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03.02.2012 General News

I Assisted EOCO Out Of Respect For Rule Of Law - Woyome

By Stephen Sah - Daily Graphic
Alfred Agbesi WoyomeAlfred Agbesi Woyome
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The man at the centre of the GH¢52 million judgement debt, Mr , has said that his initial decision to co-operate with the Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) was born out of his respect for the rule of law.

He said the decision was also premised on his desire to support any legitimate effort to unravel the facts relating to the whole affair but not to reopen the case which had been concluded by a court of competent jurisdiction.

In a statement issued in Accra on January 31, 2012, Mr Woyome, however, said certain developments had arisen out of his current engagement with EOCO which had made him believe that the organisation was acting outside the letter and spirit of the agreed effort to untangle the issues and matters relative to the awarding of the judgement.

He particularly made reference to EOCO’s freezing of his personal bank account, the bank accounts of companies in which he had interest, writing to the Bank of Ghana and rural banks requesting details of all accounts and companies related to him against the confirmation order [albeit delayed] given to him by another court of competent jurisdiction.

“Repeated references to me and my company when they are aware that the payment of the judgment debt has nothing to do with my companies which are limited liability companies and exist separately from myself and inquiries into business transactions of my companies and me that are totally unrelated to the matters to which this issue refers are disturbing,” Mr Woyome said.

“Our contention is that EOCO’s interaction with us was based on a mission to cordially and amicably seek information, but their conduct as enumerated above clearly shows that they are operating outside the original framework which they communicated to me and their actions now constitute a direct infringement on my rights as a citizen; indeed, their behaviour has taken on the aspect of a witch hunt,” he said.

He said the court order obtained by EOCO mentioned the specific account that received the monies accruing from the judgement debt as being the one to be frozen, but in stark contravention of that order, EOCO froze several more accounts.

“I have brought a suit against EOCO because of the above acts that have been visited against me, persons and organisations that I have interests in,” he said.

However, he said, it was preposterous for anybody to suggest that he might have been involved in fraud with regard to the judgement debt paid to him.

The EOCO, he said, was investigating him at a time the Attorney-General’s Office, which had supervisory authority over EOCO, had filed a suit seeking to address what the state, apparently, believed was an issue worth pursuing in relation to the judgement debt paid to him.

“In my respectful opinion, EOCO’s pursuit of their current line of action is in direct contravention of the laws of the Republic of Ghana and I believe that it is necessary to bring same to the attention of all well-meaning Ghanaians who are following the happenings relating to my good self in the media,” he said.

Mr Woyome said he found the actions of both EOCO and the Attorney-General to be most discriminatory because of all the judgement debts paid to various individuals and entities amounting to approximately GH¢640 million, it was the judgement debt paid to that merited their focus and attention.

”Judgement debts which were determined through arbitration have been paid and I, who had to resort to the courts to seek redress, am being treated as if I have done wrong. Is it simply because in this instance the matter came to the public attention? Is this an attempt to save face and provide a scapegoat? Is the Constitution not the highest authority in the land?” he asked.

“I have been following with much interest the ongoing crucifixion and sullying of my reputation and character by various persons over the last few weeks concerning the judgement debt paid to me by the Government of Ghana through duly constituted and appropriate legal mechanisms.

“ I have also noted the vitriolic agenda by certain groups of people, notably the NPP as a party, and the unhidden intent to demonise me,” he said.

He said in all his dealings and undertakings, he had never sought, and would never seek, to make any gain by dishonest means and that he was not oblivious to the socio-economic challenges that faced the nation currently.

Despite the many challenges that face the country, he said, the enshrined principles that governed out lives and were founded on the principle of the rule of law could not and must not be sacrificed on the altar of socio-economic problems.

Mr Woyome said it was in the spirit of the respect for the rule of law that he resolved to seek redress to his grievance through an appropriate and legally constituted mechanism, the court system, after more than seven years of persecution.

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