General News of Wednesday, 4 October 2017
The second leg of the oral examination of businessman Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome by the Attorney-General (A-G) in relation to the GH¢47.2 million that he owes the state has been rescheduled for October 16, 2017.
Mr Woyome was expected to stand in the dock on Monday at the Supreme Court to answer questions from the A-G as to how he intended to pay the money.
However when journalists showed up at the Supreme Court, not only were Mr Woyome, his legal team and representatives from the A-G’s department missing in action, but also the Supreme Court was lifeless.
A source told the Daily Graphic that the oral examination was postponed because of the Supreme Court justice presiding over the hearing, Mr Justice Anthony Alfred Yeboah, was on another duty as part of an interviewing panel at the Ghana School of Law.
During Mr Woyome’s first oral examination on July 24, 2017, he told the court that he had spent his money on legal fees in an attempt to protect his rights.
“Since my arrest and prosecution, I have not functioned again as a businessman because I have been fighting day in, day out in court. My shares in companies were traded to fund the legal fees,” he said.
A Deputy A-G, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, who posed the questions, however, tried to prove to the court that the businessman was still resourceful and had the means to pay the money.
He asked Mr Woyome the sort of business he (Woyome) did prior to his return to Ghana in 1999 and after he returned to the country.
However, the businessman insisted that he was not the businessman he used to be after his arrest and prosecution.
The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the state on the grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the state and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
The court held that the contracts upon which Mr Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.
On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his wish.
He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding balance by quarterly instalments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017.
That did not materialise after the businessman initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, which were all dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Apart from fighting his cases in the country, Mr Woyome also sought relief from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) based in Paris, France, and the African Court of Justice based in Arusha, Tanzania.
In August 2017, the ICC threw out his case on the basis that he failed to properly invoke its jurisdiction.
His last throw of the dice involves the case at the African Court of Justice which is yet to be determined.