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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

Woyome Saga: Na Who Caused Am?

The Ghana’s Supreme Court has given, what I consider a final, verdict on the case involving Alfred Agbesi Woyome. In sum, as reported by other news media, this is what the verdict read, “According to the court, the contracts upon which he made and received the claim was in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.” Now let’s learn some English here. I have underlined 3 words in the statement and that is what this write-up is going to address.
Contract: - a contract is a written or spoken agreement between parties that is intended to be enforceable by law. So if the Supreme Court mentioned contract in their verdict, then it means, they came to that final decision after looking at some documents and acknowledging that the documents they looked at, had statements on them that qualifies it to be a contract. So the Supreme Court established an element of a contract.
Made and received: - the Supreme Court also acknowledged that the contract referred to earlier was made and upon which monies were received. What I want to draw our attention to is the fact that the contract Woyome sent to the Supreme Court was first ‘made” before monies were received on it.
So you see, the contract Woyome was holding was a valid contract on the face of it. Everything on the contract was genuine because the Supreme Court did not rule any fraud doing. The only thing that made the contract invalid was that “such contracts” should have gone through parliament but it did not. Another thing worth noting is that any contract going through Parliament means the contract is between the Government of Ghana and some other party or parties. So if the Government of Ghana has a contract with some parties, whose responsibilities is it to send the contract to Parliament? Is it the individual parties or the Government of Ghana?
Let’s break it down. If you have a contract with the Government of Ghana and it is the responsibility of the government to send the contract to Parliament because it is a requirement for “such contracts,” but the government negligently failed to do its job, and the contract is declared null and void, Na who caused am? I must say here that Alfred Agbesi Woyome did not have a contract with the Government of Ghana because the Kuffour administration never sent it to Parliament for review and approval.
Fellow Ghanaians, now you know that the problem with the whole Woyome sage should be laid squarely on the feet of the administration of President Kuffour and the NPP. President Kuffour’s administration made a contract and failed to follow it through to validate it. Now, who made the contract? Whose signatures were on the contract? Who were the parties involved that made the Supreme Court established the existence of a contract? If the contract was not made, it would not have existed for any action to be taken on it.
Such Contracts: - such contracts means these kinds of contracts. What the Supreme Court was saying is that there are so many contracts that don’t need Parliament approval but the contract Woyome presented to them is not one of them. So the kind of contract Woyome had, required that it should have been laid before Parliament but it wasn’t. That made the contract in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, and therefore invalid. In other words, had the contract been reviewed and approved by Parliament, it would have been a valid contract and enforceable by law. True or false?
Fellow Ghanaians, looking at the key words in the Supreme Court verdict, Na who caused the whole Woyome saga? You may ask that why didn’t the National Democratic Congress (NDC) know that “such contract” should have gone through Parliament but since it didn’t, they should have known that the contract was invalid. Well, the simple answer is that the NPP gathered over 50 lawyers and over 150 technicians to work on the 2012 election petition. When they were presenting the petition to the Supreme Court, they thought they had a solid case. It took the NPP 8 months of Ghanaians time to know that their “solid” case and voluminous pink sheets were all trash. It takes the lenses of the Supreme Court to bring closure to certain cases. Such cases look good and solid on the face of it.
Member of Parliament for Ablekumah West Constituency, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has asked that the government arrest and prosecute government officials who were involved in the payment of the money to Agbesi Woyome. What Ursular Owusu-Ekuful and her NPP members are refusing to acknowledge is that the contract was first made and so they should advise the government to also arrest all those government officials whose signatures are on the contract. “Berebere amma a, Amanee nso amma” Literally meaning, if the first had not happened, the second would not have come.
The people of Ghana should by now know that the administration of President Kuffour and the NPP caused more harm to Ghana in its eight years rule than the good it gave to Ghana. The late President Atta-Mills, when this Woyome sage came up, suggested to Ghanaians that we should first find out how the whole saga started. The NPP members didn’t want to hear that at all, but the Supreme Court has made it very clear that the cause of all these Woyome saga is President Kuffour and his NPP.
Thank you Supreme Court. You are the best!!!.

Lawrence Appiah-Osei (Protocol)
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
NDC Washington Metro Branch