The Attorney General’s Department has filed an application seeking the permission of the Supreme Court to transfer to the National Security four properties belonging to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who fraudulently took GH¢51.2 million from the state.
The application is expected to be moved today by Deputy Attorney General (AG), Godfred Yeboah Dame.
The move is as a result of challenges the licensed auctioneer is facing in his bid to sell the properties to offset the GH¢51.2 million Woyome fraudulently received as judgement debt.
The application is necessitated by the fact that the AG’s department cannot on its own transfer the properties to the National Security though it is another branch of government, as that would amount to defying the express orders of the Supreme Court for the properties to be sold through public auctions.
“The auctioneer has been encountering numerous difficulties in conducting a sale of the properties by public auction, as all potential buyers who express interest in buying subsequently shy away citing a number of factors including the very circumstances of the instant matter,” the AG’s application indicated.
The properties involved are two residential properties at Ameri Court, Trassaco Valley, Accra, another residential property at Kpehe in Accra, as well as plant and machinery for quarry belonging to Anator Quarry Limited, Mafi, Volta Region.
The Supreme Court presided over by a single judge, Justice Alfred A. Benin, on July 2019 ordered the state to go ahead and sell four properties of beleaguered businessman, Alfred Woyome, to defray the money he fraudulently took from the state when the NDC was in power.
This was after the court had found that Woyome had colluded with the defunct UT Bank to hide the properties from the state.
The properties include three residential properties – two at Trassaco Valley and one at Kpehe (both in Accra), as well as a quarry at Mamfi in the Volta Region.
The state has also indicated that it has discovered two more properties belonging to the businessman and will take steps to sell them off.
The Ministry for National Security proposed that some properties belonging to Woyome be transferred to the state to offset the GH¢51.2 million fraudulently paid him as judgement debt.
The ministry, in a letter signed by the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, and addressed to the AG, said they are proffering the advice due to the difficulties the auctioneer is facing in the sale of the properties.
The letter further pointed out that potential buyers were staying away from the properties, some of which are located at Trassaco Valley, Accra, due to fears that they could lose them in the event that there was a change in government.
Following challenges faced by the licensed auctioneer to sell the properties through public auction as ordered by the Supreme Court, the AG’s Department is seeking the permission of the court to transfer the four properties to the National Security.
The application states that the National Security Council, pursuant to discussions between the Minister of National Security and the licensed auctioneer, has expressed an interest in acquiring the properties.
It further states that the National Security considers the location of all the properties as very vital for some of its operations and is desirous of assuming control and ownership of same.
“It is our respectful view that it will amount to the same if the National Security which is an organ of government acquires the said properties for its work, and the total values of the properties set off against the judgement debt,” the application added.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak