By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Folks, the long-drawn-out case involving the judgement debt paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome is over; and Woyome is the loser. He should have known all along that what he received was fraudulently given him because of the loopholes in our system that unscrupulous public officials teamed up with him to exploit. The news is simple:
The Supreme Court has ordered business man Alfred Woyome to refund a total of ?51.2 million judgement debt payment he received between 2009 and 2010. Judges at the highest court ruled the National Democratic Congress financier had no valid contract to be paid that amount of money.
The ruling follows a review of the court's own earlier decision sought by former Attorney General Martin Amidu who insisted that Woyome, like Waterville and Isofoton, had no valid contract to be paid any amount by the state in judgement debt.
The Supreme Court few months ago ruled in favour of Amidu and directed Isofoton and Waterville to pay back monies paid them in judgement debt. It said the contracts which formed the basis for the claims by the two companies did not exist in law for want of Parliamentary ratification as required by law. It however refused to make a ruling on the Woyome matter because the matter was pending at the High Court.
Not satisfied with the ruling of the court, the citizen vigilante, as he would describe himself, went back to the Court asking it to review its own decision on Woyome and the Attorney General whom he joined to the suit against Waterville and Isofoton.
Congratulations to Martin Amidu for this feat. It’s laudable that a citizen vigilante could single-handedly bring this case to this point for Ghana’s good which a whole government with all the resources at its disposal couldn’t, apparently because of what its own functionaries did to enable the commission of this crime.
The matter must not end with Woyome's refunding of the illegal judgement debt money. He should be taken through the whole hog of prosecution for criminally pocketing what he didn't deserve. I am calling for the trial and punishment of Woyome for swindling the state.
In addition, Woyome should be banned from doing anything as far as public funds are concerned. A private businessman who colludes with government officials to loot the national coffers must be banned for life. He shouldn’t be given any room to do anything associated with the national coffers.
All public officials (at the Ministries of Finance, Justice and Attorney-General's Department, especially) who colluded with him should also be fished out and dealt with. Not until these errant officials are punished and the loopholes plugged, we shouldn't expect this judgement debt nonsense to end anytime soon.
Some skeptics may wonder whether the very officials and their lackeys in the system who facilitated this fraud will be willing to prosecute Woyome. I say that's a big question. They won't do it unless pressure is brought down to bear heavily on them. Someone must be bold enough to initiate the process and we will jump on board to ensure that Woyome and his backers are dealt with. Too much dishonesty and criminal conspiracy in public office have done too much harm to our country and its citizens. The Supreme Court’s verdict should encourage us to take on these elements.
I shall return…
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