Wayome: I will repay the GHC51 Million debt within only two months ONLY if…
I will repay the GHC51 Million debt within only two months ONLY if: A popular member of the opposition party (NDC), Alfred Woyome says he could repay GHC51 Million judgment debt cash which was wrongfully paid by the state if his shares in business ventures he invested in are all released. Alfred Woyome claims that his shares in some 14 companies have been held on by the state.
“Let the government release the shares of my company and probably within two months that money will be paid,” he said on Face to Face on Citi TV.
He told the host, Umaru Amadu Sanda that, He feels the state is not interested in getting back the money.
“I went to the Flagstaff House to meet the Personal Assistant to the Chief of Staff so that the Attorney General [will meet me and] and release shares of my company so that I can pay this money [ GHC51 Million ] although I have not stopped the state from going after the matter.”
BACKGROUND OF WAYOME’S CASE GHC51 Million Judgment debt
Contrary to earlier reports that the Ghana government had paid GH¢41,811,480.59 to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a self-styled National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier, as judgment debt in connection with the construction of stadia for the hosting of the CAN 2008 tournament in Ghana, the NDC kingpin actually received over GH¢58million as pay-off.
The payment was facilitated by the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who refused to put up any defence against the payment to Mr Woyome.
According to the Auditor General’s report for the year ending 2010, Mr. Woyome received a little less than GH¢42 million (GH¢41,811,480.59) on June 4, 2010, as a ‘settlement of claim involving rehabilitation of three stadia’ and another payment of GH¢17,094,493.54 on September 22, 2010, bringing the total payment to the NDC bankroller to a little less than GH¢60million for no work done.
Documents available to DAILY GUIDE indicated that Woyome only fronted for an Austrian company, Vamed, when he was a deputy consul of Austria in Ghana.
Vamed never succeeded in its bid for the construction of the stadia and therefore later ceded its interest to Waterville, a company formed in the British Virgin Islands which had indicated its willingness to rehabilitate the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi and the Ohene Djan and El Wak stadia in Accra. The contracts were later abrogated.
Even though Vamed never won the bid, Woyome, the self-styled NDC financier, on April 19, 2010, acting in his personal capacity, took legal action against the government, claiming over GH¢102 million as damages for breach of contract.
Just a month after the suit was initiated, on May 24, 2010, the High Court, presided over by Justice Ahmadu Tanko, gave a ruling in favour of Woyome.
“It is hereby adjudged that plaintiff do recover from Defendant/Judgment-Debtor a total sum of GH¢105,565,548.24 (GH¢105.54million) being judgment debt, interest, and costs named in the said judgment.
“It is further ordered that plaintiff shall be entitled to interest on the judgment debt in the sum of €44,259,009.48 at the rate of Eurobor plus three points from May 1, 2010, up to date of final,” the judgment stated.
Betty Mould-Iddrisu, who did not put up any defense as Attorney General, wrote to the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, on May 28, asking him to pay GH¢41,811,480.59 to the NDC financier.
“You will recall that I advised then that the claim for two percent (2%) of the total value of the project that Mr. Woyome and Austro Invest should be paid was in order, having regard to the breach of the agreement by the Government of Ghana.
“In view of our failure to pay the negotiated amount of GH¢41,811,480.59, Mr. Woyome initiated legal action against the Attorney General, and the Ministry of Finance and obtained judgment on 24th May 2010.
“When the Entry of Judgment came to my notice, I immediately scheduled a meeting with Mr. Woyome and his Solicitors, Peasah-Boadu & Co. on 27th May 2010.
“I indicated to them that the judgment debt was far in excess of what I had advised and that the Government of Ghana was not in the position to pay the judgment debt. The Solicitors for Mr. Woyome were, however, of the view that their position had changed following the amendment of their writ and the grant of judgment thereon.
“After much deliberation, the Solicitors for Mr. Woyome indicated that they were prepared to accept payment of the amount of GH¢41,811,480.59 based on the two percent (2%) that was originally agreed. However, they indicated that having regard to the judgment awarded against the State and the fact that they had been compelled to take legal action to enforce what was already due them, they would take in addition to the judgment debt half of the interest rounded to 5 million euro and cost. These payments were to be made promptly and in full,” Betty wrote to Dr. Duffuor.
The court had ordered the payment of GH¢17million to Woyome as the first tranche but the Attorney-General instructed the state to pay him GH¢42 million.
After Alfred Woyome had collected the GH¢42million in June 2010, a Principal State Attorney, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, acting on behalf of Betty, on July 28, 2011, filed a writ in court, stating, “that the failure of the Applicants to file a defence was not deliberate or in disrespect of the court but …were of a mistaken belief that there was no defence to the claim and therefore did not file a statement of defence.” The writ added, “It has now come to the knowledge of the Applicants that there is a defence to the action.”
How Mr. Woyome ended up receiving GH¢58million could only be explained by Dr. Duffuor and Mrs. Mould-Iddrisu as captured in the Auditor General’s report.
Former Chief of Staff in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani stated on Saturday during Joy FM’s ‘News File’ programme that the State was not owing any party for the construction or rehabilitation of stadia for the hosting of the CAN 2008 tournament in Ghana.
He said Waterville, which had made claims to the government, was later made to understand that if there were any outstanding payments to be made to them, it should be done by Consar and Micheletti, the contractors that finally handled the three stadia in Accra and Kumasi.
“After a thorough investigation of Waterville’s claim, we have confirmed that all payments due to all contractors on the three stadia, Ohene Djan, El Wak, and Baba Yara, have been made by our Ministry of Finance to Micheletti and Consar. These payments included all sums due to Waterville,” Mr. Mpiani wrote to the British Virgin Islands company.
He was therefore baffled by the news that such outrageous amounts of money had been paid to Woyome, in his personal capacity, for doing nothing.
But Deputy Attorney General, Ebo Barton-Odro, told Joy FM on Friday that the state did not pursue the matter because it was a bad one.
He said a contract was awarded by the previous government to Woyome and his partners, but government later terminated the contract after he had done some work for which he had to be paid.
“What kind of debate are you going to mount? Is it every case that has to be defended?” he asked.
Mr. Barton-Odro said not filing a defence had saved the country some money.
President Atta Mills, who returned to the country on Saturday after a five-week holiday, is said to be asking for a briefing on the contract.