Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
A search at High Court Registry in Accra has revealed that the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department flagrantly abused the due diligence processes leading to the award of GH¢51.2 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the supposed NDC financier.
Mr. Woyome’s case appears to have resurrected because a leaked report by the just-ended Judgement Debt Commission headed by the newly-appointed Supreme Court justice, Justice Yaw Apau indicted the trial judge I.O. Tanko Amadu of awarding the whooping sum without due care.
The judgement Debt Commission report, yet to be released officially, is mired in controversy, with accusations that the Sole-Commissioner did a shoddy job but subsequently received promotion to the Supreme Court.
Results of an application for search in the ‘Woyome versus AG,’ case obtained by DAILY GUIDE showed that all the directives of Justice Tanko Amadu were not adhered to by the AG in settling Woyome’s supposed controversial judgment debt.
On whether or not a Certificate of Judgement was issued in compliance with Section 15 of the State Proceedings Act (1998) Act 555 for service on the defendant in respect of the amount of GH¢17,094,493.53 as ordered by the trial judge, the registry replied “No”.
The results showed that the order for an undertaking to be extracted from Mr. Woyome and filed in the court as ordered was never done and the order for a stay of execution of the payment of GH¢34,188,987.06 as ordered by Justice Tanko Amadu on September 2010 was also never varied by the trial court or any other court.
Furthermore, the search result showed that there was no order by a pre-trial judge for the payment of any other sum to Mr. Woyome apart from the order for the payment of GH¢17,094,493.53 which was done conditionally.
It said there was no certificate of judgement issued for the payment of the balance of GH¢34,188,987.06 to Mr. Woyome and there was also no payment of money in the suit made to the court for tax purposes.
The search finally said Mr. Woyome did not pay tax on the judgement debt.
Disrespect for court order
The AG’s Department led by then Minister Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her deputy Ebo Barton-Odro acted contrary to all the specific orders of the trial judge.
In spite of the judge’s effort, the leaked Sole-Commissioner’s Report appears to have indicted him in the whole Woyome matter.
A copy of the report of the Sole-Commissioner tasked to look into the payment of various judgment debts by the state reportedly raised serious issues about the basis and propriety to award and order the payment of judgment debt to Woyome, who thumps his chest as NDC bankroller.
Woyome claimed that the state owed him for job done in the stadia refurbishment for CAN 2008 tournament, the Sole Commissioner rubbished the claim indicting the trial judge for doing a shoddy job as well as Mrs Mould-Iddrisu.
It said “this Commission finds as a fact that there was no basis for the payment of the sum of over GH¢51million to the plaintiff, Alfred Agbesi Woyome”, describing the case as “the most notorious of all judgment debt cases that this commission was tasked to look into.”
This, the report said was because “he was not entitled to any such payment as the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) rightly found and stated in its interim report dated February 1, 2012.”
“The fact is that, Alfred Agbesi Woyome did not demonstrate in any way in his statement of claim that he ever brought into the country, through his alleged financial engineering expertise, the sum of (€1,106, 470,587) for the construction of stadia and medical facilities in the country as he claimed in his action”, it stated.
According to the document, in granting a stay of execution September 6, 2010 which the Attorney-General applied for, Justice Tanko Amadu had ordered that only GH¢17,094,493.53 out of the total sum of GH¢51,283,480.59 be paid to Woyome.
The trial judge went further to direct that an undertaking be extracted from Woyome as a condition precedent to the partial payment, so that shall he lose the final case, he will refund the sum together with all accumulated interests and costs following any future judicial event.
The trial judge unequivocally ordered a stay of execution of the balance of GH¢34,188,987.06 which Betty was not obliged to pay until the fresh case filed by the same Attorney - General was concluded.
“It is therefore obviously inaccurate as the Commission’s leaked report is suggesting that it was the trial judge who ordered the payment of the whopping total sum of GH¢51,283,480.59,” a court document claimed.
It will be recalled that the Judgement Debt Commission ended its proceedings last year without the appearance of some powerful people tagged by critics as ‘architects’ of modern day judgment debt payments.
Former ministers under whose tenure most of the ‘dubious’ and ‘frivolous’ judgment debts were paid were not called to give testimonies about how the ‘monster’ called judgement debt suddenly gained root in Ghana’s politico lexicon but the leaked report indicated that the commission had relied on documents made available.
The two ministers who were on the lips of the public as having supervised some of the alleged payments that somewhat triggered the setting up of the commission by President John Mahama were Mrs. Mould Iddrisu and Barton-Oduro, now deputy Speaker of Parliament.