DEAD! JEA Mills
Alfred Agbesi Kofi Woyome, a key member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and businessman, yesterday stated that former President John Evans Atta Mills ordered that there should be negotiations on the judgment debt paid to him (Woyome).
He told an Accra Financial Court presided over by John Ajet-Nassam – where he is standing trial for allegedly defrauding the State to the tune of GH¢51.28 million – that a committee was formed by the then Chief of Staff, Henry Newman Martey, to look into the case.
The businessman, who made this disclosure in his evidence-in-chief led by Osafo Boabeng, also told the court that he had met the former President on the issue but fell short of disclosing what transpired between them.
The accused person stated that the committee was formed after he had presented a letter to the government to justify why he deserved the amount, at the instance of Betty Mould-Iddrisu, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
He said he was not given the full amount he was entitled to regarding the role he played for the proposed building of accident and emergency centres in the 10 regional hospitals.
Woyome also explained that the initial percentage
agreement for the role he played was 2% but after he had put up offices in North America, Europe and Africa and hired consultants, he realised that he had incurred losses and so 2% would not be enough. He therefore made it 4%.
The accused person indicated that after he had met Mr. Martey and his deputy, Alex Segbefia, he was asked to see Betty.
According to Woyome, Betty informed him during their meeting that the government had decided to give him the 2% he was entitled to, with interest. Judgement Debt
Woyome told the court that there were initial attempts to pay him but the Ministry of Finance (MOF) dragged its feet, wondering whether to pay him all the 2% or pay him half and give the other half to Austro-Invest, adding that Betty Mould-Iddrisu said that he should be paid.
He said he tried to get the money from MOF which was then headed by Kwabena Duffuor, and was asked to give his account number, which he did through his lawyer.
He asserted that the Finance Ministry wrote to the A-G to ask for explanation and confirmation of the amount to be paid, stressing that Betty even wrote a letter that he should be paid.
The NDC bankroller noted that the A-G and the Finance Ministry did not file any defence against the so-called judgement debt and so judgement was granted in his favour. Government’s U-Turn
Woyome told the court that at that time payment of an amount of GH¢17 million was overdue and so it was agreed that he should be paid. However, if he did not win the case at the end of the day, the money would be refunded. He disclosed that it was put into his ADB account.
When asked what he did with the money, he said he used it to defray debts he owed various local banks.
He said that he was paid the remaining amount with interest which he maintained, amounted to the GH¢51.28 million.
The case has been adjourned to June 26, 2014.
By Fidelia Achama
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