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General News Sun, 22 Jan 2012

'Mills Knew Of Payments To Woyome'

Information available to the New Statesman indicates President Mills’ was kept in the know about the GH¢92 million that was doled out to his number one financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

A source close to Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, under whose watch this gargantuan payment was made has told the New Statesman that President Atta-Mills was updated on the developments of the case and as such cannot deny knowledge of the facts of the Woyome case and the payments thereof.

Betty Mould, according to our source, is incensed at the continuous denial of the President and the apparent attempt by functionaries of the NDC to ensure she takes the blame for the payments made to Mr Woyome.

Frustrated at the fact that she was getting so much flak from the opposition, her own party as well as the general public, Betty Mould was decided enough was enough and scheduled a press briefing where she was to spill the beans concerning the Woyome issue and also implicate the President.

Through the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Education, Betty Mould had indicated to press men that she was finally ready to speak on the Woyome issue but was impressed upon by the senior members of the NDC to, as it were, shelve her press statement as they deemed it disastrous for the Presidency and the fortunes of the NDC ahead of the 2012 elections.

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“Powers that be are trying to shield the President and the hypocritical stance he has adopted, knowing that Betty’s press statement could as well bring down the Mills regime,” our source added.

President Mills’ continuous denial of knowing the full facts of the Woyome issue has been described by political analysts as an infantile and amateurish statement.

In the negotiations relating to and settlement of the claims brought by Mr Woyome, Betty Mould Iddrisu informed Dr Kwabena Duffuor and the Office of the President through the Chief of Staff. The payments made to Mr Woyome were thus sanctioned by the Office of the President.

“If President Mills claims to know nothing about the payments to Mr Woyome, then what this means is that the payment of GH¢58 million or GH¢92 million to Mr Woyome was not discussed at cabinet. This means anyone can get and do whatever he or she likes in this country, because the President simply does not care”, an analyst speaking on condition of anonymity told the New Statesman.

“This country then is experiencing a clear case of paralysis of leadership”, the analyst continued.

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President Mills’ statement to the effect that he was after those [the NPP] who had incurred the liability, according to the analyst, exposes the President’s knowledge of the facts of the Woyome case.

“The President asked EOCO to give him the full facts of the case. This only means that the President was aware of facts of the case, if not the full facts”, the analyst concluded.

Betty Mould Iddrisu’s incompetence at the helm of Attorney-General’s office has been badly exposed with the Minority in Parliament cataloguing the series of events which depict the apparent collusion and complicity of the former A-G in the Woyome Saga.

On or about April 12, 2010 before the Woyome matter was commenced in court, Hon Betty Mould-Iddrisu met Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome to discuss the latter’s purported service rendered to the State and the supposed abrogation of contract by the Kufuor administration.

A couple of days later, still before the case was initiated in court, Betty Mould-Iddrisu advised Dr. Kwabena Duffuor to pay two per cent (2%) of the total value of the stadia projects to Alfred Woyome and Austro Invest for an alleged breach of agreement by Government of Ghana.

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On Monday, 19th April 2010 Alfred Woyome, after the initial discussion with the Attorney-General sued the Attorney-General and the Minister of Finance. The Attorney-General filed entry of appearance but did not file any defence (In a later application she stated that there was no defence to the claim)

On Monday, May 24, the court entered judgment in favour of Alfred Woyome totalling GH¢105,540,548.24 and awarded cost of GH¢25,000 against the Republic of Ghana. This was because the Attorney-General failed or refused to file a defence.

On Friday, May 28, 2010 just four days after the judgment, the Attorney-General, Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu, wrote to the Finance Minister with a copy to the Chief of Staff that she had negotiated with Woyome for him to accept GH¢41,811,480.59 and advised the Minister of Finance to pay.

However, on Friday, June 4, the Attorney-General, filed the terms of the so-called negotiated settlement at the registry of the court, this time stating that the defendant (i.e. A.G) shall pay the plaintiff (Woyome) the sum of GH¢51,283,480.59 in three equal installments of GH¢17,094,493.53 beginning June and ending August 31, 2010. Yet, earlier on May 28, the same Attorney-General had requested the Minister of Finance to pay GH¢41,811,480.59.

Source: The New Statesman