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07.01.2017 Feature Article

Woyome's Money Could Be Retrieved Through Political Vendetta!

Woyome's Money Could Be Retrieved Through Political Vendetta!
LISTEN JAN 7, 2017

Some of us are agasp when it comes to the general concept of Ghanaian jurisprudence and the selectively tacky manner, in majority of instances, how the laws are interpreted when they border on issues of interest both national and international..

No sooner was "cocaine girl" affair popped up than did we have judicial subpoena or order to consficate the alleged 'cocaine' girl's assets. The rush to use as basis another country's prosecution and conviction automatically as ours left a lot to desire

The cocaine girl's case and several other similar instances where we capitalized on convictions of our nationals on drug-related, or any other offence committed by our nationals in other countries to automatically equate to fit into our justice system has been a in practice for years

Those who really know and are charged with the sole responsibility ( attorneys, judges and justices) of interpretation and application of our laws, could be unconsciously miss-applying the laws in disjointed and disconnected manner

The scenario would have been different if the person, Ghanaian or non-Ghanaian is caught in crocodile's jaw of committing drug-related crime or offence in Ghana, tried and convicted in Ghana, then we can apply the law of forfeiture to consficate the assets

Such unprofessional attitude and approach put us in lame spot in the eyes of international communities

Countries which are up to the brim with national pride and are willing to use sovereignty and their justice system to protect and enhance fundamental human rights of their citizens, are doing theirs as thus:

Amanda Knox a US citizen and one of the suspects in murder trial of fellow exchange student, Meredith Kercher, British citizen in Perugia, Umbria, Italy, was handed over to US due to open diplomatic ties that exist between the two countries

Knox was handed over to US on the pretext of she serving the jail term but upon arrival, she was let loose

The reason why Amanda Knox couldn't be obliged in US to serve a jail term or retried in US, though she was convicted in ltaly, borders largely on sovereignty, because US can't use litigations in another country to represent theirs and much less use forensic evidence gathered by ltalian authorities to prosecute her

Things would been far from over for Knox if she happens to be a Ghanaian. Well, same judicial lapses could have culminated in Woyome saga, a case of 'double jeopardy' une dois acquit et autrefois convict

Before we go further into Woyome brouhaha which is becoming more of tribal vendetta per my understanding, than political or even ethical cum moral, when he was attacked in super mall with tribal slur, let's ask ourselves, dear readers, one pertinent question:

'In bleak prognosis scenario where somebody is sentenced to death in Ghana on crimes he never committed and that person has no means to appeal the case what happens?'

That is why am completely enthused with the setup of spanish justice system, where the supreme court monitors simultaneously precedings, if not all, at least those with special interest, like "Woyome" case for example, once the supreme court is suspicious of a verdict delivered by one of the courts of lower jurisdiction, the supreme court of cassation automatically annuls the verdict before it takes effect and without the necessity of anybody officially filing writ of appellate/supreme court

I hope supreme court/s in Ghana will be doing the same thing. The supreme court in Ghana is part of the blame, because the highest court of the land forms part of the justice system that ordered the payment of the judgement debt to Woyome

US jurisprudence can be likened to ours but what makes US justice system different from ours, all the courts of lower and higher jurisdiction are competent. In other words the courts low in authority unlike those we have in Ghana, as evidenced in Woyome gate, do not need supreme Court monitoring

Certain cases fall within certain jurisdiction, that is to say, it depends the case at hand will determine which court it should be heard - the so-called admissibility of a case. In other words you risk having your case thrown out without being heard when it is filed at wrong court

We live in a country where more than 50% of disputes are mediated by traditional rulers, and the trend is quickly changing because mediation is not the same as adjudication. The courts will be heads over heels should all the disputes be adjudicated

That is the main reason why we must entreat our courts be independent, up and running, efficient enough to deliver a clear-cut justice for all

Woyome saga cropped up when in 2010 , a high court awarded him Ghc 51.2 million to be paid to him because of his role in construction of several stadia 2008 tournament held in Ghana under the regime of ex-president John Agyekum Kufour

He was later arrested and charged with making financial loss to the state through defrauding by false pretenses

His arrest and indictment after the money was paid to him, came in 2010 due to hullabaloo that emanated from NPP camp, then the largest opposition party, because he is believed to be NDC, the ruling party's financier,

Early 2014, Mr. Martin Amidu's writ which he filed in the supreme court challenging the payment was upheld with judicial determination that Mr. Woyome refunds the money to the state

2015 he was cleared of making financial loss to the state through defrauding by false pretenses, in 2016 November, Mr. Martin Amidu has won yet another writ to cross-examine Mr. Woyome

Well, Mr. Martin Amidu could be good intentioned in his personal crusade against Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, but we must bear in mind that Mr. Amidu was then attorney General and Minister justice under whose watch the payment was made, however Mr Amidu has dismissed any involvement from the get-go

This has to strike a chord of any well-meaning to come to conclusion that is a clear case of double jeopardy. How many times does he have to go through the justice system before we can come with single verdict - suffice with the bromas that Tsatsu Tsikata has been cleared of any wrongdoing after serving a jail term on the conviction of causing financial loss to the state

For me, Woyome's money will be difficult to retrieve because the payment was authorized by statutory constructed and constitutionally mandated body, like the high court and l believe Mr. Woyome will use that as his defense

Lawyer, now, incoming president, Nana Akufo-Addo's pre-election promise to retrieve the allegedly defrauded Woyome money will be beyond possibility. In any case, save through judicial manipulation anchored in political vindictiveness, then is possible!

Agobodzo, Richard
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Richard Agobodzo
Richard Agobodzo, © 2017

The author has 44 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: RichardAgobodzo

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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