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General News Tue, 23 Jul 2013

Woyome money was hidden from me - Amidu replies

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Amidu, has stated that he failed to stop payments to businessman Alfred Woyome because the monies were authorised before his appointment.

His response in a statement released on Monday, comes after it was revealed in Court that a huge chunk of the judgment debt paid to Alfred Woyome, was made during his tenure as AG.

In the statement, Mr. Amidu also alleged that the matter was hidden from him until the scandal broke out in December.

“How was I to stop payments of monies which were authorized before I was appointed to the office and nobody had even briefed me about them? The first time this matter came to my attention was on 8th November 2011, when I read the Solicitor- General's memo asking me to authorize the withdrawal of the Woyome case from the High Court for settlement, which I refused to do.

“Then in December, the scandal broke out. All along this matter was hidden away from me until the scandal was about to break out and then they wanted to use me to withdraw the case, so I would have been responsible for the consequences”.

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Below is the full statement by Martin Amidu.

The letters authorizing payment from the Attorney General were dated 15th November 2010 in the case of Waterville, and 9th December 2010 in the case of Woyome.

The letters were each addressed by the Minister of Finance to the Accountant-General for payment. There was nothing in my handing over notes on these cases.

How was I to stop payments of monies which were authorized before I was appointed to the office and nobody had even briefed me about them? The first time this matter came to my attention was on 8th November 2011 when I read the Solicitor- General's memo asking me to authorize the withdrawal of the Woyome case from the High Court for settlement which I refused to do.

Then in December the scandal broke out. All along this matter was hidden away from me until the scandal was about to break out and then they wanted to use me to withdraw the case so I would have been responsible for the consequences.

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I refused to be the scape goat. In any case I am responsible for the amended writ and statement of claim now pending in the High Court.

The National Security Coordinator, Captain Kojo Tsikata and senior staff of the Attorney General's Department know that without my efforts what had been filed in the High Court on grounds of mistake before I sought the amendments had no legs to stand upon.

The Acting Chief Director is in charge of purely administrative matters of the Ministry of Justice. The Solicitor General is the administrative head of the Legal Service and head of the Civil Division responsible for handling all civil cases for and against the Government.

How come that the Solicitor General who handled this matter under my predecessor and myself is not a witness? How come that the Chief State Attorney, Samuel Nerquaye Tetteh who handled this case throughout and is still at post not a witness? How come that the Senior State Attorney, Mr. Adadevoh who was always in Court not a witness? How come that Mrs. Afriyie-Ansah who is the Chief State Attorney handling the case in the High Court since I sought the amendment not a witness? Why will the Attorney-General use an Acting Chief Director who had no personal knowledge or anything to do with the file and never had a minute on the file during my tenure as a witness.

On 10th July 2013 I wrote to the Attorney General and called her attention to my concerns about how the case is being handled.

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I have received no reply. If the intention of the Attorney General is to continue to vilify me, by attributing to me what I have not done, so be it.

The truth shall come out one day.

Martin

Source: XYZ
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