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05.04.2012 Politics

Woyome Appeals

By Daily Guide
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ALFRED AGBESI Woyome, the embattled NDC bankroller has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal challenging a ruling by an Accra Commercial Court which granted the Attorney-General the opportunity to amend a writ that intends to seek refund of GH¢51, 283,480.59 paid to him as judgment debt.

In addition, Woyome has filed for a stay of proceedings to restrain the lower court from hearing the matter between him and the AG till final determination of the appeal.

The court was expecting the AG to start their case Tuesday but when the matter was called Woyome's lawyer, Robertson Kpatsah, informed the commercial court presided over by Justice Barbara Ackah-Yensu about the new development and indicated he had served the AG copies of their appeal.

Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, a representative for the AG did not oppose counsel's submission but told the judge they had not received a statement of defence to their amended writ. She disclosed that they have only received from Woyome, a notice of change of solicitors.

In a response to why they have not filed their amended statement of defence, Mr. Kpatsah explained that they are waiting for the ruling on their appeal before they would know the next line of action to take. The trial judge subsequently adjourned the matter to April 20.

Woyome per his motion prayed the court of appeal to stay proceedings at the commercial court because in the event that he succeeds on his appeal, the evidence that would otherwise be led on the reliefs will prejudice the fair hearing of the matter thereby causing him substantial miscarriage of justice.

Narrating what prompted his action Woyome said on July 27, 2010 the AG instituted an action against him seeking a declaration that the agreement reached with him for the payment of GH¢51,283,480.59 in three equal installments was arrived at by mistake as well as other declarations or consequential orders the court may deem fit.

On August 18, 2010, the AG amended its writ and included as part of reliefs an order setting aside the consent judgment filed in the registry on grounds that it was procured through a mistake.

Although Woyome filed his statement of defence and a counter claim looking forward for the AG to move its motion, the AG went to sleep until January 2012 when it again filed a motion to seek leave of the court to amend its writ on issues of fraud allegations leveled against him.

In the said application, the AG had sought nine additional reliefs.

Woyome responded by filing an affidavit in opposition and conceded that the AG could raise the issue of fraud but could not canvass any other issue or relief since that will re-open matters concluded in the consented judgment.

Following these arguments, the trial judge ruled in February 2012 granting AG leave to amend the proposed writ on terms specified in the AG's motion paper and supporting affidavit.

Woyome believes that Justice Barbara Ackah Yensu erred in law by granting the amendment which canvassed further grounds in addition to the allegation of fraud.

The move to amend the writ was initiated by former Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Martin Amidu who was sacked by the President a few days after taking the bold step.

By Mary Anane

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