General News of 2014-06-27

Woyome: I’m entitled to claims against state

Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome ended his evidence-in-chief in his GH¢51.2 million criminal case in Accra yesterday by reiterating his entitlement to claims he made against the government in 2010.

He began testifying at the Financial Division of the High Court on May 5, 2014, after the court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, had dismissed his submission of ‘no case’ on April 30, 2014.

The accused person told the court that his claim, which was supported by documents, was verified by the Attorney-General’s (A-G’s) Department, the Ministry of Finance, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of CAN 2008, the Ministry of Sports, the Building Industry Consultants (BIC), among other bodies.

He said the opinions of those bodies were that his claim was genuine. Responding to the state’s position that he was paid for no work done, he said,

“What they are saying is incorrect. They are aware I worked and spent money for a period of four years.”

Judgement debt

Woyome said he was paid judgement debt, which was later negotiated and filed as consent judgement.

The accused person was very emotional when he said it was a court of competent jurisdiction that awarded him the GH¢51.2 million judgement debt, but his lawyer, Mr Sarfo Buabeng, and the trial judge urged him to calm down.

The court overruled the state’s objection to the tendering of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Shanghai Construction Group and the government of Ghana over the construction of stadia in Takoradi and Tamale.

According to the court, it would amount to injustice if it did not allow the document into evidence.

Woyome had sought to tender the document to prove his claim that the $18 million cost per stadia quoted by the Chinese firm in its tender bid shot up to $38.5 million in the MoU.

Closing remarks

In his closing remarks to the court, Woyome said he worked, spent money and it was confirmed by the government, including the Presidency, and for that reason he was entitled to the claim.

“There was a letter emanating from a former Chief of Staff, Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, agreeing that they should authenticate work done by Vamed so they pay Vamed. Vamed’s work emanated from my financial engineering,” Woyome ended.

Cross-examination

Answering questions under cross-examination from a Chief State Attorney, Mrs Yvonne Attakorah-Obuobisa, the accused person told the court that he was a consultant, financial engineer and retired diplomat.

According to him, he had businesses both in Ghana and the United States of America (USA) which he had been operating for the past 15 years. Hearing continues on July 10, 2014.