Woyome wins appeal against Judgment Debt Commission

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, setting aside some adverse findings contained in the Judgement Debt Commission report.

The court said the Commission breached the rules of natural justice in not allowing the businessman an opportunity to appear before it, after he was found to have illegally received payments as judgment debt.

President John Dramani Mahama in 2012, set up the Commission headed by Justice Yaw Apau to look into judgment debt payments since 1992, in the wake of the many of such payment scandals that rocked the country in 2012.

Image result for sole commissioner justice appau

Photo: Justice Yaw Apau

Woyome received some 51million cedis as judgment debt from the state. He has been asked to cough up the money after a High Court declared the payments illegal.

Justice Appau, who was the sole commissioner of the Judgment Debt Commission, reported that the monies paid businessman Alfred Woyome was fraudulently made.

But irked by this aspect of the report, the businessman in June 2016 headed to the Appeal Court arguing that Sole Commissioner Justice Yaw Apau erred in fact and law in reaching such a conclusion.

The businessman through his lawyers, also accused Justice Yaw Appau of breaching the rules of natural justice by failing to offer him a hearing before making findings against him.

Woyome also requested an order setting aside findings of the Sole Commissioner against him and further prayed the court, to order the Attorney-General to expunge findings and decisions captured in the government’s White Paper based on the Commission’s unfair findings.

At the Appeal court Thursday, a three-member panel presided over by Justice Victor Ofoe upheld these two requests.

Justice Ofoe explained that since the Judgment Debt Commission moved beyond examining records of payment to assess circumstances leading to the payment, it should have invited the businessman for his side.

Justice Ofoe further reiterated that the decision of the court does not affect the order of the Supreme Court ordering the businessman to pay back the 51.2million cedis Judgement debt.

What do you think?

John Mahama saves nasty situation in Sierra Leone

Encourage each other to curb gender inequality – Lordina Mahama to women