Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE indicate that the Commission of Enquiry tasked to investigate the payment of various judgment debts did not request for record of proceedings in the Woyome GH¢ 51.2 million scandal.
In spite of the developments, the commission chaired by the recently-appointed Supreme Court Justice Yaw Apau made adverse findings against then Attorney General Betty Mould-Iddrisu and her Deputy Ebo Barton-Oduro as well as Justice I.O. Tanko Amadu, the trial judge who caused the payment of GH¢51.2million judgment debt to the supposed National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
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 then AG in settling Woyome’s supposed controversial judgment debt.
On whether there was any request by or on behalf of the commission for the certified true copies of the processes filed and the ruling in the suit, the registry replied that there was no such request.
The search result also showed that there was no application for search by or on behalf of the commission.
Furthermore, the search revealed that the Sole-Commissioner did not request the attendance of the Registrar of the High Court (Commercial Division) to testify on matters relating to the Woyome suit as well as the court processes filed and the various rulings.
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.
An earlier search on the matter had revealed how the Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department flagrantly abused the due diligence processes in spite of the trial judge’s orders.
All the directives of Justice Tanko Amadu were not adhered to by then 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.
The Sole-Commissioner’s leaked report had raised serious issues about the basis and propriety to award and order the payment of judgment debt to Woyome.
Mr. 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 as well as Mrs Mould Iddrisu for doing a shoddy job.
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.