‘Woyome Did Not Defraud The State’ – Court dismisses AG’s Appeal Against Woyome

The Appeal Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Attorney General to bemoan the discharge of businessman Alfred Woyome who was initially accused of defrauding the government in the GHC 51 million payment case. The court has decided to uphold the decision of the High court to discharge and acquit Woyme after clearing him of the criminal charges.

The Accra High court a year ago had discharged him of charges of defrauding the state by false pretence and wilfully causing financial loss to the state. But unsatisfied with Woyome’s exoneration, the AG’s Department, in March 2015, filed a notice of appeal to reverse the High Court’s decision on his case

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However in the Appeal Court ruling, the three justices presiding over the case were of the view that the AG’s evidence was not strong enough to  prove that Woyome defrauded the state in any way and that the trial judge did not acquit him under any sort of motive. The court said the AG failed to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

The Woyome saga has lasted for 6 years and has been the longest criminal hearing under the NDC government. Last year, Marrietta Brew Oppong who was prosecuting the criminal case against Woyome at the High court had called eight witnesses on the case, but Woyome in question, surprisingly called no one as his witness.

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Reports have it that Woyome had requested that a judgement debt of GHC 51 million be paid him for the 2008 Nations cup stadia project he did for the government. But the dynamics of the case changed with the assumption of AG Martin Amidu who succeeded AG Betty in 2010. Amidu then had Woyome arrested and charged for causing financial loss to the state. Also while prosecuting the case, Amidu was sacked from government under mysterious circumstances, and Marietta Brew Hammond was appointed to succeed him

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A civil case to get him to refund the money was however successful. Amidu acting in his private capacity secured a Supreme Court order directing Woyome to cough up ₵51.2 million, although he is free of the criminal charges