The Supreme Court in July 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the huge amount to the state following a suit filed by former AG, Martin Amidu but the order has fallen on deaf ears.
OccupyGhana issued a statement yesterday backing the step being taken the current A-G, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong to finally retrieve the money from Mr. Woyome, who is said to be one of the financiers of the ruling NDC.
Woyome is busily campaigning for President John Mahama in the Volta region, raising doubts about the ability of the relevant authorities to retrieve the huge money paid to the NDC financier.
“OccupyGhana is gratified to read press reports about the latest step finally taken by the Attorney-General’s Department to recover the GH¢51m owed to Ghana by Alfred Woyome. This step was the application to the Court to order the oral examination of Woyome on his assets because of his abject refusal or failure to pay the judgment debt owed to Ghana, and the apparent non-availability of any assets against which the judgment may be executed.”
According to OccupyGhana, the step that the Attorney-General has taken “is based on the procedural rule that if after judgment, a debtor does not pay immediately, the creditor may apply to the court for an order that would bring the debtor before the court to be examined as to his means.”
“This step can be very effective because it is not only intended to be a mere examination of the debtor, but a cross-examination, of the severest kind, as to his means.”
“Thus, a debtor would be compelled by the court to disclose where all of his assets are, and if they have been sold or paid out, how that happened. If the debtor does not disclose the assets or tells lies, he could be imprisoned for contempt or worse tried and sentenced for perjury.”
Belated but brilliant
The pressure group described the AG’s action as “belated, yet brilliant,” saying “Woyome would be compelled to testify, not only as to where his assets are, but also where and how he spent the GH¢51 million that he received from Ghana and whether any of those sums are available for execution.”
They said “to the extent that any persons benefitted from Ghana’s monies, they also stand the risk of being pursued by the Republic on an action in tracing, which would track and trace the monies into the hands of every recipient, and possibly recover the monies from them.”
“We believe that for the people of Ghana, this will be an opportunity to discover exactly what happened to our monies that were wrongfully paid to Woyome and recover those monies.”
“We are aware that on 19th October 2016 the Supreme Court granted the order and set 10th November 2016 as the date when Woyome is to attend court for this all-important testimony on where his assets are, and possibly how he spent the GH¢51 million.”
“While expressing our satisfaction with the latest and drastic step, however, belated it has been, we wish to notify the Attorney-General that we are monitoring this process and the execution of the court order very closely.”
“We believe that the Attorney-General is taking all of these steps, however belatedly, in a genuine attempt to recover the monies that Woyome still owe to Ghana.
“We also believe that this process will be followed through without fear or favour.”
By William Yaw Owusu