Woyome agrees to refund money to state

AGBESI WOYOMEMr Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the Ghanaian businessman whose name has gained currency in the country for collecting GH¢51.2 million judgement debt, has finally agreed to refund the money to the state.

The counsel for the businessman, Mr. Osafo Buabeng, who relayed the information yesterday to the Supreme Court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, promised that the money would be paid before the end of the year.

“Woyome has never indicated anywhere that he would not pay the money,” Mr. Buabeng said.

Madam Anthea Obeng, represented Mr. Woyome who was not in court.

But Mr. Martin Alamisi Amidu, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, whose sole efforts had led to the retrieval of the judgement debt, told the court that, “I will come back if the Attorney-General’s Department does not recover the money expeditiously”.

“If I had the authority under the 1992 Constitution to execute the judgement, I would have done so long ago,” he stressed.

His doubts were, however, cleared by Justice William Atuguba (JSC) of the 2012 presidential election petition fame, who told him that “the legal horizon is now clear for the Attorney-General to execute the judgement”.

The A-G’s Department represented by Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah and Mrs. Stella Badu, both Chief State Attorneys, went to the Supreme Court to seek application for leave or directions to enforce the judgement delivered by it (SC) on June 14, 2013, and July 29, 2014, against Waterville Holdings and Mr. Woyome who collected GH¢25 million and GH¢51.2 million respectively, as judgement debt from the state.

The court ordered the defendants to refund the money but they failed to do so.

“My Lords, we (A-G’s Dept) do not see our way clear regarding the enforcement of the order and are, therefore, before you to seek the direction of the court,” Mrs. Afriyie-Ansah told the court.

Mr. Woyome’s counsel, tried to argue that there was no need for the A-G’s department to have come back to the court to seek direction, since it (SC) had already given an order that the money be refunded; and his client was bound to obey the order.

But the Chief Justice intervened and pointed out to Mr. Buabeng that the failure of Mr. Woyome to pay the money as ordered by the Court, amounted to ‘defiance’.

“If you want to avoid high crime, better pay the money. I do not see any substantive legal basis to delay the direction being sought by the A-G to enforce payment,” Mrs. Georgina Wood said.

Mr. Woyome was acquitted and discharged on criminal prosecution over the GH¢51.2 million judgement debt by an Accra High Court on March 12, 2015.

By Castro Zangina-Tong   

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