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Attorney-General strips Woyome over Trassaco houses

The Attorney-General (AG) has tendered a document as evidence to prove that two residential properties at Trasacco Valley in Accra belong to the embattled National Democratic Congress (NDC) bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome and not the defunct UT Bank.

Both houses have become a subject of litigation in the ongoing trial of Woyome who has been accused of ‘defrauding’ the state to the tune of GH¢ 51 million. The AG, Mr. Woyome and Receivers of the collapsed UT Bank are before the Supreme Court. The bank has been claiming ownership of the said properties on the basis that Woyome sold the properties to UT Bank. But the Government of Ghana represented by the AG and Minister of Justice has on the other hand been trying to show that the properties still belong to Woyome and that Receivers of the defunct UT Bank are colluding with Woyome to prevent the state from selling the two properties to offset GH¢ 47.2 million that the NDC financier owes the state.

Evidence

Deputy AG, Godfred Yeboah Dame, during the hearing last Thursday, tendered a writ of summons which was filed by Anator Quarry Limited as evidence. Woyome is believed to be the executive chairman of the company. That was after a Chief State Attorney, Stella Badu, had made a series of references to the document during cross-examination by the counsel for Woyome, Osafo Buabeng. According to the deputy AG, Woyome was described as the owner of the two properties in the writ filed by Anator Quarry at the Accra High Court. Alfred Woyome’s counsel had objected to the tendering of the writ, arguing that the right procedure was for the court to order the registrar of the High Court to tender the whole file on the case initiated by Anator Quarry. According to him, such a move would prevent the court from having access to only a document that would favour the case of the AG. He also told the court that he had been informed that Anator Quarry had filed to discontinue the case at the High Court. The sole judge, Justice A. A. Benin, however, admitted the writ into evidence, stating that the AG could assist the court with the writ so far as all the parties had seen and confirmed it as the original writ.

Cross-examination

During the cross-examination, Mr. Buabeng tried to make a case that the two properties were not for his client, but Mrs. Badu disagreed and insisted that all searches made by the state proved that the properties were still registered in the name of Woyome. He stated: “I am putting it to you that there is no evidence before this court or any other that the two properties are not the properties of Woyome.” But Mrs. Badu sharply replied, saying “I disagree; we insist that the two properties belong to Woyome,’’ She also raised doubt over the witness statement signed by the Receivers of UT Bank, explaining that in the said statement, the Receivers had said UT Bank bought the properties from Woyome but the same properties were also used as collateral by Anator Quarry Limited to secure a loan from the bank. She added “that is one of the reasons the AG raised the issue of collusion.” Hearing of the case continues on December 3, 2018.

Background

The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the state on grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the state and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations. Woyome went to the International Court of Arbitration to contest the court’s decision after reneging on his promise to the Supreme Court to pay the money by the end of December 2015. On March 1, 2016, Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his wish. The court had, in the 2014 review decision, held that the contracts upon which Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.

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