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General News of Monday, 1 July 2019

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com

Woyome in a ‘ditch’; game over in GH¢51m fraud saga

Pressure is mounting on the government to take action against all officials who played a role in allowing National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier – Alfred Agbesi Woyome – to defraud the state of GH¢51.2 million.

After years of dodging payment, Mr. Woyome hit a dead end last week when the Supreme Court ordered the sale of his assets including mansions and a stone quarry.

To worsen matters, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights based in Arusha, Tanzania, where he filed a case against Ghana for abuse of his rights, ostensibly in a bid to evade payment, unanimously dismissed the application.

The case which has attracted the attention of many a Ghanaian on both sides of the political aisle is one which tested the resolve and the determination of government to retrieve ill-gotten funds from the state coffers.

Taking his turn on the subject during last Saturday’s version of Joy FM’s Newsfile following the verdict of the Supreme Court and the African Court of Human Rights, veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr said the case had not finished yet because, according to him, “we finished maybe chasing the man who took the cash but the officials who authorized the payments to Mr. Woyome must be made to answer some questions.”

He has touched the part of the subject which interests his compatriots most because in the course of the turns and twists which greeted the case as Ghanaians waited, they persistently wanted to know those behind the authorization of the payments to the man who touts himself as a financial engineer.

Virtually speaking for angry Ghanaians, he said, “We should interrogate that missing link.”

“There is a loophole somewhere. Mr. Woyome is on record to have said he had no contract with the Government of Ghana relative to this whole transaction. This is his own statement!”

Having written to successive governments demanding payment of monies due to him, Mr. Woyome had no business making the demands, according to Kweku Baako Jnr.

“Indeed, it is those who were in charge from the successive administration who are really a problem as far as I am concerned,” he stressed.

He highlighted the shot fired by the Supreme Court judges in passing the judgment which he said was an indictment on both the lawyers and the Attorney General at the time, recalling also Woyome’s reference to a certain Castle-based committee which was instrumental in the payment of the controversial funds.

Of outstanding importance was his reference to a minister at the time who, in defending Woyome, said the government had no case.

He did not leave out public officials whose terms of reference included protecting the public purse but who, as it were, slept on their job as evidenced in the M-Powerpack and Waterville agreement which, as he put it, was acknowledged and signed for by Mr. Woyome.

Mr. Woyome was able to have his way because the new authorities who took over the reins of government upon the exiting of the Kufuor administration did not apply due diligence by verifying what Woyome said about the so-called payments, Kweku Baako Jnr pointed out

He charged at Woyome’s ‘misplaced aggression’ saying, “I don’t know but he is a very interesting personality. It is a misplaced aggression against nobody. We said it here that he can run but there will be no place for him to hide.”

Salute To Martin Amidu

Mr. Martin Amidu, after the Auditor-General had observed the unlawful payment, went through the court process to get justice for the state. He saluted the now Special Prosecutor for his efforts.

Godfred Dame

The real work for Kweku Baako Jnr was done by Godfred Dame, Deputy Attorney General, after the 2015 property attachment processes began.

He expressed doubts that the whole amount fleeced from the state would be retrieved but was quick to add that “but at least it is better than none at all.”