Alfred Agbesi Woyome
Embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who is facing trial at an Accra Fast Track High Court for allegedly defrauding the State to the tune of GH¢51.2million in the name of judgement debt, has pledged to spill the beans when he mounts the witness box next week.
Mr Woyome’s hopes of being let off the hook were dashed yesterday when he was ordered to open his defence.
In a short ruling of barely a sentence, the trial judge, Justice John Ajet-Nassam told Mr Woyome that ‘you are to open your defence on May 5, 2014,’ without stating any reasons and how he arrived at his decision. The case therefore ended within a couple of minutes.
Mr Woyome, who looked surprised at the turn of events, walked out of the courtroom a couple of minutes later, with his friends, supporters and sympathizers behind him.
The supporters, some of whom wore t-shirts of their hero smiling, had to stay out of the courtroom; and were surprised at the short verdict. They left the court premises immediately Mr Woyome and his family left, with disappointment written all over their faces.
Disappointed by the court ruling, Mr Woyome said he would tell it all, regarding how the alleged scam was schemed, having indicated in several radio interviews that he did not have a contract with the State.
The NDC financier filed a submission of ‘no case’ after the prosecution had finished calling its witnesses and prayed the court to throw the case out. But the court disagreed with him, saying that he should open his defence on Monday May 5.
Speaking with journalists after his submission of no case was thrown out, Mr Woyome said the court hearing would be an opportunity for him to tell the public what happened from the beginning to the end.
‘..If, as my lawyers planned, that there should be an end to the matter because they have not been able to establish anything. Did my lawyers plan that? I agree with them.
“But I think that this opportunity which has come today, will give me a courtroom opportunity to be able to tell the good people of this country about what happened from the beginning,’ he said.
‘What and what and what to the end, then the Ghanaian people will understand and take a cue from me that no matter the situation, whether government or anything, the Constitution of this country must be protected and each individual must stand firm and make sure that the right thing is done.’
He said ‘officialdom is embedded in the Constitution and your own right, including my right.
‘So I think I thank God for today, and I thank God who has led me throughout these two and half years of something that has been prolonged deliberately or whatever it is, I don’t know, till now.
‘I will ensure that my legal team help us to quicken the story to the Ghanaian people because Ghanaians need to understand what happened and the politics behind it,’ Mr Woyome said.
Mr Woyome’s legal team, after the case, indicated that their client would be getting ready to state his side of the story.
Musah Ahmed, who is part of Mr Woyome’s legal team, said they had not talked about the possibility of an appeal and it was not known whether or not they had that in mind.
ASP Edward Odame Okyere, the investigator in the case, had testified that the Bank of Austria where Woyome claimed to have received money for the construction of some stadia for the African Cup of Nations (CAN) 2008, had denied that they funded the construction of any stadia in Ghana.
According to him, the bank said in a written correspondence to the state through the Attorney General that any letters of support given to Mr Woyome were of no legal effect.
The witness also testified that no bidding took place for the construction of the stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament where Woyome’s company, Austro Invest, won.
The Police investigator, who appeared as a prosecution witness, revealed that Waterville Holdings and Austro Investment had not been formally registered to operate in Ghana.
According to ASP Odaame Okyere, the Registrar General’s Department had no formal records of the operations of the two companies which benefitted from the payments of the gargantuan judgment debt.
Mr Woyome has been charged with causing financial loss to the State and defrauding by false pretences, but he has denied any wrongdoing.
By Fidelia Achama
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