The Government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under President John Evans Atta-Mills, fraudulently paid a financier of the party GHc 51.2 million cedis between 2010 and 2011. A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse said it appeared those who facilitated the payment“entered into an alliance to create, loot and share the resources of this country as if a brigade had been set up for such an enterprise”.
According to the law, a judgement debt cannot be paid unless a warrant known as a Certificate of Judgement is issued authorising government to pay the money.
A private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini, who caused a search to be done found out that without a certificate severed on the government, at least three state institutions including the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant-General’s Department, went ahead to coordinate the payment of the illegal monies in an astonishing disregard for a basic requirement.
Martin Amidu was then the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General. He had taken over from Betty Mould Iddrisu, who is now a Vice -chairperson of the NDC. Betty Mould Iddrisu was the Attorney-General when the Money was paid. Martin Amidu was determined to retrieve the money fraudulently paid to Woyome, but he was dismissed from his ministerial position without any reason. Some media organisations reported that he disrespected the President, but he said he was sacked in order to cover up the thievery of government.
When he was thrown out of the government, Martin Amidu still pursued the matter at the Supreme Court and won the case in July 2014. The Supreme Court ordered Woyome to pay the money back to the state, but the businessman did not do that.
The state pursued the criminal aspect of the case but lost. It appealed and lost again. But that was not strange. Government officials such as Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who would have supported the Attorney-General as prosecution witnesses argued that Woyome received the money legitimately.
Recently, the Attorney-General filed an application at the Supreme Court to examine Woyome. The examination, we are told, would have compelled Woyome to disclose how he had spent the money and also name his assets so that, if possible, they could be confiscated and sold to repay the money he owed the state.
Just as when the general public and pressure groups such as Occupy Ghana were praising the Attorney-General for the taking the right step to retrieve the money, the Attorney-General filed to discontinue the case, meaning she was no longer interested in examining Woyome in court. What could have been the reason for the sudden U-turn? It was alleged that the Attorney-General had been pressured from the governing NDC to stop the action because it might have compelled the businessman to spill the beans, to possibly name whoever took part in the creation, looting and sharing of the GH51.2 million cedis.
The citizen vigilante, Martin ABK Amidu, would not allow sleeping lions to lie. He filed an application praying the Supreme Court to allow him to orally examine Woyome. But the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice would not want that done so she opposed the motion. News leaked that Woyome had paid GHc4 million out of the GHc51.2 million cedis and had spelt out repayment terms. A similar agreement to repay all the money last year failed.
The critical question is: Why would the attorney-General and the Government, which are supposed to be fighting for our interest (the retrieval of the money) be fighting against Martin Amidu, who is also fighting for our interest? Today, the Supreme Court ruled that Martin Amidu has the right to examine Woyome. The
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that Martin Amidu has the right to examine Woyome. The court, therefore, ordered Woyome to appear before it on November 24, 2016, to be orally examined by Martin Amidu.
Joy FM’s court correspondent, Joseph Ackah Blay, said Woyome, who came to court clad in white, left with a grim, unhappy look on his face. But our elders say the frown on the face of a goat does not stop its owner from dragging it to the Bolga market.
Let’s wait and see what happens in the Bolga market next week as Ghana’s apostle of integrity takes on the nation’s most pursued debtor.
Written by Manasseh Azure Awuni