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A-G given more time over Woyome cash

The Supreme Court yesterday granted an application for extension of time to file a response in respect of the suit challenging the Court’s ruling that ordered Alfred Woyome to return the GHC51.2 million judgement debt paid to him by the state.

Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, a Principal State Attorney, told a nine-member panel of judges presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood, that the A-G had not been able to file a response to Woyome’s statement of case.

The judges as a result granted the request of the Attorney-General.

The court, while adjourning sitting until February 11, 2016, also asked the defendants to file a joint statement of memoranda.

The panel of judges held that failure to do so meant that each defendant was to file same by 9th February, 2016.

Abdulai Yusif Fanash Muhammed, a resident of Hohoe Zongo in the Volta Region, wants the Supreme Court’s decision asking Woyome, a businessman, to return GH¢51.2 million to the state declared null and void.

The Hohoe Zongo resident filed a writ in which he argued that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case involving Woyome and to make the orders it made.

Muhammed wants a “Declaration that the financial engineering claims by Woyome arising out of the tender bid by Vamed Engineering GmbH/Waterville Holdings during the procurement process from June 2005 until its wrongful abrogation in August 2005 is not an international business transaction within the meaning of Article 181 of the Constitution, 1992.”
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After the Supreme Court ruling, Woyome promised to pay back to the state the GH¢51.2 million. The Court ruled that the money was obtained fraudulently through a judgement debt.

However, a week to the self-imposed deadline for payment of the money, Muhammed went to the Supreme Court arguing that the court was wrong, scuttling the process to commence retrieval of the money.

Martin Amidu commenced the process that got the Supreme Court to declare that Woyome obtained the money fraudulently.

The Citizen Vigilante, as he has come to be known, had argued that the contracts on which Woyome made the claims against the state were international business transactions that were not laid before Parliament for approval as required by Article 181 of the Constitution.

He said to that extent, the contracts contravened the Constitution and were therefore “null, void, and without operative effect.”

The Supreme Court in a June 14, 2013 ruling agreed with Amidu that the contracts with Waterville Holdings were international business transactions that ought to have been laid before Parliament for approval.

To the extent that this was not done, the Court held that the contracts were null and void and of no effect.

After a persistent battle in court, he obtained a favourable judgement on July 29, 2014 which asked Woyome to return the money to the state.

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