Woyome’s Plea: Why Supreme Court Dismissed Businessman’s Petition Against Oral Examination

Justice Alfred Benin said that Woyome’s plea for a halt in the oral examination had no basis…

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application by businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome seeking to stop the Attorney General from orally examining him. The court presided over by Justice Alfred Benin, said that the application had no basis.

Woyome filed a suit praying the Supreme Court to stop the Attorney General from orally examining him in connection with attempts by the state to retrieve GHS51.2million from him; since he had filed for a review of the case.

The Judge announced last week that he would rule on Woyome’s application on July 4, 2017. For this reason, the oral examination that was billed for Thursday, June 29, did not come off.

At the Supreme Court’s hearing last week, Woyome’s lawyer, Mr Ken Anku, prayed the court to temporarily halt the oral examination pending the review. This he sought citing Article 134(b) of the 1992 Constitution which allows a review of the decision of a single judge of the Supreme Court by three other justices of the court.

But Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Dame, opposed Woyome’s plea, describing the reasons given by the lawyer as an incompetent one which sought to delay execution of the court’s order.

Judgement Debt Saga: Background

Mr. Woyome was paid GHc 51 million after claiming he helped Ghana raise funds to construct stadia for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations. However, the then Auditor General, Martin Amidu’s report released in 2010, held that the amount was paid illegally to him.

Former AG Martin Amidu

Following the report,  the Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money.

Following delays in retrieving the money, Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney-General Martin Amidu clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.

Mr. Amidu himself, in 2016, filed an application at the Supreme Court seeking to examine Alfred Woyome, on how he was going to pay back the money. This was after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.

However, in February 2017, former AG Martin Amidu withdrew the suit to orally examine the businessman. Explaining the reason for his withdrawal, Amidu said it was as a result of the confidence and trust he has on the present government which had promised to retrieve all judgement debts wrongfully paid to individuals.