General News of Monday, 24 July 2017
The Deputy Attorney General who led the oral examination of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome says the state is making progress with efforts to retrieve the GHS51.2 million.
Godfred Dame said no stone will be left unturned in the attempt to take the money given the NDC financier.
“The two adjunct dates given by the court will be sufficient to cover the broad array of issues I want to cover. I want to clearly find out from him whether he has no means of satisfying the judgment debt,” he said.
The oral examination of Mr Woyome came off Monday at the Supreme Court in which the Deputy AG explored how the businessman spent the money given him.
He also uncovered potential sources of income for the businessman which could help the state recover the over ¢50 million.
After the grilling which took more two hours, the sole judge adjourned the oral examination to October 2.
The ongoing judgment debt saga dates back to 2008 when Mr. Woyome received ¢51.2 million judgment for helping the state with financial engineering to raise funds to construct stadia for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
In 2010, however, an Auditor General’s report said the amount paid to him was illegal.
As a result, the Supreme Court in 2014 ordered the businessman to pay back the money after a former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, challenged the legitimacy of the payments by the state.
Initially, Mr Woyome told the court he has not done any business since 2011 which was proven to be untrue when evidence showed he had incorporated companies in 2016.
He told the court, he lost all his businesses after his arrest in 2011 as a result of the suit brought against him.
When asked about the AAW Management Consulting Services, incorporated in 2016, Mr. Woyome told the court despite being established in 2016, the company is not in business.
He, however, described as erroneous the decision by the Attorney General to drag him before the Supreme Court to orally examine him over the money.
Responding to questions during the oral examination, he further told the court he felt persecuted by the state through these actions given that he had agreed on a payment plan agreed with the AG.
Some documents prior to the oral examination showed that a charge had been placed on Mr Woyome’s properties as demanded by the Attorney General’s office.
The companies affected by the charge included Green Township Security Services Company Limited, Anator Holding Company Limited, Woyome Brothers International Limited, AAW Management Consulting Services, Anator Construction Company Limited, Stewise Anator Company limited and Stewise Shipping Compan Limited.
The optimistic Deputy AG said the state will be the victor as Mr Woyome has companies and assets after he disclosed in court that another of the businessman is situated at Kokomlele in Accra.
“There is another asset at Ablemkpe that the court has told him to present documents for. Little by little, we are getting close how the state will recover the money.
“We have more assets in our possession that we will prove to him that he owns and he cannot but admit,” he said.
However, law lecturer and legal practitioner Yaw Oppong said the state with it coercive force will still have to contend with a citizen who owes it.
Mr Oppong lauded the “competent procedure engaged” by the state, saying the law makes provision for both parties in fighting for their right.
“Any purpose of examination of a debtor is to indeed find out if he is a person of straw incapable of settling his just debt or the person is deliberately engaging in acts to conceal his ability to pay.
“I am excited that the Supreme held in other cases that there is no offence as owing someone so the previous procedure to show cause was struck out from our laws.
“But this will show that there is still a residual procedure which is akin to that summons to show cause so that even if the person will not go to prison for owing, he can still be subjected to some form of cross examination to ascertain if he is capable of paying his just debt,” he said.