General News of Thursday, 12 March 2015
Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome will today, March 12 know whether he is going to walk free or be cast in gaol as the Accra High Court is set to deliver judgement on payments made to him by the state.
Woyome was arrested in 2012 for receiving payments from the state over the abrogation of a contract to construct stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.
The case has dragged on since 2012, but Justice John Ajet-Nassam will wield the gavel over the man said to be a financier of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
A fallout from the Woyome scandal led to the dismissal of the then Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Martin Amidu.
It also led to the resignation of the then Minister of Education, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who, as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, had recommended that the money be paid to Woyome.
Amidu later managed to secure judgement against Woyome at the Supreme Court.
The Court held, in a unanimous decision, that the contracts upon which Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.
The Court had, on June 14, 2013, directed the international construction firm, Waterville Holdings Limited (BVI), to refund all the money paid to it by the Ghana government on the premise that it had no valid and constitutional contractual agreement with the government.
Waterville is expected to refund 25 million euros it received from the government, following the court’s judgement that the said contract it entered into with the government for stadia construction for CAN 2008 was unconstitutional.
Mr Amidu had, in the original suit, prayed the court to order Woyome to refund the money he had received as a result of the void contract the government had entered into with Waterville Holdings.
But the court declined jurisdiction over the issue, with the reason that the Attorney-General was pursuing the matter at the Commercial Court to retrieve the money.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has blamed Ghana’s economic woes on payment of numerous judgement debts, key among which they cite is Woyome’s.