D-Day For Woyome

Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong and Alfred Woyome
The Accra Financial Court, presided over by Justice John Najet-Assam, will today give its ruling on whether the charges against Alfred Agbesi Woyome regarding the receipt of GH¢51.28 judgement debt will be dropped or he will be ordered to open his defence.

Mr. Woyome, the embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier who is facing charges of defrauding by false pretences and causing financial loss to the state, has had a team of four lawyers representing him in the trial that has been on-going for nearly two years.

But he has filed a submission of no case through his counsel, Osafo Boabeng, praying the court to dismiss the charges against his client as the state had not done enough to prove any wrongdoing on his part.

The submission of no case was announced in court in February by Mr. Osafo Boabeng immediately the prosecution, led by Mathew Amponsah, informed Justice Najet-Assam that they had closed their case.

Mr. Amponsah, who had earlier talked about the voluminous nature of the submission of no case filed by counsel for Woyome, had filed a response to the submission.

The state has presented nine witnesses, including Yaw Osafo- Maafo, the former Minister of Education and Sports in the Kufuor administration.

The Attorney General (A-G) Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, till a couple of months ago, regularly attended the trial accompanied by Mrs. Ama Gasie, the Solicitor-General and the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Cynthia Lamptey.

Readers will recall that in a related development, the Supreme Court a couple of days ago, dismissed a preliminary objection by Osafo Boabeng, in a review praying the court to order a refund of the GH¢51.28 million owed the State by Woyome.

Martin Alimisi Amidu, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, filed the application for the court to take a second look at some aspects of an earlier judgement in which it declined to call for a refund of the said amount, which Amidu strongly believed should be returned to the state.

Osafo Boabeng asked the court to give him a few days to file their statement of case after an initial preliminary objection was dismissed by the court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood.

Earlier, Woyome’s counsel had told the eleven-member panel of Supreme Court judges that the statement of case of the plaintiff, Amidu, was not authenticated and so remained a draft and the court could therefore not make reference to it.

According to Boabeng, the rules of procedure indicated that to apply for a review, a statement of case is distinct and does not form part of an affidavit. However, the judges, who did not agree with him, asked if a verifying affidavit was sworn to by the former Attorney-General (A-G), to which counsel for Woyome answered in the affirmative.

The case was dismissed by the Chief Justice after which Mr. Boabeng prayed for a few days to file all the statements of case.

By Fidelia Achama

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