General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
Spokespersons of embattled businessman in the controversial GHc51 million judgment debt case has defended a decision by his boss, Alfred Agbesi Woyome to run to the Africa Court on Human and People’s Right in Tanzania for redress.
According to Reginald Seth Dogbe, this is aimed at safeguarding the interest of Mr. Woyome who they believe is being persecuted in Ghana.
“Like Mr. Woyome clearly stated it looks as if this matter concerning him is not prosecution but persecution where all his rights to fair hearing is being ignored. And he feels that the best forum where he can get fair justice as far as the ruling against him is concerned is outside and the human rights courts is one of those avenues because Ghana has signed to international protocols and some of those protocols have establish that very course and we can only do good to respect those international bodies,” he said on Eyewitness News on Friday.
Mr. Woyome’s petition to the International Chamber of Commerce court (ICC) to look into his case was thrown out on Thursday. The ICC rejected Woyome’s petition citing Article 6(4) of its Arbitration Rules and also the lack of establishment of prima facie.
Prior to ICC’s ruling, Mr. Woyome had gone to the human rights court concerning some declarations made by Ghana’s Supreme Court some years back.
An earlier statement from Lawyers of Mr. Woyome insisted that “the Supreme Court of Ghana erred by linking Alfred Agbesi Woyome to the Waterville contract by ‘necessary linkage’ using the now ‘residual unspecified Jurisdiction’ to ground ‘Justice ‘as their main Principle in ordering a refund of monies paid to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome legally under the laws of Ghana.”
“Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome has sent this aspect of the case to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Right in Arusha Tanzania by invoking Article 40 read together with Article 75 of the 1992 constitution of The Republic of Ghana under case number Ref:AfCHPR/Reg./appl.001/2017/001. Ghana has ratified the necessary protocols of the African Court, recognized the competence of the African Court, and also submitted to the authority of the African Court. A preliminary determination of the case has been made and a prima facie case has been established by the African Court in favour of Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome and Ghana has been served all the necessary processes through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ghana,” the statement added.
Mr. Woyome was paid the 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 Martin Amidu, 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.
There had been previous attempts to orally examine Mr. Woyome, with Mr. Amidu himself, in 2016, filing an application at the Supreme Court to find out how the businessman was going to pay back the money.
This came 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. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government and the assurance by the new Attorney General to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals, had given him renewed confidence in the system.