The chiefs and the elders of the Agave State in the Volta Region have taken a swipe at the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice for what they termed her “brutal and stubborn determination” to criminalise businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
Woyome has been in the news since 2012 for allegedly putting in false claims to defraud the state to the tune of GH¢51.2 million, but the High Court and the Court of Appeal have cleared him of any wrongdoing.
However, the Supreme Court has directed him to refund the money, as a result of which the Attorney-General’s office has put in processes aimed at recovering the money.
One of the steps taken is the engagement of an auctioneer to put up the businessman’s properties for auction.
Although ownership of some of the properties is in dispute, the Attorney-General’s office is proceeding with the auction of those not in dispute.
That action by the Attorney-General’s office seems to have angered the chiefs and the elders of Agave, who have issued a press statement to state their displeasure and accordingly pledge their unflinching support to Woyome.
We are outraged
The press statement, dated June 22, 2016 and signed by Torgbe Kowu Adzowe VII, a copy of which is available to the Daily Graphic, said: “We are outraged by the brutal and stubborn determination of the Attorney-General of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, to resort to every means possible to frustrate and criminalise our son, Consul Alfred Agbesi Woyome, even though the High Court (Criminal Division) and the Appeal Court have cleared him of all and/or any criminal charges as brought against him by the state.”
“The civil aspect on which the Supreme Court (Review Bench) ruled and directed that monies be refunded to the state on the face of Article 181 (5) of Ghana’s Constitution is a matter the Attorney-General could have been civil in negotiating without the constant media drama and abuse of court processes.
“It seems the Attorney-General’s motives are different from just the money, hence her constant questionable posture to have Consul Woyome criminalised at all cost possible, using her political power gotten through her appointment.”
The chiefs and elders further stated that as traditional leaders and elders of the Agave State, they were “very appalled by such posture by the Attorney-General against our Royal son who has been very supportive and working hard to uplift the living standards of our people in the Agave State and beyond, especially the large number of unemployed youth, while the NDC, the party he belongs to and openly supports, as well as the government, looks on unconcerned”.
“We are unable to keep our quiet any longer because our subjects, especially the youth, are very angry, with constant blame on us for doing nothing in solidarity with our own, who we all know is clean and has committed no crime against the state,” the statement opined.
We are worried
According to the chiefs and elders, they had respect for due process and for that reason they were worried that the Attorney-General, who is supposed to know better and thus have respect for legal procedures, “will instruct for Consul Woyome’s property to be valued and sold in the case where the aforementioned property is a subject matter in court between the UT Bank, who are making claim to the property through a notice to the court, and the Attorney-General disputing the claim by also filing notice in the court waiting for determination”.
In support of Woyome, the chiefs and the elders of the Agave State accordingly urged the government to “immediately take steps and advise against all her unlawful and wicked acts against Consul Woyome or we will, in showing love and solidarity to our own, ensure that they are not welcomed into the Agave State to campaign for the November 2016 elections”.
“We do not seek to interfere in the work of state institutions or dictate to anyone about how to do his/her work but what we are concerned about is the deliberate attempt and actions by some people in government to cause us pain by working against Consul Woyome.
“We love our nation Ghana and we love the Agave State and all its citizens,” the statement added.
A-G served with copy
The Attorney-General’s office has officially received a copy of the press statement.
Mrs Appiah-Opong declined to comment on the issue when the Daily Graphic contacted her.