Embattled businessman in the controversial GHc51 million judgment debt case, Alfred Agbesi Woyome has filed a case at the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, a day after his petition at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was thrown out.
The ICC rejected Woyome’s petition citing Article 6(4) of its Arbitration Rules and also the lack of establishment of prima facie. The decision meant that Woyome’s case does not meet minimum requirement of the ICC for arbitration.
But a statement from Lawyers of Mr. Woyome, while welcoming the ICC’s decision said they had already advanced the case at the African Court on Human and People’s Rights concerning some declarations made by Ghana’s Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court of Ghana erred by linking Alfred Agbesi Woyome to the Waterville contract by ‘necessary linkage’ using the now ‘residual unspecified Jurisdiction’ to ground ‘Justice ‘as their main Principle in ordering a refund of monies paid to Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome legally under the laws of Ghana.”
“Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome has sent this aspect of the case to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Right in Arusha Tanzania by invoking Article 40 read together with Article 75 of the 1992 constitution of The Republic of Ghana under case number Ref:AfCHPR/Reg./appl.001/2017/001. Ghana has ratified the necessary protocols of the African Court, recognized the competence of the African Court, and also submitted to the authority of the African Court. A preliminary determination of the case has been made and a prima facie case has been established by the African Court in favour of Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome and Ghana has been served all the necessary processes through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ghana,” the statement added.
The statement also noted that Ghana has been ordered to appoint Lawyers to represent the country by Tuesday, August 8, 2017.
“Ghana has been ordered to appoint their lawyers latest by Tuesday the 8th of August 2017. Ghana has also been ordered to file their response within 30 days after the 8th of August 2017,” the statement added.
Cries of persecution
Mr. Woyome had come out publicly to say he felt he was being persecuted by the Supreme Court in the matter of the judgement debt.
This came on the back of the Court’s approval, at the time, for him to be orally examined by former Attorney General, Martin Amidu.
Arguing this point, Mr. Woyome further noted that after an earlier judgment served him to pay the GHc 51 million, the Supreme Court rejected his mode of payment.
According to him, he had wanted to pay GHc4 million and spread the rest over a period of time but his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court.
The embattled business is once again in court and has appeared to be orally examined by the Attorney General’s office on issues pertaining to whether he owes any debts and has property to satisfy the debt, and the manner in which he used the judgment debt money paid him, among others.
Mr. Woyome had revealed at the appearance he had been out of business since 2012 as he had lost all his businesses after his arrest in 2011 and subsequent trial.
Mr. Woyome was paid the GHc 51 million after claiming he helped Ghana raise funds to construct stadia for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
However, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010, held that the amount was paid illegally to him.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money, after Martin Amidu, challenged the legality of the payments.
Following delays in retrieving the money, Supreme Court judges unanimously granted the Attorney General clearance to execute the court’s judgment, ordering Mr. Woyome to refund the cash to the state.
There had been previous attempts to orally examine Mr. Woyome, with Mr. Amidu himself, in 2016, filing an application at the Supreme Court to find out how the businessman was going to pay back the money.
This came after the Attorney General’s office under the Mahama Administration, led by the former Minister for Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, discontinued a similar application.
In February 2017 however, Mr. Amidu withdrew his suit seeking an oral examination, explaining that the change of government and the assurance by the new Attorney General to retrieve all judgment debts wrongfully paid to individuals, had given him renewed confidence in the system.