Hard-pressed businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Monday told the Economic and Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court that Ghana was not creditworthy, even to the Bretton Woods institutions, at the time it hosted the African Nations Cup tournament in 2008.
According to him, Ghana won the bid at the time it was a Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), when there was a restriction on developing countries from using soft loans to fund sporting activities.
Woyome, who had his application of ‘no case’ dismissed by the court last Wednesday, was opening his defence in the ongoing GH¢51.2 million judgement debt trial. Charges
The embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier is facing charges of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state.
He obtained the GH¢51.2 million judgement debt payment, but the state contends that the payment was procured fraudulently.
He has pleaded not guilty and is currently on bail. Evidence
Led in evidence by Mr Sarfo Buabeng, his lead counsel, Woyome told the court that former President John Agyekum Kufuor had endorsed the role he played during Ghana’s bid to host the tournament.
He said he then suggested to the then government the need to rebrand Ghana as a tourism destination to prove to the Bretton Woods institutions how the CAN 2008 tournament was going to be funded.
He told the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nassam, that the Kufuor administration lauded his idea and gave him the opportunity to look for funds to facilitate projects to be used for the tournament.
He also said he played a key role in getting Ghana the right to host the tournament, using his strong ties with Libya, which also had expressed interest in hosting the tournament.
Woyome said he was in constant touch with the immediate past New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, who was at that time the Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.
He also mentioned Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Alhaji Rashid Bawah and Mr Magnus Rex Dankwah, a sports expert, as some of the highly placed government officials he dealt with before, during and throughout the CAN 2008 tournament.
He said the crucial role he played in other financial commitments towards the hosting of the CAN 2008 tournament could not be underestimated.
He tendered in documents to validate some of the financial commitments he had rendered to the state at that time.
The state prosecutor, Mr Matthew Amponsah, raised two objections to the said documents, but the presiding Judge overruled the objections.
Sitting continues on May 12, 2014.
The Attorney General (AG) and Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah Opong, was in court to support the state prosecutor and his team in the case.
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