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Opinions of Friday, 23 October 2015

Columnist: Manasseh Azure Awuni

Update on Ghana’s cash with Roland Agambire and Alfred Woyome

Fellow Ghanaians, following the refusal of a Kumasi-based spare parts dealer to pay tax until Woyome's cash is retrieved, many have been asking what has happened with the payment since Martin Amidu got ruling against Alfred Agbesi Woyome. I have been following the case, trying to get updates on the payment, and I think it is necessary I give you some updates.

Alfred Agbesi Woyome approached the Attorney-General's Department in November last year and offered to pay the judgement debt wrongfully paid to him in instalment. The Minister for Justice and Attorney-General confirmed this to me early this year.

But what happened?

The Ministry did not agree.

Why?

The Minister explained that the terms were not favourable. She said the Ministry had learnt its lessons from the Roland Agambire-GYEEDA transaction. She said when the Ministry gave Roland Agambire's AGAMS group similar terms to repay the GH?55million interest-free loans taken from GYEEDA, the companies defaulted. Follow ups and reminders did not yield much after the initial first quarter of 2014 instalment.

The Agreement was that the AGAMS Group would pay GH?14.5 million for each of the four quarters of 2014. They complied with only the first quarter.

A source told me that the Ministry has written to the AGAMS Group of Companies to finish paying the money by July or else the state would proceed to court.

“Did they comply?” I asked.

“No,” the source said.

“Have you taken them to court?”

“No.”

That's perhaps a good reason the A-G's Department did not want to make another mistake by accepting unfavourable terms of payment from Woyome.

And you know our wise elders have taught us that the testicles of a wise man are not trampled upon twice. So they did not want to create a similar situation with Woyome.

Early this year, Woyome promised to pay the money by the end of the year. We are told it is GH?51million.

On September 8, 2015, I went back to the A-Gs Department and asked if he had started paying. The information I had was that he hadn't paid a pesewa.

“So what is the ministry doing about it?” I asked.

“He said he would finish paying by the end of the year,” a very senior source at the ministry told me. “The year has not ended so we ware waiting.”

Fellow Ghanaians, let's keep waiting.

On Woyome to make full payment.

And on Roland Agambire to finish paying the rest of the GYEEDA cash he was supposed to have finished paying in 2014 according to the agreement he and his companies signed.