to speak to journalists, except the next adjourned date, October 30.

On February 29, 2012 the court granted leave to the Attorney General to substitute its amended writ of summons and statement of claim with a new one  it introduced fresh evidence of fraud with which Mr.Woyome is alleged to have secured the judgement amount.

In the amended statement of claim, the  AG is contending  that the judgement debt was procured through “fraudulent misrepresentation,” in that there was no contract between the government and Mr. Woyome, hence he lacked legal capacity to issue the suit that resulted in the said judgement debt.

Further, it averred that the contract that Mr.Woyome claimed to have done project engineering on was not in conformity with the constitution, arguing that the two contracts signed between the government and Waterville for the rehabilitation of the Ohene Djan and the upgrading of El-Wak stadia on April 26, 2006 was an international business transaction which ought to have been given a Parliamentary approval

Consequently, the AG is seeking an order to set aside all the processes filed and proceedings, as well as the judgement debt in the suit number No RPC/152/10 as null and void.

The AG is seeking a declaration that agreements between the government and Vamed/Waterville were null, void and without effect whatsoever in accordance with Article 181(5) of the constitution to have grounded any cause of action in Mr. Woyome or any claimant pursuant to such a contract.

The AG is further seeking an order to set aside all the processes filed and proceedings in suit number No RPC/152/10 titled Afred  Agbesi Woyome vrs Attorney General and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning as null and void because Mr. Woyome lacked legal capacity to institute the said suit and therefore the consent judgement of June 14, 2010 are null and void.

Also, among other things, the AG wants a declaration that the terms of settlement filed in the court’s registry on June 4, 2010 to the effect that Mr. Woyome be paid the sum of GH 51,283,480.59 in three instalments of GH 17, 094,495.53 was procured by mistake due to fraudulent misrepresentations by Mr. Woyome.

The payment of the GHS 51.2 million to Mr. Woyome, which has been a hue and cry in the country, was captured in the Auditor General’s Report.

Currently, Mr. Woyome is being tried for fraud and causing financial loss to the State in the aftermath of an interim investigation into the judgement debt saga by the Economic and Organised Crime Organization.

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