Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has denied claims suggesting that he ordered the country’s Attorney General to discontinue a case at the Supreme Court that sought to retrieve GHC51 million illegally paid to a Ghanaian businessman.
The Attorney General had filed an application seeking clearance from the highest court to allow the businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to be examined orally in court on how the controversial GHC51 million was expended. But the AG, which is the judgement creditor in the case, on October 26 discontinued the case with liberty to re-apply; something that received backlash from the public with some people accusing President Mahama as being behind it.
Former Attorney General Martin Amidu who in his individual capacity secured a Supreme Court judgement in 2014 for the retrieval of the money accused President Mahama of being behind the discontinuance of the case.
In his application filed at the Supreme Court, Mr Amidu claimed that when the AG served its application on Mr Woyome, the businessman went to “in particular, the Attorney General and the President personally,
that should the order applied for by the Government for his examination not be discontinued, he [Woyome] will have no option …
than to disclose truthfully and faithfully to the Court on oath, the names of all NDC and Government beneficiaries of the judgment debt” But President Mahama speaking at the GBC-organised Presidential Encounters Wednesday night, denied Mr Amidu’s claim, noting that the AG’s discontinuance of the case was within the law. “…I mean that is a practice in law, and then somebody says hey it is the president who asked her to discontinue. We have people who are just willing to publish any allegation in the papers against the person of the president,” President Mahama stated. President Mahama said the Woyome case is one which the AG has pursued relentlessly, saying “this is one case that has taken the Attorney General’s time. She has pursued this case relentlessly”.
According to the President, there are all kinds of false claims and allegations that have been made against his person and his government, which he said, were disheartening.
“Sometimes you read and you get disheartened but you were elected to do a job… I take heart despite all these claims and allegations and falsehoods; most of them outright falsehood for the purposes of political propaganda,” he pointed out. Fighting corruption He said his government despite the allegations, remains steadfast in fighting corruption in the country. “I have the commitment to fight corruption. This is the first government in some time that is prosecuting its own people and trying people for corruption while it is still in government,” he stated. He explained that Ghana is a country under constitutional rule hence he cannot just get up to arrest and lock them up people who are being prosecuted. “It is a process, I cannot arrest them and lock them up while we are prosecuting them and so we just have to remember that we are in a constitutional government and due process is the basis of rule of law and so we might be frustrated with the process.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana