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Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome has suffered another defeat in his legal battle with the government over the GH¢47.2 million that he owes the state.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed the application of the businessman which challenged the valuation of his property.

The move forms part of the government's efforts to retrieve the money Mr Woyome owes it.

In a ruling, the court, presided over by a single justice, Mr Justice Alfred Anthony Benin, held that Mr Woyome's application lacked merit because the Attorney-General (A-G) did not break any law with regard to the valuation process.

 

Woyome's case

Counsel for the businessman, Mr Osafo Buabeng, claimed the writ of execution backing the valuation of the properties was not valid.

According to him, the A-G filed the first writ of execution on January 9, 2015 and subsequently renewed it on January 6, 2016.

He, however, argued that per Order 44 (Rule 9) of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004, C.I. 47, the writ of execution was supposed to be renewed every 12 months from the date it was filed by a court order, but the A-G failed to do so.

Any execution process, including the valuation of his client's properties, he said, was therefore a nullity.

 

Valid writ of execution

The court, however, ruled that the writ of execution employed by the A-G to value the businessman's assets was effective and valid.

It held that the issue of renewal did not arise because the January 9, 2015 writ of execution had not expired when the A-G went for another one on January 6, 2016.

The A-G's decision to go for another writ of execution on January 6, 2016, the court held, was not illegal, but nonetheless was needless, because the valuation was based on the January 9, 2015 writ of execution.

"The seizure and valuation of the applicant (Mr Woyome's) properties took place within the validity period of the January 9, 2015 writ of execution," Mr Justice Benin said.

With the court dismissing the businessman's application, the coast is now clear for the A-G to continue to value and seize his property to offset his debt to the state.

It also paves the way for the continuation of the oral examination of Mr Woyome which the A-G intends to use to ascertain the property and businesses owned by the businessman.

The court has adjourned the oral examination to October 30, 2017.

 

A-G's response

After the ruling, a deputy A-G, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, told journalists that the state would not relent in its efforts to retrieve the money from Mr Woyome.

"All his numerous applications are clearly frivolous and a tactic to delay the process, but the day of reckoning has caught up with him," he said.

 

Background

The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to refund GHC51.2 million to the state on the grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the state and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.

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 requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.

|Graphic Online

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