Woyome Cries Over ‘Human Rights Abuse’
The Supreme Court has set November 28 to deliver its ruling over a motion on stay of execution filed by businessman Alfred AgbesiWoyome over attempts by the State to retrieve the GHC 51.2 million judgement debt wrongly paid to him.
The five-member panel of Justices presided over by Justice Victor Jones Dotse fixed the date yesterday after OsafoBoabeng, lawyer for the businessman had moved the motion seeking to stop all processes towards recouping the controversial cash into State coffers.
Mr. Woyome had initiated a process at the African Human Rights Court in Arusha, Tanzania, claiming several violations on his human rights in respect of the cases brought against him.
The businessman however, wants the apex court to stop all processes in the trial pending the determination of the case before the African Human Rights Court.
In moving the application, OsafoBoaben, lawyer Mr. Woyome said the country was a signatory to the African Charter which indicates that it would abide by decisions in cases against the country.
The lawyer among other things argued that the court ought to ignore Rule 73 of CI 16 and Article 134 of the 1992 constitution as cited by the Attorney-General adding that court should look at the substance of the application before the court and not the form.
Godfred Yeboah-Dame, a Deputy Attorney-General opposing the motion before the court said the object of the process of Mr. Woyome’s application on his human rights is an affront on the constitution of Ghana.
According to him the Supreme Court is the highest court of Appeal wondering if any other court had reviews powers over the apex court.
Quoting article 130 (1) of the 1992 constitution, the Deputy AG noted that the Supreme Court has exclusive and the sole jurisdiction in all matters relating to the enforcement of the Constitution adding that a matter relating to the interpretation of the Constitution could not be a subject before any international court.
In the view of Yeboah-Dame, Mr. Woyome has not demonstrated how the enforcement of the judgment of the court could amount to a breach of his human rights.
He said that the application has no basis and ought to be dismissed.
Others members on the panel were Justices Anin Yeboah, A. A Benin, Vida AkotoBamfo and Yaw Appau.
Over the past few weeks, further oral examination of the businessman by the Attorney General appears to have hit a snug because lawyers of Mr. Woyome had prayed the court for more time.
On October 30, Woyome’s lawyers had urged the court to give the businessman some time to recover from his ill health.
The request had followed a medical record submitted to the court by OsafoBoaben, lawyer for Mr. Woyome indicating that the businessman is still unwell.
Mr. Woyome was due to appear before the court for further oral examination by the State.
It may be recalled that on October 16, this year, OsafoBoaben again said his client who is in the dock for questioning by the AG is indisposed.
He had submitted an excuse duty from doctors at the Accra Regional Hospital asking that the businessman be granted a two-week health leave.
Mr. Woyome’s request follows the dismissal of a motion filed by his lawyers challenging the legality of the valuation of his assets by the State.
According to the court the motion as filed was without merit.
In the view of the court, the second order issued on January 6, 2016 to attach the properties of Mr. Woyome was irrelevant because the first one issued on 9 January 2015 had not been used and as such was effective.
The ruling of the court had given the state the go ahead to continue to orally examine the businessman over the cash.
Lawyers of the beleaguered businessman had filed the motion in an attempt to stop the state from continuing with the ongoing valuation processes.
They had argued that the state erred in initiating the valuation processes of the properties belonging to the businessman and National Democratic Congress (NDC) financier.