Marietta Brew Appia-Oppong, AG and Alfred Woyome
Mathew Amponsah, the prosecuting State Attorney in the trial of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, yesterday appeared to be fumbling in the cross-examination of the ‘judgement debt’ man.
The experienced principal State Attorney kept repeating questions on the appointment of Woyome as Honorary Consul of Austria to Ghana and his role as Alternate Director of M-Powapak – prompting the Accra Financial Court judge, Justice John Najet-Assam, to state that ‘there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed so move on and ask another question’.
The Attorney, under 40 minutes of cross-examination, left a smiling Woyome and his legal team a confident side and remarked, ‘My Lord, we have done a lot today’ adding, ‘My aim was to end up on the question of whether or not he paid taxes on the money he received’.
Amponsah started by asking Woyome for the alleged fraudulent receipt of GH¢51.28 judgement debt that as an Honorary Consul member, he travelled a lot; to which he answered in the affirmative.
He then suggested that claims by Woyome that he put offices in Europe and America could not have been possible; but accused said he indeed put up offices as evidenced by Waterville and explained that the issue was never in doubt.
He further asked Woyome what his duties entailed which he explained. He was asked whether or not he was involved in the issuing of passports, to which he said he was involved in looking at some passport applications.
The issue of his duties was repeated and that prompted the trial judge to intervene saying, ‘next question please’.
Mr. Amponsah asked the NDC money bag whether or not the letters of support were issued by Bank of Austria and why he could file on his own. In resoponse, he said he filed the bid for the Confederation of African Nations (CAN) 2008 tournament for using M-Powapak, which he is the Alternate Director, but maintained that in business circles one could be an entity.
This prompted the State Attorney to suggest that it was not possible so the trial judge had to once again cut the issue short by stating that at the end of the day the court would look at the meaning of the word ‘entity’ and asked for the state to move on.
Mr. Amponsah put it to Woyome that it was illegal for him to have used the name of M-Powapak for his business since he was an alternate director and not the owner, and Woyome replied that he had never seen such laws that made it an offence to do so.
The NDC bankroller stated that he did not claim to own M-Powapak but was the owner of the M-Powapak Togo SA; and when asked how many companies he had, he stated that they ‘are many; I cannot readily count them’.
The State Attorney said the accused person received the money fraudulently, but Woyome replied that that was a decision taken at the pre-trial state by the Attorney-General to have the matter settled by paying him after the default judgement, adding that it was a court of competent jurisdiction that gave the judgement.
According to the State prosecutor, whether or not it was the A-G who ordered the payment, it was illegal. Woyome rebutted saying it was legal and that it did not matter whether or not the State later changed its mind.
Amponsah finally asked whether or not Woyome had paid taxes on the money he received from the State; to which the accused explained that he was reliably informed by his lawyers that once it was judgment debt there was no tax to be paid on it.
The case has been adjourned to July 24, 2014.
By Fidelia Achama
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