Gloria Akufo and Alfred Woyome
Barring any last-minute hitches, the Attorney General (AG) and the Minister of Justice, is today expected to orally examine National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, over the GH¢51.2 million judgement debt he received from the State.
This follows the dismissal of an application filed by lawyers of the embattled businessman at Supreme Court last week seeking to temporarily halt the examination.
The three-member panel of judges presided over by Justice William Atuguba had held that the matter before the court had been settled by CI 98, 2016, insisting that the motion was misconceived.
Woyome had filed a writ at the Supreme Court seeking to reverse a ruling by a judge of the apex court – Justice A.A. Benin – who granted an application by the Attorney General, to cross-examine Woyome orally in connection with attempts by the State to retrieve the money.
The embattled NDC financier argued that Article 134 (b) of the 1992 Constitution gives him the opportunity to apply for a stay of Justice Benin’s decision by asking that a panel of three justices vary, discharge and or reverse the order.
However, a Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, argued that the provision cited by Woyome upon which he filed the application does not apply since the State is merely attempting to enforce an earlier judgement of the same court.
Mr Yeboah Dame, who led a team of state prosecutors to the court, welcomed the ruling of the court, saying that Woyome’s frivolous applications were aimed at frustrating the retrieval of the money he fraudulently received.
Justice Benin had also placed an embargo on the shares owned by the businessman in 11 companies, following his indebtedness to the state.
Shares affected include those in Anator Holding Company Limited, AAW Management Consulting Services Limited, Green Township Security Services Company Limited, Anator Construction Company Limited, Woyome Brothers International Limited and Stewise Anator Company Limited.
The rest are Stewise Shopping Company Limited, Green Townships and Industrial Parks Development Company Limited, Anator Power Company Limited, Green Townships (Gh) Company Limited and Special Economic Zone International Trading Company Limited.
Per the order, Mr. Woyome was also to appear before the court to explain why the embargo should not be made permanent.
It followed a motion filed by the Attorney General on May 17, 2017, praying the court to impose a “charging order” on all the shares owned by the businessman in the 11 companies.
The order also followed a motion filed by the AG on June 2, 2017, praying the court to be given the opportunity to orally examine the businessman.
The oral examination, the court ordered, would border on whether Mr. Woyome owed the state any debt and whether he had “any property for satisfying the judgement of the court, dated July 29, 2014.
Also, the oral examination, according to the court, would be premised on whether the businessman “has any means of satisfying the judgement of this court, dated July 29, 2014” and the manner in which he “used the money paid to him by the Republic of Ghana.”
Day Of Reckoning
At a recent media interaction at the Flagstaff House, President Akufo-Addo said the day of reckoning for Woyome was in sight to retrieve the fraudulently acquired GH¢51.2 million from him.
“Woyome’s money is a subject of all kinds of legal processes; those legal processes some day will come to an end. I know there will come a day for reckoning on that matter,” the president told journalists.
By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson