General News of Tuesday, 4 July 2017
The Supreme Court will today, (Tuesday), rule on an application filed by businessman, Alfred Agbeshie Woyome, seeking to halt the oral examination by the Attorney General on how he intends paying off the GH¢51 million judgment debt wrongfully awarded him.
Mr Woyome prayed the Supreme Court last week to stay proceedings on the oral examination since he had filed for a review in the case.
This follows a request granted the Attorney-General’s department to question the businessman on whether the properties he owns are able to be used to offset the debt owed the state, as well as how he spent the judgment debt wrongfully paid to him.
His lawyer, Ken Anku, argued that his client will face an irreparable damage if the oral examination is allowed to take place before the ruling on their review case, but a deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, opposed the application describing the reasons as incompetent and unmeritorious.
Judgement debt saga
Mr Woyome was paid GHc 51 million after claiming he helped Ghana raise funds to construct stadia for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
However, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010, held that the amount was paid illegally to him. Subsequently, the Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr Woyome to pay back the money, after a former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, single-handedly challenged the legality of the payments.
Following delays in retrieving the money, Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr Woyome to refund the cash to the state.
Mr Amidu himself, in 2016, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking to examine Alfred Woyome, on how he was going to pay back the money, after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.
In February 2017 however, Mr Amdu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government and the assurance by the new Attorney General to retrieve all judgement debts wrongfully paid to individuals, had given him renewed confidence in the system.