The Supreme Court (SC), has advised the state to mobilise resources to acquire the assets of businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to offset the remaining GH₵47.2 million judgement debt wrongly paid him by the state six years ago.
The assets include two houses located at Trassaco, the office complex of Anator Holdings, a mining quarry, and two residential buildings at Caprice and Abelemkpe, Accra, all valued at GH¢20 million.
Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, Deputy Attorney General, who is handling the case, had on June 2, 2020, told the court that it was difficult for the state to dispose-off Mr Woyome’s property as persons, who show interest in same, receive threats.
The businessman, had already refunded about GH₵4million to the state following the pronouncement by the SC in July 2019 ordering the sale of some of his assets.
In July 2019, the court, presided by Justice A.A Benin, a sole judge, ordered the sale of Mr Woyome’s assets.
Following the judgement, the UT Bank (now defunct) had claimed that the properties belong to the bank, and argued that the judgement debtor used the property as collateral for loans at the bank which he defaulted.
But, the court found that Woyome colluded with the bank to conceal the identity of the owner of the properties.
Justice Benin awarded cost of GH¢60,000 each against Anator Holdings and UT Bank, and declared that all the properties, the subject of controversy, were available for sale.
The court held that the claim by UT Bank was a sham, as there was no evidence to substantiate the claim that the property belongs to the bank.
Mr Dame had contended that, there was no evidence to show that the said properties were used as collateral by Woyome to secure loans from UT Bank.
The SC on July 29, 2014 ordered Mr Woyome to refund the GH¢51.2 million paid to him for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008 on grounds that the money was ill-gotten.
The court held that the contracts upon which Woyome received the claim were in contravention of Article 181(5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires that such contracts must be taken to Parliament for approval.
On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome asked the court to give him three years to pay the money, but the court turn down his request.
He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November, 2016, and promised to clear the outstanding balance by quarterly instalments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017.
The businessman subsequently initiated a litany of legal cases in Ghana and abroad, including the International Court of Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce, based in Paris, France, and the African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA