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GHC 51m Saga: Amidu Can Orally Examine Woyome, Supreme Court Rules!

The Supreme Court (SC) of Ghana has granted a request by former Attorney General, Martin Amidu to allow him cross examine businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome. This was after the embattled businessman, was ordered by the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Anin Yeboah, to appear before it on Thursday 24th November, 2016, for an oral examination by Martin Amidu on his assets with regards to the payment of the Ghc51.2million judgement debt to him. The Citizen Vigilante, had earlier told the court that an opportunity to question the businessman will unravel how Mr Woyome spent the about GHc 52m paid to him, adding that this was crucial in ensuring a speedy retrieval of the money. The court in its ruling said the amount in contention was colossal and no serious effort had been made to retrieve the money since the Judgement was delivered two years ago. The plaintiff, the court added, was not retrieving the money for himself but for the state. Martin Amidu’s application, praying the court to allow him to cross examine Woyome over the Ghc 51 Million judgment debt paid him, follows a move by the Attorney General’s (AG) office, led by the Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, to discontinue an oral examination of Mr. Woyome, despite serving an earlier notice. The notice of discontinuance stated that “please take notice that the 1st Defendant Judgment Creditor (Attorney General) herein has this day (26th Day of October 2016) discontinued the present application to orally examine the 3rd Defendant Judgment Debtor (Woyome) with liberty to reapply.” Mr. Woyome recently refunded GH¢4 million to state coffers, representing part payment of the GH¢51.2 million he owes the state. He has, through his lawyers, promised to pay the outstanding balance by quarterly installments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017. Giving reasons why her outfit had filed an application at the Supreme Court to discontinue the request for oral examination of Woyome, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, said her outfit had so far issued a receipt for the GH¢4 million. The court however struck out the "scandalous dispositions" made against the President by Mr Amidu as prayed by the AG. Mr. Amidu in his application to the Supreme Court alleged among other things that the Attorney-General withdrew her application to examine Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome because President Mahama personally gave an order. The A-G had argued in court earlier that Mr Amidu’s application was unconstitutionalas it was only the AG’s office that was mandated by law to do so . Citing copiously from the constitution, the A-G pointed out the power to pursue any civil matter on behalf of the State is vested solely in the Attorney General, hence Mr Amidu can only exercise that power if a statute grants that power to the Attorney General to delegate that power as in the case of public prosecutors under the Criminal Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30). The AG also prayed the court to expunge certain parts of Mr Amidu’s affidavit alleging that President John Mahama ordered her outfit to discontinue the suit, arguing that the allusions in paragraphs 9 to 21 of Mr Amidu’s affidavit were scandalous statements made against the Attorney General. “That the Plaintiff/Applicant ought to know that any deliberate deception of this Honourable Court on the part of a lawyer is professional misconduct by the rules of the Legal Profession. Furthermore, the Plaintiff/Applicant contrary to the Rules of Court deposes to the scandalous, offensive, malicious and deliberate falsehood without providing the sources of his information or belief. At the hearing of the Plaintiff/Applicant’s application I shall apply to the court to have these offending matters struck out of the Plaintiff/Applicant’s affidavit, and that he should be ordered to apologize for making these false allegations. Mr. Amidu’s suit covered the Attorney-General, Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, and Waterville Holdings (BVI) Ltd.