The Ghana Integrity initiative (GII) wants government to prosecute those who paid the Ghc51 million judgement debt to businessman Alfred Woyome.
This, according to them, is because “if Mr. Woyome has been acquitted and discharged, but the Supreme Court has held that those monies were illegally paid, [then] somebody has to be held responsible for paying that money illegally.”
Woyome sued the state for a breach of contract relating to the construction of some stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana and was awarded a default judgement to that tune because the state failed to put in a defense.
He was arrested on February 3, 2011 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which was commissioned by the late President John Evans Atta Mills to investigate the matter, had implicated him in wrongdoing.
According to Mr. Woyome’s statement of claim on March 31, 2010, the then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, wrote to request payment as she informed the Finance Minister then, Kwabena Duffuor, that Woyome was claiming 2% compensation fee for financial engineering on the mobilization of funds for the CAN Project and that she had reached a settlement with him.
According to paragraph 17 of Woyome’s Statement of Claim in court, the finance minister on April 6, 2010 wrote to Controller and Accountant General requesting “the release of funds” to pay the claim of “Ghana cedi equivalent of €22,129,501.74.”
On May 28, 2010 – Betty Mould wrote again to the finance minister after Kwabena Duffuor did not follow her instructions. She informed him Woyome has sued and successfully obtained a default judgement of a total of Ghc51,283,480.59 including interests and costs.
Paragraph 18 of the Woyome Statement of Claim in court stated that on April 7, 2010 – Controller and Accountant General issued a “Bank Transfer Advice… to the Director, Banking Department, Bank of Ghana”, requesting “for the release of funds to pay the sum of Gh¢41,811,480.59.”
A Chief State Attorney, Mr Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh; his wife, Mrs Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, and the Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Paul Asimenu suspected to have aided Woyome were arrested. Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh was charged with conspiracy and corrupting a public officer.
Asimenu and Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh were charged with abetment of crime. Woyome was alleged to have paid GH¢400,000 to the couple, but they and Mr Asimenu were, on June 5, 2012, freed, following the state’s declaration of filing a nolle prosequi.
Speaking in an interview with Citi News the executive director of the anti-graft group insists: these people should be chased” and adds that the Mahama led administration “can only absorb itself of blame if those who paid the Mr. Woyome are caged.”