Pay back GHc 51.2m paid Woyome fraudulent - Judgment debt C'ssion

The Commission said the payment to Alfred Agbesi Woyome was inordinate and at the same time fraudulent

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Businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome play

Businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome

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The Judgment debt Commission has recommended in its report to the President John Mahama that businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome must refund with interest, the GHC51.2 million that was paid to him "fraudulently" for work he claimed he did for the country ahead of the hosting of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Accra.

According to the Commission, "It recommended that in line with the review decision of the Supreme Court, the State must take all necessary steps to re-call the money paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome from him with interest."

Read more: Betty Mould was ‘ignorant’ in Woyome scandal - Judgement Debt Commission

Government on Wednesday November 18, 2015 issued a White Paper on the Judgment Debt Commission’s report in which it stated that the payment to Alfred Agbesi Woyome was inordinate and at the same time fraudulent which therefore constituted a huge financial loss to the State.

Excerpts of the report said the trial court seriously erred when it granted a default judgment that was procedurally flawed in many aspects. The default judgment was a complete nullity due to the procedural irregularities that completely destroyed its foundation.

See also: Curtail Woyome’s freedom: A-G demands

• The plaintiff had no mandate under the rules of court to amend his writ of summons twice without leave before pleadings were closed. Order 16 Rule 1(1) gives the plaintiff only one opportunity. He amended his writ of summons twice without leave but the trial court either failed to scrutinise the records before the granting the application or turned a blind eye to it.

• When the plaintiff amended the endorsement on his writ of summons to change completely his cedi claim to a Euro claim with other reliefs, he did not amend his original statement of claim to correspond to the new claim which was completely different from the original claim.

• At the time plaintiff filed the motion for default judgment in default of defence, the defendants had not been served with any Statement of Claim as required under the Rules of Court in support of the amended Writ of Summons to which they could respond by way of a statement of defence.

• On 14th May 2010, just seven (7) days after the service of the amended writ of summons on the 1st defendant, plaintiff caused a motion for judgment in default of defence to be filed. This was contrary to Order 16 Rule 3(2)(b), which provides for a period of fourteen (14) days after the service of an amended statement of claim on the defendant.

Read more: Collect money paid Woyome before you collect mine - Trader

iii. Though the parties in the action filed a supposed Terms of Settlement intending it to be adopted as a consent judgment, the State, before the date slated for the adoption of the said terms, had declared its intention not to go by the terms anymore since it had realised it had a defence to the action. That conduct alone served as a caveat to the trial court in treating the terms as Consent Judgment since it had been robbed of its consensual content. The trial court regrettably forced a Consent Judgment on the State. What the trial court described as a “Consent Judgment” was therefore not a Consent Judgment properly so-called. It was a judgment forced on the State by the trial court, which makes it a complete nullity.

iv. There was no basis for the payment of the sum of over GHȻ51 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome. This is because he was not entitled to any such payment as the EOCO rightly found and stated in its interim report.

Click to read the White Paper on the Judgment Debt Commission’s report 

v. The trial court should have set aside the default judgment it had wrongly entered against the State and allowed the Attorney-General to defend the action as she intimated. The failure of the trial High Court to do so led to the wrong payment of the huge sum of over GHȻ51 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome who did not deserve it in the least.

vi. The payment to Alfred Agbesi Woyome was inordinate and at the same time fraudulent. It therefore constituted a huge financial loss to the State.

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