General News of 2014-07-30

We respect Supreme Court ruling but... - Woyome

Spokesperson for business man Alfred Agbesie Woyome says they respect a ruling by the Supreme Court, ordering a refund of monies paid Woyome but hints they are amenable to other "windows of opportunities" to reverse the verdict.

Reginald Dogbe told Joy News there were other avenues, including "international arbitration" for them to pursue but said they were yet to speak with their lawyers in order to consider the appropriate remedies.

He wondered how an agreement between a Ghanaian citizen and government could be described as international transaction, a question he said, remained to be answered by the Supreme Court.

The highest court, Tuesday, ordered Mr Woyome to refund an amount of GH?51 million paid to him between 2009-2010 by the state in a judgment debt scandal, which rocked the country.

Martin Amidu, citizen vigilante as he is called, having been sacked as Attorney General by the then Mills administration, proceeded to the Supreme Court to seek justice for a country he said had been swindled under dubious judgment debts.

He filed a suit at the Supreme Court against Waterville, Isofoton and Alfred Woyome, companies and individuals he insisted had illegally been paid judgment debts at different times but all under the John Mills and Mahama led governments.

Quoting Article 181 (5), Amidu argued the contracts, which formed the basis for the payment of the judgment debts to the three defendants were illegal because they were not approved by Parliament - as ought to be the case under international transactions.

The Supreme Court, in part, agreed with Amidu and ordered Waterville to pay back to the state, 25 million euros while Isofoton was ordered to pay back over $350,000 to the state.

The court, however, declined to give a ruling on the third defendant, Alfred Woyome, because he was before the High Court facing charges of defrauding by false pretence as well as wilfully causing financial loss to the state on the same issue.

But Martin Amidu, not impressed with the Supreme Court's loud silence on the Woyome case decided to go on a review to ask the judges to speak because his matter was more on constitutional interpretation than a criminal case before a lower court.

An eleven-member panel, chaired by the Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood ruled in favour of Amidu and directed Woyome to refund the amount paid him. Reginald Dogbe said they were not considering paying the refund just yet because they are considering other remedies.

He said they would meet with their lawyers and explore their next line of action.

On the pending case at the high court, Dogbe said Woyome did not point a gun in the face of any public official to be paid the money, insisting the case of fraud against his boss would not hold.