On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, Ghanaians woke up to learn that Former Attorney-General, Martin Amidu has dragged his successor, Dr. Ben Kumbuor, Waterville Holdings, Autro-Invest Limited and businessman Alfred Woyome to the Supreme Court.
Says the first three paragraphs of the news item which appeared in the New Crusading Guide;
“Apparently disgruntled by the lethargic performance of the prosecution in the Woyome judgement debt case pending in court….. Martin Amidu has climbed a step further in his avowed quest to help the State to retrieve the GH¢52million which he contends was wrongfully paid to businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
“Mr. Amidu is seeking a declaration that the conduct of President Mills implying in an interview with Radio Gold on 23rd December 2011 that the two international Business Agreements of 26th April 2006 between the Republic of Ghana and Waterville Holdings (BVI) Limited incidental to it created liabilities for the Republic of Ghana for which the Government of Ghana had to pay Mr. Woyome judgment debts are inconsistent with and in contravention of Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution and undermine efforts to defend the Constitution.
“He argued that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 181(3), (4), (5), and (6) and the spirit of the 1992 Constitution, the Republic of Ghana cannot incur liability for any foreign or international loan or expenses incidental to such foreign or international loan transactions without Parliamentary approval of the transaction for it to be operative and binding on the Republic of Ghana.”
State Attorneys at the A-G's department must either be having a good laugh at the current stance of this Former Attorney-General or may be scratching their heads wondering if his medulla oblongata has suddenly developed a problem because while he was their boss, he showed through his actions as well as correspondence between him and others that he saw nothing wrong with Mr. Woyome being paid the judgement debt.
Documents including internal memos at the time Martin Amidu was in office as Attorney General and which the Daily Post has in its possession proves that Martin Amidu indeed found nothing wrong with the judgement debt of GH ¢52 million paid to Alfred Woyome.
Indeed, contrary to Martin Amidu's claim that “…matters came to his attention on 23rd December, 2011 as the then Attorney-General”, this paper can state authoritatively that he knew about the Woyome judgement debt at least as at June 28, 2011 when he was served with Woyome's MOTION ON NOTICE FOR RELISTMENT after the High Court hearing the case of Attorney-General Vrs. Alfred Woyome struck out the case for want of prosecution.
That the case was struck out for want of prosecution simply means that the state, which was then the plaintiff, was not showing any interest in pursuing the case in the court. Ironically, it was Alfred Woyome, who, wanting the cause of justice to be served, who relisted it.
Martin Amidu, as Attorney-General, was the one who selected Cecil Adedevor, a Senior State Attorney to go and represent him at the court on June 28, 2012, which was duly done. So, Martin Amidu cannot claim he became aware of the case only on December 23, 2011.
That he saw nothing wrong with the payment made to Alfred Woyome can be adduced from his response minuted on an internal memo sent to him on November 3, 2011 by the Solicitor-General (SG) of the AG's department, Amaa Gaisie.
In this memo, the SG said “The SSA and the CSA handling the case have complained about their unpreparedness to handle the case and the weakness of the case… They have therefore recommended that we either revert to the initial settlement of this case or provide the following persons to give evidence on behalf of the state;
1. Mrs. Betty Mould Iddrissu, Former Attorney General
2. Mr. Agyemang Manu –Former Deputy Minister of Finance
3. Mr. Paul Asimenu –Director, legal, Ministry of Finance.
I have spoken to Mr. Paul Asimenu who has agreed to give evidence; however, he believes that the defendant is entitled to the fee….”
In his response to this memo, Martin Amidu did not make any of the claims he is making now. His response to the SG which was written on the SG's memo read;
“I did not assign this case to the Attorneys and I am not going to take them out of it. I also did not authorize the trial of the case. Attorneys shd have known from the beginning they were uncomfortable handling the case and shd have sought directions then. What the CSA is saying at folio 16 in 2 must have been known to him before he assumed office on 25/1/11 and cannot be an excuse. I do not intend to countermand my predecessor's instructions in the matter and subsequent actions by Attorneys. The writ dated 28/07/10 was not filed upon my instructions and it is not today that I am to be told those who filed the action think it is weak”
It is instructive to note that even after Alfred Woyome had relisted the case in court, the Attorney-General, who was then Martin Amidu, still showed no interest in pursuing the case in court. Indeed, at the court, the A-G, who was now the plaintiff in the relisted case pleaded with the court to allow it time to settle the matter with Alfred Woyome. This request was granted. As a result, the Chief State Attorney, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh on November 17, 2011 in an internal memo to the Attorney-General, Martin Amidu stated that
“We have been informed by the Ministry of Finance that the principal amount due to Mr. Woyome amounting to GH ¢51,283,480.59 had already been paid. What is outstanding is the interest on the said amount at the rate of Eurobar 1 year plus 3 points from September 2006 to April 2010 and costs
“It is submitted that we meet with the solicitors of Mr. Woyome before the next court date of 23 Novemebr 2011 to arrive at some form of settlement on the quantum of interest due. We could in the process urge Mr. Woyome and his lawyers to give up the counterclaim against the AG
“ The counterclaim includes a compound interest on the sum of GH ¢4,000,000 AT 5% per month from 2ndJuly 2010 until date of final payment, a further interest of GH ¢1,000,000.00 due as a result of default in repaying a loan from UT Bank as well as legal fees at 10% of the aggregate sum due and payable.
“This will enable us to request the court to adopt terms we agree on and thereby save the state from incurring further costs based on the mounting interest and legal costs”
What did Martin Amidu do when he got this memo? Did he reject the suggestions? No. Did he remember the “… true and proper interpretation of Article 181(3), (4), (5), and (6) and the spirit of the 1992 Constitution, the Republic of Ghana cannot incur liability for any foreign or international loan or expenses incidental to such foreign or international loan transactions without Parliamentary approval of the transaction for it to be operative and binding on the Republic of Ghana”? No. Did he argue “…that on a true and proper interpretation of Article 181(3), (4), (5), and (6) and the spirit of the 1992 Constitution, the Republic of Ghana cannot incur liability for any foreign or international loan or expenses incidental to such foreign or international loan transactions without Parliamentary approval of the transaction for it to be operative and binding on the Republic of Ghana” as he is doing now? No. So what was his response?
In his response on Novemebr 21, 2011,minuted on the Chief State Attorney's memo, Martin Amidu, in his own handwriting simply told the Chief State Attorney that “As long as the matter is handled professionally having regard to all the circumstances of the case I will have no problems with the conclusion arrived at”
Obviosuly, Martin Amidu saw nothing wrong with the judgement debt payment paid to Alfred Woyome until he was fired by President Mills for insubordination. From thereon, Martin Amidu became a so-called Citizen Vigilante who sees everything wrong with the payment of the debt. But every reasonable Ghanaians understands that his recent behaviour is a matter of sour grapes for being sacked as well as the Delusion of Grandeur he is suffering from.
Right thinking Ghanaians will not take this man seriously. Suffice to say that some people. Because they have decided to see everything wrong with the Mills government, now see Martin as the man they can use against President Mills and the NDC. They of course must also understand that “he who drums for a sick man to dance, is himself sick”