Woyome initiates new moves to stop retrieval of GHC51.2m

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Woyome
Woyome

Embattled businessman, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has once again rushed to the Supreme Court to stop all moves by the Attorney-General (A-G) to retrieve the Gh?51.2million that he owes the state.

The businessman wants the apex court to suspend his oral examination and all other processes by the state to reclaim the unlawful judgement debt that was paid to him.

He wants the suspension to be in place until the determination of his appeal at the African Court of Justice based in Arusha, Tanzania.

A five member panel of the court would hear the application on November 21, 2017.

Legal gymnastics?

Filing of fresh legal processes at the Supreme Court is not a new phenomenon for Mr Woyome as this is his seventh application since the A-G initiated moves to have him orally examined.

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The A-G intends to use the oral examination to determine properties and the businesses owned by Mr Woyome in order to retrieve the money.

Since the first sitting of the oral examination at the court on July 24, 2017, the businessman has failed to show up for its continuation, with his lawyers normally giving the excuse that their client was sick.

Background

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.

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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 either challenge the method employed by the state to collect the money or to have the judgement thrown out.

All his legal moves had failed with the Supreme Court dismissing all of them. His latest defeat was on October 20, 2017, when the court dismissed his attempt to stop the valuation of his properties by state officials.

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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.

The case at the African Court of Justice is yet to be determined.

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