Betty, Odro Backed Woyome’s Claims

Barton-Odro2010 were written by Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu while the third one, dated March 29, 2010, was written by Mr. Barton-Odro.
The three letters were tendered through the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Justice, Suleiman Ahmed, when he mounted the witness box yesterday to continue his evidence under cross-examination by Sarfo Buabeng, counsel for Mr. Woyome.

Mr. Woyome is being tried for defrauding the state by false pretences and causing financial loss  to which  charges he has denied since June 5, 2012. Three other alleged accomplices put before court with him, were discharged on June 5, 2012 following a nolle prosequi by the state.

According to prosecutors, Mr Woyome, in February 2010 made false representations to the government that it, owed him two percent of 1,106,470,587 Euros for his financial engineering services rendered for the rehabilitation of the Accra and El-Wak Stadia ahead of the CAN 2008 African Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana.

He the court’s further accused of “wilfully and fraudulently causing huge financial losses” of GH¢ 51,283, 480.59 to the state between September 2010 and September 2011.

At the court hearing yesterday, Mr. Ahmed agreed with counsel that per the letter signed by Mr. Barton-Odro, Mr. Woyome’s claim was based on the consortium, and that the consortium would have brought into the project a total of 106,470,587 Euros covering sports facilities, radiation plant and tissue culture  and hospital and wellness centres.
According to him, Mr. Woyome initially claimed four per cent of the total project amount as financial engineering but was reduced to two per cent after negotiations.

Witness agreed with counsel that the A-G at the time sought and independent opinion from Rex Danquah of the CAN 2008 Local Organising Committee, Building Industry Consultant (BIC) and the Legal Department of the Finance Ministry, all of who gave approval.

She (Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu) indicated that she had consulted with these persons before sending her opinion to the Ministry of Finance” Mr Ahmed stated.

Touching on Mr. Barton-Odro’s letter witness said he had not sighted it before but a copy was handed to him in court which he read. After reading it, he said: “This signature looks like that of Barton-Odro”.

The witness agreed with counsel that the former A-G in her April 11, 2010 letter, signed by Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, advised the Finance Minister at the time to pay Mr. Woyome in order to put matters to rest.

He also confirmed counsel’s submission to the effect that it was as a result of a judgement obtained by Mr.Woyome in an action instituted against the A-G and the Finance Ministry that Mr. Woyome was paid.

Mr. Ahmed said subsequent to that judgement, the A-G and Mr. Woyome as well as his lawyers went into negotiations and that the outcome of that negotiation was the amount paid to Mr.Woyome.
He agreed with counsel that the said negotiations were filed and executed but pointed out that he did not see a copy of the terms of that negotiation.

When asked whether the A-G later sued Mr. Woyome, he answered affirmatively but said he could not recall the exact date.

He confirmed that after the initial payment of GH¢ 17 million plus was paid to Mr. Woyome as first instalment, the Commercial Court stayed further payments to Mr. Woyome until the determination of the case brought by the A-G against  hin Woyome.

When asked by counsel as to whether he had seen any order setting aside the stay order, he answered negatively. He however agreed with counsel that while the case was pending, the -G entered into negotiation with Mr. Woyome and the said negotiation compromised the stay order of the court.

The record of proceedings from the case brought by Mr. Woyome against the State and the one initiated by the A-G against Mr. Woyome were also tendered in evidence through the witness.

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