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28.06.2019 General News

AU Court Deliver Judgment On Woyome Case Tomorrow

GHS51m Judgment Debt Saga
AU Court Deliver Judgment On Woyome Case Tomorrow

There is anxiety between the state of Ghana and businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome ahead of tomorrow’s African Court On Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) verdict on the case Mr Woyome had filed in 2017, against the Ghana government for infringing on his fundamental human rights.

The AU Court has fixed tomorrow June 28, for its judgment on the matter after hearing from the two parties.

A notice signed by the Registrar of the Court, Dr. Robert Eno, said the judgment in Alfred Agbesi Woyome Vs The Republic of Ghana will be read at exactly 10 am, East African time, in Arusha, Tanzania, on the 28th of June.

Whatsupnews report sighted by Modernghana indicated that, a notice has since been served to Mr. Woyome and his lawyers Oseawu Chambers and the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo.

Mr. Woyome had sued over human rights violations after the Akufo-Addo Government had taken to hounding him, even though Woyome was at the international court challenging a judgment by Ghana's Supreme Court that controversially denied him right to payment for financial engineering he did in 2008.

While Woyome was in court, the Government had begun valuing his properties to offset GHS51million that had been paid him by the Mills government for his role in raising money for the CAN 2008 soccer tournament hosted by Ghana.

Among others, the Government had taken to storming Woyomes homes at dawn to value his properties, a tactic that left the Government looking like some of its agents were witchcraft practitioners.

While the Government was doing these all things, Woyome was at an international court unknotting a legal tangle that he was fighting to justify his entitlement to payment.

It would be recalled that Alfred Agbesi Woyome had dominated news headlines from the Presidency of late President Evans Atta Mills to the early days of President Akufo-Addo.

The negative reports about him had been the result of his involvement with Waterville and its contract to build stadia for the CAN 2008 soccer fiesta in Ghana.

After Waterville had landed the contract to build the stadia and the Kufuor government had encouraged Waterville to start the contract, without first asking for approval from Parliament, President Kufuor had suddenly abrogated the contract and given it to a Chinese company.

Waterville had threatened to go to court, forcing the Kufuor Administration to pay it over 33million euros.

Woyome who had done financial engineering for Waterville had pleaded financial injury due to the sudden abrogation of the contract, pointing out that in international financial engineering practice, he was entitled to at least 4% of whatever money he raised for Waterville. Reports from EOCO show he raised at least a 1,000,000,000 euros for Waterville.

The Kufuor government however refused to pay Woyome, leading to him going to court. The case was not thrashed out before the Kufuor government left office in January 2009 and the Mills Government came into office.

Woyome, securing a consent judgment in the case because then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrissu did not go to court to defend the state against his claim, later presented the judgment to the government and demanded some US$150 million that he said he was entitled to.

Betty Mould Iddrissu would however plead with him and get Woyome to accept something in the region of US$13million the cedi equivalent of which was about ghc51million.

Immediately a first tranche of some ghc16million was paid to Woyome, the NPP which was then in opposition raised an alarm and that was the beginning of a media and legal onslaught for Woyome.

The case to get the money back outlasted the Mills and Mahama governments. A casualty of the case, then Attorney General Martin Amidu, would lose his job after he allegedly attempted to assault President Mills over Mills alleged actions to shield Woyome from prosecution.

After falling out of the Mills Government, a bitter Amidu went to the Supreme Court and used a controversial technicality to secure a judgment that illegitimized Woyomes entitlement to the payment.

The technical grounds was that, since the Waterville contract had been awarded by the Kufuor Government without Parliamentary approval, it was illegal and anything related to it, including Woyomes entitlement to the 4% payment for financial engineering, was illegal.

The judgment left sourness in the mouth because it was well known that the responsibility to obtain clearance for an international contract from Parliament was that of Government and not the company involved.

Moreover, Woyome also made the point that the 4% he was entitled to had nothing to do with the Waterville contract, but was something he had earned from doing financial engineering that became opportune because of CAN 2008.

The embattled businessman therefore went to the international court to clarify that the Supreme Court had erred by associating his financial engineering royalty entitlements to Watervilles contract. The court ruled that Woyome indeed could not be associated with Watervilles contract.

When that judgment came, some State propagandists had celebrated it, but those who knew the implication, including people at the AGs department started giving off vibes that Ghana could not be bound by that judgment.

The state then started valuing Woyomes properties to defray the money that had been paid to him. The businessman therefore went to the African Court at Arusha to sue GoG for violation of his human rights.

In the course of the case, the court has had cause to issue orders to GoG and its agents to stop harassing Mr. Woyome until the final determination of the case. That determination is what has been scheduled for the 18th of June.

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