Barton Odro must resign- Vitus Azeem

An anti-corruption campaigner Vitus Azeem is demanding the resignation of Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ebo Barton Odro.

Azeem insists Mr Odro cannot continue to be in office when he still thinks the state has no case against Alfred Woyome who was illegaly paid an amount of ¢51million in judgment debt.

“It is a case of conflict of interest. He should resign,” Azeem noted in an interview with Joy News.

He was reacting to an interview in which Ebo Barton Odro was heard vehemently justifying judgment debt payment made to Alfred Woyome in 2010.

Alfred Woyome was paid an amount of 51 million cedis in judgment debt between 2009-10 for what he claimed to be a wrongful abrogation of a contract with the Kufuor administration.

That payment triggered a huge scandal with critics accusing key government officials including the then Attorney General Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu of colluding with the NDC financier to swindle the state.

The views of the critics were strengthened further when as Deputy Attorney-General, Mr. Barton Odro publicly supported the payment to Woyome.

Mr Barton Oduro in 2010 granted an interview to Joy News in which he categorically stated that the state had “no case” against Mr Woyome and that the payment made to him was lawful.

At the time he made the comment, his immediate boss, the A-G, Mrs Mould Iddrisu, had gone to court seeking to set aside the judgment award which entitled Mr. Woyome to the money.

The state with a new Attorney General, Martin Amidu amended that suit at the High Court, seeking to tighten the noose around the neck of the NDC financier – a position markedly different from that taken by Barton Odro.

Martin Amidu under controversial circumstances was sacked as Attorney General for alleged misconduct and could not see through with the prosecution of Woyome at the High Court.

As a concerned citizen, however, Amidu proceeded to the Supreme Court, to challenge the payment made to Woyome.

He said the payment made to Mr Woyome was illegal because he had no valid contract with the state to be paid that huge sums of money.

The Supreme Court only last week agreed with the position argued so vehemently by Amidu and ruled that Woyome should refund the monies paid to him because he illegally received the amount.

Just a day before the landmark judgement in favour of Martin Amidu, the former Deputy Attorney General, who is now the Deputy Speaker of Parliament insisted the payments to Woyome were lawful. He maintained he was clear in his mind that the state had no case against Woyome.

Speaking to Radio Central in the Central Region, Barton Odro said “if government had a bad case, I should bold enough to say that it was a bad case.

“The state had no case against Mr Woyome,” he repeated, a legal opinion he insisted he would proffer if given another opportunity.

His continued defence of the payment has angered the Communications team of the NPP as well as the minority in Parliament- all of whom have vowed to have the deputy speaker removed.

Vituz Azeem said Barton Odro must not wait to be removed. He has to resign.

The Deputy Speaker is not immediately available for comment.

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