Attorney-General (A-G) Gloria Akuffo has declined a request by businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to renegotiate the arrears of the 51.2 million-cedi judgement debt illegally paid him by the government 10 years ago.
For the last four years, the government has been chasing the businessman for a refund of the 51.2 million cedis after the Supreme Court in 2014 declared the payment as illegal.
Though Woyome initially reached an agreement with government to refund the amount in instalments, he breached the payment plan after paying only 4 million cedis, causing the government to go after his properties to finance the debt.
The Supreme Court in July this year gave the A-G the green light to sell some three properties of Woyome valued at 20 million cedis, to defray part of the outstanding 47.2 million-cedi he owes the state.
Even before the Supreme Court decision, the businessman in a note and two separate letters dated July 3, 5 and 8 requested for a negotiation with the A-G and his team to discuss new arrangements for the payment of the outstanding amount.
But the A-G in her response to the said note and letters, shot down the idea by the businessman, citing “obvious reasons” as basis.
Woyome was said to have in one of the letters requesting a meeting with the A-G and her team, attached a proposed affidavit in support of a motion for stay of execution and payment by instalments.
Per the A-G’s response letter sighted by 3news.com, the businessman had sought “to discuss the details of the affidavit to enable us arrive at an amicable settlement” before filling same at the court.
“In the note and letters you requested for a meeting with the Attorney-General’s team to negotiate the outstanding judgement debt,” a July 22 letter addressed to Woyome and signed by deputy A-G Godfred Yeboah Dame recalled.
“Unfortunately, the honourable Attorney-General is unable to grant your request for obvious reasons,” the response letter added.
The Supreme Court on July 29, 2014 ordered Woyome to refund ¢51.2 million to the State on the grounds that he secured the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the State and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, which Ghana hosted.
The court held that the contracts upon which Mr Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which required such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.
On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his wish.
He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding balance in quarterly instalments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017.
That did not materialise after the businessman had initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, which were all dismissed.
In addition to fighting his cases in the country, Mr Woyome sought relief from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), based in Paris, France, and the African Court of Justice, based in Arusha, Tanzania.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana