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General News of Friday, 13 March 2015

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Ghc51m Woyome payment was all a conspiracy – Amoako-Baah

The head of the political science department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has alleged that the controversial Ghc51 million judgment debt paid to businessman Alfred Woyome between 2009 and 2010 was done conspiratorially by people in Government at the time.

The money was paid to Mr Woyome during the tenure of Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu as Attorney General.

Mrs Mould-Iddrisu’s successor, Martin Amidu, who was later fired by President John Mills (late) after raising concerns about the payment which he described as “gargantuan fraud” subsequently challenged the payment of the judgment debt at the Supreme Court.

The panel of justices ruled unanimously that the payment was unmerited since the allegedly abrogated contracts which formed the basis of Mr Woyome’s claims had no parliamentary endorsement. The Court therefore asked Mr Woyome to refund the money to the state.

On the criminal aspect of the case, Mr Woyome was Thursday acquitted and discharged by an Accra High Court on two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretences.

Presiding judge John Ajet-Nassam said the prosecutors failed to convince him of Mr Woyome’s guilt especially with their failure to call key witnesses such as Mrs Mould-Iddrisu and her former Deputy Ebo Barton-Odro, who were at the helm of affairs at the AG’s Department when the money was paid.

Dr Amoakoh-Baah told Morning Starr host Kafui Dey that the prosecution failed to invite the two critical witnesses because they were party to a grand conspiracy to pay the money to Mr Woyome for the use of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“The point is the moment you invite someone like Betty Mould-Iddrisu, it means she too is in trouble because she’ll be implicated in the process and so it was not good for them to call any of these big people…Betty Mould-Iddrisu…canvass[ed] for the money to be paid, we heard even Okudzeto Ablakwa putting pressure on then Attorney General [Martin] Amidu to pay the money. All of it. And so this is a conspiracy. It’s not one person; it’s not Woyome. He is just a front person. They used the money for elections, now they have to pay it and this is how they were going to pay it,” Dr Amoako-Baah, host of Ultimate 106.9fm’s flagship political programme ‘what’s going on,’" said.