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General News of Monday, 23 March 2015

Source: graphic.com

NDP will prosecute all Woyome’s accomplices – Owusu Bempah

A National Democratic Party (NDP) government under Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings will make sure anybody involved in the Woyome scandal is prosecuted.

According to the Communications Director of the NDP, Mr Ernest Owusu Bempah, an NDP government would prosecute all those who paid the Gh¢51 million judgement debt to Mr Alfred Woyome.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic at the weekend, he said a future NDP government would set up an independent body to investigate and prosecute the people involved in the Woyome scandal because “we believe in probity, accountability and social justice for the ordinary taxpayer.”

Background

It would be recalled that Mr Woyome sued the state for a breach of contract relating to the construction of some stadia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana and was awarded a default judgement to a tune of Gh¢51 million because the state failed to put in a defence.

He was arrested on February 3, 2011 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which was commissioned by President John Evans Atta Mills to investigate the matter, had implicated him of wrongdoing.

According to Mr Woyome’s statement of claim on March 31, 2010, the then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, wrote to request payment as she informed the Finance Minister then, Kwabena Duffuor that Woyome was claiming two per cent compensation fee for financial engineering on the mobilisation of funds for the CAN Project and that she had reached a settlement with him.

According to paragraph 17 of Woyome's statement of claim in court, the Finance Minister on April 6, 2010, wrote to the Controller and Accountant General requesting “the release of funds” to pay the claim of “Ghana cedi equivalent of €22,129,501.74.”

On May 28, 2010, Betty Mould wrote again to the Finance Minister after Kwabena Duffuor did not follow her instructions. She informed him that Woyome had sued and successfully obtained a default judgement of a total of Gh¢51,283,480.59, including interests and costs.

Paragraph 18 of the Woyome statement of claim in court stated that on April 7, 2010, the Controller and Accountant General issued a “Bank Transfer Advice… to the Director, Banking Department, Bank of Ghana”, requesting “for the release of funds to pay the sum of Gh¢41,811,480.59.”

A Chief State Attorney, Mr Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh; his wife, Mrs Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh, and the Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Paul Asimenu, suspected to have aided Woyome, were arrested. Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh was charged with conspiracy and corrupting a public officer.

Asimenu and Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh were charged with abetment of crime. Woyome was alleged to have paid GH¢400,000 to the couple, but they and Mr Asimenu were, on June 5, 2012, freed, following the state’s declaration of a nolle prosequi.

Conspiracy

According to Mr Owusu Bempah, “there is a conspiracy somewhere and that nobody in government can tell me that Woyome spent that money alone.”

It is a clear case of create, loot and share, he charged; predicting that If the NDC government dares to dig deeper into the rot, the whole government will come on its knees because it involves a lot of people.

The Woyome saga is a cooked-up deal conspired by top officials, he told the Dally Graphic

BNI must be professional

Mr Owusu Bempah also questioned why the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) was not going after all those accomplices of the Woyome scandal.

“I am blaming the BNI in all the Woyome saga,” he stated and asked the bureau as a matter of importance to show professionalism when it comes to matters of national concern, especially involving people who had squandered state resources.