Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome has described as unlawful, the steps being taken by the State to sell his residential properties to defray a GH¢51.2 million judgement debt wrongfully paid to him.
The Attorney General attached four residential properties of Mr Woyome in execution of a Supreme Court judgement of July 29, 2014, which ordered him to refund the money on the grounds that he got it through unconstitutional and invalid contracts.
But just when the AG initiated the steps, the UT Bank laid claim to two of those residential properties at Trasacco in Accra, and proceeded to file a notice of claim at the High Court for the properties.
The AG has also filed a notice to dispute the claim by the UT Bank.
Notwithstanding the pending case, the Attorney General has in letter dated May 30, requested the Lands Commission to value the price of one of the said properties at Kpehe in Accra on June 2 to enable the State sell that property.
Per that letter signed by Chief State Attorney, Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, the AG also requested Mr Woyome to grant access to officers from the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission to undertake the valuation exercise.
This, lawyers of Mr Woyome say is unlawful in view of the fact that the said property is now a subject matter of a court case between Mr Woyome and the Manet Towers branch of UT Bank.
“It is remarkably curious that rather than ensuring that the pending matter before the court is determined, you have elected to ignore simple rudimentary procedure and in an inordinate haste, proceeding to have the said properties valued on the blind side of UT Bank,” the lawyers stated in a response letter dated May 31.
Accordingly, the lawyers stated in the letter signed by Ken Anku that in view of the circumstance, Mr Woyome is “constrained to observe” the said valuation exercise.
They wondered why the AG, who is the principal legal advisor to the government, is ignoring the law and placing “premium on booby trap”.
“While appreciating the notice to our client of your steps in the process of levying execution, we are unable to agree with your attempt to oust any notice to UT Bank and to that extent, the total disregard for the pending matter in court touching and concerning the subject matter under reference,” the lawyers said.
On July 29, 2014, the Supreme Court ordered Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the State on the basis that he got it through unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the State and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
The court declared that the contracts upon which Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament, the Daily Graphic reported.
The 11-member court, presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, was ruling on a review application filed by a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Martin Amidu, who brought the initial action praying the court to order Woyome to pay the money.
June 14, 2013 judgement
The court had on June 14, 2013 directed the international construction firm Waterville Holdings Limited (BVI) to refund all the money paid to it by the Ghana government on the premise that it had no valid and constitutional contractual agreement with the government.
Waterville is expected to refund more than 25 million euros it received from the government following the court’s judgement.
A former Attorney General, Mr Martin Amidu, had, in the original suit, prayed the court to order Woyome to refund the money he had received as a result of the void contract the government had entered into with Waterville Holdings.
But the court declined jurisdiction over the issue, with the reason that the Attorney General was pursuing the matter at the Commercial Court to retrieve the money, which the court reversed its position on July 29, 2014 and thus quashed all processes at the Commercial Court.