In the wake of the New Patriotic Party government’s losing battle in court, against businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, over the Ghc51million judgment debt paid him in 2010, it appears the regime has adapted to dispute by other means.
Extra-judicially, armed police and National Security rough-necks crept under the cover of dawn darkness to besiege the home of the businessman yesterday in what appears to be a covert operation to eliminate by rough tactics.
Kokomlemle, the Accra suburb, where Woyome’s house is located, has since been thrown into shock by the apparent assassination attempt.
Followers of the Woyome case have also been left nonplussed by the extra-judicial action at a time that the state has begged for more time to file a response to a suit brought against it by Mr. Woyome at the African Human Rights Court in Arusha, Tanzania.
At 4:30 am yesterday, a combination of seven policemen and five National Security operatives, armed to the teeth, along with five people, who claimed to be from the Land Valuation Board, besieged the home of Mr. Woyome.
Along with a man who claimed to be a bailiff from the Supreme Court, the group had crept onto Mr. Woyome’s Kokomlemle home in two cars, one with registration number – NR 2347– 09.
As part of the besiegement, they had tried to force their way into the house, while the whole neighborhood was asleep.
However, the apparent tip-toe woke people, including Mr. Woyome, up. A confrontation that subsequently ensued led to the group of well-armed dawn creepers announcing that they had been sent by the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo.
Mr. Woyome was to hear, also, that their attempt to clandestinely enter his house under the cover of darkness was to execute a Supreme Court order to value the house in preparation for auction on account of the Ghc51million judgment debt.
How a Supreme Court order to value a house to be auctioned had to be carried out at dawn by a team of police and National Security personnel, armed like Rambo, sounded suspicious enough.
The narrative, however, went south, when Mr. Woyome demanded for essential documents, authorizing the operation and the team could not produce any.
Under the suspicious eyes of onlookers and Mr. Woyome, the team rather took to a fanciful and officious placing of calls, before eventually standing down.
By the time they were leaving, Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome had, rather, showed the group a document that the defunct UT Bank had filed long ago over the house.
A shaken Alfred Woyome has since pointed out in a social media post that the supposed attempt to carry out the Supreme Court valuation order at dawn happened at a time that the Supreme Court is on legal holiday.
The so-called Supreme Court bailiff, who accompanied the team on that mission to ostensibly enforce an order of the court which is on legal holiday, is said to have given his name as Prince Eli.
Observers have since not failed to perceive that the dawn raid on Mr. Woyome’s house was an attempt to secretly assassinate him, and that the only thing that saved him was that an attempt to steal into his home became noisy enough to arouse neighbors.
According to confessions by the besieging group, the team had carried out the dawn siege at the express behest of Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo.
Interestingly, the same Gloria Akuffo is caught in the eye of an impending major embarrassment for the Akufo-Addo government, as the state fights a losing battle at the African Court on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) at Arusha, Tanzania.
Following Mr. Woyome’s successful litigation at the International Court of Arbitration, which saw the court making nonsense of a judgment by Ghana’s Supreme Court that had conjoined Mr. Woyome’s case against government with that of Waterville, way was cleared for the businessman to seek justice over the abuse of his rights by GoG.
On January 16, this year, Mr. Woyome had filed a suit at the ACHPR, detailing the abuse of his rights by GoG over the Ghc51million judgment debt that he had been paid by the state in 2010 for doing financial engineering that raised money for the CAN 2008 stadia constructions.
Upon filing the suit, the court had assessed that Mr. Woyome indeed had a case and asked GoG, through the Attorney General, to file a response within 60 days.
However, an obviously befuddled AG, who is notorious for filing nolle prosequi in high profile cases, could not file the response within the stipulated time, shockingly begging the court to give GoG more time to file the response.
“We refer to notice of service of application filed in the registry of the African court on Human and People’s Rights dated 8th day of June 2017 from your office notifying us of an application brought against the Republic of Ghana (Respondent herein) by Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome (Applicant) on the 16th Day of January 2017 which was received by our office on the 15th of June 2017,” Principal State Attorney, Dorothy Afriyie Ansah, had stated in an August 11, 2017 letter.
The letter continued that, “We note that Registry’s notice pursuant to Rule 37 requests the respondent to submit its response to the application within 60 days of receipt of the Application.
“The Respondent requests a brief extension of the time to submit its response to the Application pursuant to Article 37 of the Rules. The Request to the extension of time has become necessary because the applicant herein had brought international arbitration proceeding against the Respondent in another forum in respect of the same subject matter.
“The Respondent therefore requests the court to extend the dead line for the submission of the response to the Application to August 31, 2017.”
Even as it has become apparent to many followers of the Woyome case that the state is wobbling, it is also clear that in referring to Mr. Woyome’s case at the ICC as reason for the state’s delay in filing response, the AG had lied to the AHPRC.
Mr. Woyome’s case at the ICC had nothing to do with his suit at the AHPRC, in that in the ICC case, he had set up the court to decouple his entitlement to payment for financial engineering he did to secure funds for the CAN 2008 stadia contracts, from the contract of Waterville.
Ghana’s Supreme Court, which had featured a judge who had declared Mr. Woyome as a thief, conspiratorial in a so-called create, loot and share scheme, even though the case before the court was a civil one, had conjoined Mr. Woyome’s case to that of Waterville.
Even though it was the responsibility of government, rather than Waterville, to secure Parliamentary approval for the contract to build the stadia, because the Waterville contract had not received Parliamentary approval, the Supreme Court said the contract had been illegal and therefore everything else connected to it as such, also illegal.
As the same court had conjoined Mr. Woyome’s case against GoG to the Waterville contract, therefore, the Ghc51million judgment debt that had been paid to Woyome was illegal, according to the Supreme Court.
But Mr. Woyome has all along made the point that his case against GoG was not related to Waterville’s case, in that even though it was Waterville which had employed his services to do financial engineering, in international financial rules, financial engineers are entitled to 4% of money that they raise through financial engineering.
Mr. Woyome’s financial engineering, which had led to the raising of over 1billion euros for the CAN 2008, therefore, entitled him to 4% that he had raised, he has pointed out. However, because President Kufuor had turned round to illegally abrogate Waterville’s contract, vandalizing Ghana’s procurement laws in the process, the 4% on the over 1billion euros that he spent money and time to secure has eluded him.
Mr. Woyome’s case is that GoG must pay him this money which he would have made if the contract had not been vandalized.
In the ICC arbitration attempt, the court had ruled that Mr. Woyome had no locus to start an arbitration process in respect of the Waterville contract because he is not connected to Waterville in any way, effectively agreeing with him that his case with GoG was unconnected to Waterville’s case.
This ruling by the ICC was what set the stage for Mr. Woyome to demand his rights from the GOG at the AHPRC in Arusha, Tanzania.
However, after the AHPRC had determined that Mr. Woyome indeed has a case against GoG and asked the AG to file a response, by March 2017, the AG has curiously, not been able to file a response.
Rather, the state has asked for more time just to file a response, lying in the process that it has not been able to file the response, because Mr. Woyome had similarly sued the state at the ICC.
It is as this response is still pending that the same state is sponsoring secret dawn siege by heavily armed security operatives at the house of the businessman.
The siege has since been perceived as an attempt by the state to eliminate Mr. Woyome to forestall impending disgrace at the AHPRC.