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General News of Saturday, 29 June 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

I’m ready to negotiate payment schedule with government – Woyome

Embattled businessman, Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who risks losing assets worth about GH¢20 million to defray part of the GH¢47.2 million he owes the state, says he is ready to negotiate with the government for a payment schedule.

Mr. Woyome refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding amount in quarterly installments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017, but failed to fulfill the pledge.

He told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday that he was, however, poised to repay the money in good faith.

Reacting to the court’s decision, he told the Daily Graphic that “I will meet with the government to see how money can be paid in renegotiated terms.”

He said he was ready to meet with the government to put a closure to the matter.

Asked if he would go to the negotiation table with the old terms of paying GH¢5 million every quarter, Mr. Woyome said no but declined to give details on what his new terms were.

“We will come out with a new schedule of payment,” Mr. Woyome said and insisted that he did not collude with any entity or persons to shirk responsibility with regard to his debt to the government.

Review

Mr. Woyome insists the assets captured in the court’s ruling were collateralized and for that reason, he will file for a review of the court’s decision.

“We will go for review for aspects of the collateralized assets and seek clarification,” Mr. Woyome said.



Court decides

A three-year legal battle over the true ownership of properties in the case involving Mr. Woyome was settled last Thursday when the Supreme Court ordered the sale of the assets to defray the GH¢47.2 million debt he owes the state.

Assets to be sold include two mansions at Trassaco Estate, a house at Kpehe where he resides, an office complex of Anator Holdings, a residential building at Abelemkpe and a stone quarry in the Eastern Region, including its plants and equipment.

The court, with Mr Justice A. A. Bennin as the sole judge held that the properties belonged to Woyome and that the claim by UT Bank that the businessman sold two houses at Trassaco Estate to the bank to defray his debt was a sham.

Again, the apex court held that Woyome’s quarry was not used as collateral, as he and the bank claimed.

The presiding judge held that evidence adduced by the state in court showed there had been no sale of property to UT Bank.

He said there was a clear collusion between the bank and Woyome to create the impression that the properties in dispute were for Woyome and later reverted to the bank for the repayment of a loan.

“I declare the sale as a sham,” Mr. Justice Bennin said in the ruling.

A cost of GH¢60,000 was awarded against UT Bank and Woyome.



Value of property

A Deputy Attorney-General, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, told journalists after the court ruling that the value to be realised from the sale of the assets was GH¢20 million.

He also disclosed plans by the state to auction the properties.

“We will, latest by Monday, file an application for reserved price to pave the way for the auction of the assets,” he said.