Woyome takes Auditor General to cleaners
Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome has taken a serious swipe at the Auditor General (AG) describing the AG’s ‘negligence’ and ‘deliberately and maliciously peddled falsehood’ as the genesis of the long drawn legal battle with the state over a GHC 51 million judgment debt he claimed between 2010 to 2011.
On April 14, 2016, M. Woyome ordred his lawyers Anku.Anku At Law to write to the AG to notify him that it was due to his deliberate misrepresentations of facts of the controversial judgment debt claims he made that forced then President Evans Atta Mills (late) to order the EOCO to investigate the embattled businessman, leading to his Rambo-style arrests, incarceration and freezing of his assets.
“We respectively detain your attention on the fact that this misrepresentation of yours formed the basis upon which the late President of the Republic of Ghana pressed service his directive to EOCO to investigate this “colossal sum” as it became a topical national issue,” Mr. Woyome’s lawyers stated, asking the Auditor General to apologize to the entire country through Parliament or face consequent legal actions he intends to institute against the State auditor.
“ Please be advised that having fell in this error it is urged on you to redeem the image of your office by correcting this misrepresentation within 30 days of receipt of this letter failure which you would be deemed to have been fixed with notice and that our client reserves the right to elect any option legally available to him to vindicate his right,” he warned.
“ In the circumstances our client is completely unable to comprehend the regrettable failure on your part to correct the said misrepresentation you sent to Parliament. Accordingly we have pursuant to our instructions of our client to demand that you take steps to correct this misrepresentation on the record of Parliament and apologise to our client from Parlaiment, the very forum you elected to present the said malicious falsehood.”
Mr. Woyome claims he had drawn the attention of the Auditor General to the misrepresentation that has dragged his reputation through the mud, but the state auditor has refused to correct them. “ We wish to draw your attention to the fact that your misrepresentation which inappropriately constitutes part of the record of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana remains uncorrected to date, which failure, refusal and /or neglect is again open to surmise that it is deliberate for you to continuously create disaffection for our client on the minds of Parliament and all reasonable members of society given the length of time and your subsequent conscious selective intervention to the media rather than the appropriate constitutional forum which is the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana,” the letter to the AG general charged.
“The integrity of what you present to Parliament is of immense importance to the extent that any misrepresentation of it ought to be corrected immediately it came to your notice. Any inordinate delay would be fairly and justifiably concluded as deliberate and deceit of Parliament.”
This paper can report that in the 2011 AG’s report of the previous year (2010) titled “Report of Auditor-General on The Public Accounts of Ghana (Consolidated) for the Year Ended 31st December 2010, the AG stated had stated that Mr. Woyome was paid a whopping amount of approximately GHC 58.91 million instead of a total of about GHC 51 million.
“Our instruction are that you misrepresented to the Public Accounts Committee and the entire whole world that the sum total paid to our client in respect of “Settlement of claim” was fifty eight million, nine hundred and five thousand, nine hundred and seventy four and thirteen pesewas (GHC 58,905,974.13) a misrepresentation premised on absence of proper care to check,” Mr. Woyome’s lawyers stated.
Mr. Woyome is convinced that the AG deliberately used the media to unnecessarily whip up the controversies surrounding his settlement claims over a botched Euro 1.2 billion stadia and other projects he was fronting for during 2006 when Ghana was bidding to host the African Cup of Nations, CAN 2006. “You would recall that on 12th January 2012 in a press release to the media at paragraph 2, you stated to the effect that in 2010 the only payment made to our client was the sum of seventeen million, ninety-four thousand, four hundred and ninety three Ghana cedis and fifty-four pesewas (GHC 17,094,493.54) and not fifty eight million, nine hundred and five thousand, nine hundred and seventy four and thirteen pesewas (GHC 58,905,974.13) you deliberately elected to misrepresent to Parliament and the general public, the purpose for which is only open to surmise was to present a particular disdain effect for our client at the material time,” charged a peeved Alfred Woyome who was recently acquitted and discharged by the Appeals Court over criminal charges slapped on him by the state over his judgment debt claims.
Alfred Agbesi Woyome who was then the representative of the Austrian Consul in Ghana was picked up on February 12, 2012 for allegedly putting in false claims to receive GH¢51.2 million from the government.
He was put on trial with three others, namely, Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh; his wife Gifty Nerquaye-Tetteh and Mr Paul Asimenu, a Director at the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, but the three were later discharged after the state had filed a nolle prosequi.
He was subsequently acquitted and discharged by the court on March 10, 2015 but the state challenged the acquittal, which was subsequently dismissed by the Appeals Court about a month ago.
Woyome was paid GH¢51.2 million after he claimed he had incurred losses for financially engineering 1.1 billion Euros for the CAN 2008 tournament and other government projects.
However, the Auditor-General’s report released in 2010 said the amount was paid illegally to him.
The report resulted in nationwide controversy, with operatives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who were in government during the CAN 2008 tournament and whom Mr. Woyome insists manipulated the process to hang him, claimed he [Woyome] did no work and had no contract with the state to deserve such huge payments of claims.
In 2009 Mr. Woyome had gone to court and claimed that his contract had illegally been terminated and demanded a judgment debt from government.
The then Attorney-General Betty Mould-Iddrisu, negotiated with Woyome for him to reduce his demand on the government, resulting in Woyome claim being halved to GH¢51.2 million