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General News Sat, 20 Jul 2013

Woyome civil trial resumes

The civil case involving the Attorney-General and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the NDC self-styled financier, has resumed at an Accra Commercial Court.

The AG dragged Mr. Woyome to court to seek a refund of the payment of GH¢51,283,480.59 paid to him as judgment debt on grounds that it was obtained fraudulently.

The hearing of the matter came to a halt after the Former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Martin Amidu dragged the AG, Woyome, and Waterville Holding (BV) Limited and Austro-Invest Management Limited to the Supreme Court to challenge the payment.

When the matter, which after the ruling by the Supreme Court, had taken its normal course, was called at the court presided over by Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu, the parties including Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, Chief State Attorney, Robert Kpatsah, counsel for Woyome and Woyome himself were called into chambers.

About 15 minutes later when they returned. They remained tight-lipped about what transpired in camera and only gave journalists the next adjourned date as October 30, 2013.

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On July 27, 2010 the AG instituted an action against Woyome seeking a declaration that the agreement reached with him for the payment of GH¢51,283,480.59 in three equal installments was arrived at by mistake as well as other declarations or consequential orders the court may deem fit.

On August 18, 2010, the AG amended its writ and included as part of reliefs an order setting aside the consent judgment filed in the registry on grounds that it was procured through a mistake.

Although Woyome filed his statement of defence and a counter claim looking forward for the AG to move its motion, the AG went to sleep until January 2012 when it again filed a motion to seek leave of the court to amend its writ on issues of fraud allegations levelled against him.

In the said application, the AG had sought nine additional reliefs.

Woyome responded by filing an affidavit in opposition and conceded that the AG could raise the issue of fraud but could not canvass any other issue or relief since that will re-open matters concluded in the consented judgment.

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Following these arguments, the trial judge ruled in February 2012 granting AG leave to amend the proposed writ on terms specified in the AG’s motion paper and supporting affidavit.

Woyome appealed against the ruling on grounds that Justice Ackah Yensu erred in law by granting the amendment which canvassed further grounds in addition to the allegation of fraud.

Woyome, however, lost the appeal.

Source: Daily Guide