The Supreme Court (SC) of Ghana has dismissed an application filed by businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to stop the Attorney-General (A-G) from orally examining him.
Presiding judge, Justice A. A Benin, yesterday ruled that the stay of execution application had no basis and, therefore, threw out the application.
Mr. Woyome was seeking to stop the A-G from orally examining him in connection with attempts by the state to retrieve GHS51.2 million from him.
Justice A. A Benin announced last week that he would rule on Mr. Woyome’s application yesterday therefore, the oral examination that was billed for Thursday, 29 June did not come off.
Mr. Woyome argued that Article 134 (b) of the 1992 Constitution gives him the opportunity to apply for a stay of execution of Justice Benin’s decision by asking that a panel of three justices vary, discharge and or reverse the order.
Article 134 (b) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates that: “A single Justice of the Supreme Court may exercise power vested in the Supreme Court not involving the decision of the cause or matter before the Supreme Court, except that:
(b) in civil matters, any order, direction or decision made or given under this article may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Supreme Court constituted by three justices of the Supreme Court.
However, the Deputy Attorney-General argued that the provision cited by Mr. Woyome upon which he filed the application did not apply since the state was merely attempting to enforce an earlier judgment of the same court.
A few weeks ago, a charge was put on some properties of Mr. Woyome in connection with the state’s quest to retrieve the GHS51.2 million which the apex court has ruled was fraudulently given to him.
Mr. Woyome was paid the amount after dragging the state to court over the abrogation of an alleged contract he had with the government for the building of some stadia.
The Supreme Court, however, ruled subsequently that he got the money illegally and fraudulently and directed him to refund it.
Mr. Woyome and the Attorney General came to an agreement about a payment plan. He started refunding the money by installments in November last year.
Per the agreement, he was supposed to have made a second part payment of GH¢5million by April 1, 2017.
Mr. Woyome is to pay GH¢5million every four months in installment until the final payment is made on April 1, 2019.
However, Mr. Woyome, who was dissatisfied with the ruling by the Supreme Court, has since resorted to two international bodies, the ICC and African Court of Justice, to determine the matter.
It would be recalled that Chief State Attorney, Mrs. Dorothy Afriyie-Ansah, filed a similar suit in 2016 but later filed a discontinuance based on the payment schedule the AG’s Department and Mr. Woyome agreed upon, out of which a part payment of Gh¢4 million was made.
Mr. Justice Anin Yeboah, a single judge, hearing the case, granted the request of the A-G.
Not satisfied with the AG’s discontinuance of her oral examination of the judgment debt, former Attorney-General, Martin Amidu, also filed a writ in 2016 to orally examine Mr. Woyome as part of processes to retrieve the money.
Mr. Amidu, however, withdrew his case when there was a change of government on January 7, 2017, explaining that he was confident the New Patriotic Party (NPP) (government was going to pursue the matter.
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