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Woyome Homeless! Court Orders Sale Of All His Houses

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The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the sale of the properties of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome to defray his controversial GH¢ 51.2 million debt to the state.

Assets to be sold include two houses at Trassaco Estate, a house at Kpehe, all suburbs of Accra a stone quarry, plants and equipment at the stone quarry at Mamfe.

The court presided over by Justice A. A. Bennin in its ruling on the matter said the claim by the defunct UT Bank that Mr. Woyome sold two houses at Trassaco Estate to the bank was a sham.

The judge stated that Mr. Woyome’s quarry was also not used as collateral as claimed by Woyome and the bank.

The court held that claims by Mr. Woyome that he had sold the two houses to UT Bank to defray a loan he took from the bank are a sham.

He said the claimant could not provide any evidence to substantiate the said transaction.

The apex court judge was sure that the businessman and the court colluded to hide from the state assets that could be sold to defray the cost owned the state.

Cost of GH¢60,000 was awarded against UT bank and Anator Holdings owned by Mr. Woyome.

The businessman had argued in court through his legal counsel, the properties did not belong to him but to the receiver of the defunct bank.

The receiver claimed it owns the properties due to the businessman’s failure to repay a loan, a position the state vehemently disagrees with.

Trouble

But Deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame told journalists that it is not yet over for Mr. Woyome

He stated that Mr. Woyome could face fresh criminal charges his a failed attempt to halt the sale of his assets to offset his debt to the state

The Deputy AG was emphatic that the state will press criminal charges against the businessman for colluding with a defunct bank to stop the sale of the assets.

It will be the second time Woyome faces criminal prosecution if the state proceeds with its threat.

In 2010, he was charged with two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.

This was after he was accused of illegally receiving 51 million Ghana Cedis in 2010 for his role in the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament held in Ghana.

The judge, Justice Ajet-Nasam said the prosecution did a shoddy job and failed to prove its case against the accused person.

The judge was later implicated in a judicial bribery scandal that claimed the careers of several judges.

Mr. Woyome had been has been in a fierce battle with the state’s in a conscious attempt to sell off properties worth GH¢20m to pay the remainder of his 51.2m debt.

In nearly five years, he had paid only 4million of this debt.

Ownership

The UT Bank, in April 2016, claimed ownership of the two properties at Trasacco in Accra when the State attempted to sell them to defray Mr Woyome’s debt.

Anator Holdings, on the other hand, claimed that it owned the quarry which the State said belonged to Mr Woyome.

The UT Bank, substituted by its receivers, and Anator Holdings filed different processes seeking an order from the court to stop the A-G from including the two residential buildings and the quarry in the list of the businessman’s properties which the State wants to sell.

So Far

The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the State on the grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the State and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.

The court held that the contracts upon which Mr Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.

On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his wish.

He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November 2016 and promised to pay the outstanding balance by quarterly instalments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017.

That did not materialise after the businessman had initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, which were all dismissed.

In addition to fighting his cases in the country, Mr Woyome sought relief from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), based in Paris, France, and the African Court of Justice, based in Arusha, Tanzania.

In August 2017, the ICC threw out his case, on the basis that he had failed to properly invoke its jurisdiction.

His case at the African Court of Justice is yet to be determined.

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