General News of Sunday, 15 March 2015
Anti-corruption crusader, Sydney Casely-Hayford has said businessman Alfred Woyome was not the true culprit in the criminal case brought against him in the GHC 51 million judgement debt saga.
He observed that the real culprits who should have been made to stand trial were the state officials including the then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, current Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton Oduro and some directors who were earlier indicted in the case.
“We tried to charge the wrong person. The culprit in this whole case was not Alfred Woyome,” he said on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue.
“I think the right persons who should have been charged in all of this was Betty Mould, Barton Oduro, all the other affiliates…they were the true culprits in all of this,” he added.
An Accra High court presided over by Justice Ajet-Nasam on Thursday acquitted and discharged Woyome on the two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretense.
The Judge however queried the state prosecutors for not bringing in key witnesses to testify during the hearing of the case.
The Attorney General has nonetheless submitted a notice of appeal against the acquittal of businessman Alfred Woyome describing the ruling of the judge as biased and unlawful.
But according to Casely-Hayford who is also a Financial Analyst, Woyome’s GHC 51 million judgement debt case had already been decided by the Supreme Court which had ordered the refund of the money “and he was going to refund the money so whether we jailed him or not for fraud is a separate matter.”
He expressed grave disappointment over the “wasted two years of our lives and the tax payers’ money by coming up with a complete frivolous end result. Me; I am terribly disappointed.”
Casely-Hayford cautioned that critical attention must be paid to “what the Judge said, look at all the comments that he made and use that as an advice to go forward.”
He argued that the principal thing which caused the state to lose the case was can largely be attributed to the failure of the nation to separate the Minister of Justice from the Attorney General’s Department.
This, he said made it difficult for the Attorney General “to rope in the Ministers who were directly involved or to charge them separately from this case in order to be able to bring justice.”