General News of Friday, 13 March 2015
The lead Counsel for businessman Alfred Woyome has advised ex-President John Rawlings to maintain his reputation by refraining from making unsavoury comments about his client.
According to Ahmed Musah, the state is not a useless institution which will “leave thieves to roam about. You can’t call somebody a thief when you don’t have evidence.”
Following a High Court decision to acquit and discharge Mr. Woyome in the Ghc51 million judgment debt case, an obviously angry Rawlings accused the state prosecutors of helping Woyome to walk free.
He said: “The extent of corruption I have been talking about. I just read that the thief called Woyome had been freed. Why because his accomplices [Betty Mould and one other person] who were in government were not produced in court for vital evidence to incriminate him.”
Reacting to the comment on Citi FM’s Eyewitness News, Woyome’s lawyer said it is rather unfortunate when respectable and responsible persons in society speak against court judgments.
He warned that it is wrong to call a person a thief when there is no evidence to prove such claims, adding that, “there was no charge of stealing against him…but I don’t think that a very respectable person will call someone a thief when he has no evidence to buttress that.”
Ahmed Musah pointed out that Mr. Rawlings’ comment is “very defamatory for Mr. Woyome” especially when it is coming from a former President.
“He [Rawlings] has so much respect in society and he shouldn’t dent it. I won’t be happy if I hear people call him a thief. In fact, I have defended him on many occasions when people make accusations against him. He shouldn’t do that.”
He said they will take Ex-President Rawlings’ comment as a “political statement, but it is not fair for him to say that.”
Asked whether his client, Mr. Woyome will consider suing the former President over the matter, lawyer Musah said: “It is a decision entirely within his [Woyome] right to say that we should take an action against him.”
He however advised Mr. Woyome not to consider suing the former President because “I call it an irresponsible statement so there is no need for us to even go against him in court.”
“The court has spoken and everybody is supposed to obey the decision of the court. That is what the constitution says… so who are you to sit on the fence and make a conclusion? Your conclusion is nothing but a mere statement which should be ignored.”
He also indicated that efforts being made by the Attorney General to appeal against the ruling on the case will be “an exercise in futility.”