Martin Amidu: Woyome’s Judgement Debts Were Authorised Before My Tenure

Martin Amidu: Woyome’s Judgement Debts Were Authorised Before My Tenure

Martin Amidu

Martin Amidu

Former Attorney General, Martin Amidu has stated that contrary to assertions that he supervised the payment of a substantial part of the GHC 51 million paid as judgment debt to businessman Alfred Woyome, there was nothing he could have done to “stop payments of monies which were authorized before I was appointed to the office.”

In a statement copied to citifmonline.com, Mr Amidu noted that “The first time this matter came to my attention was on 8th November 2011 when I read the Solicitor- General’s memo asking me to authorize the withdrawal of the Woyome case from the High Court for settlement which I refused to do. Then in December the scandal broke out. All along this matter was hidden away from me until the scandal was about to break out and then they wanted to use me to withdraw the case so I would have been responsible for the consequences. I refused to be the scape goat.”

It will be recalled that the Chief Director of the Ministry of Justice & Attorney General, Ahmed Suleman admitted in court on Monday that a huge chunk of the 51 million Ghana cedis paid as judgment to businessman Alfred Woyome was under former Attorney General, Martin Amidu.

Mr. Woyome is being tried by the state on two counts of defrauding by false pretense and causing financial loss to the state.

During cross-examination at the Financial Division of the Fast Track High Court, the eighth prosecution’s witness, Ahmed Suleman confirmed that three installments of the alleged judgment were paid under Martin Amidu.

Below is a copy of the statement released by Mr Martin Amidu

The letters authorizing payment from the Attorney General were dated 15th November 2010 in the case of Waterville, and 9th December 2010 in the case of Woyome. The letters were each addressed by the Minister of Finance to the Accountant-General for payment. There was nothing in my handing over notes on these cases. How was I to stop payments of monies which were authorized before I was appointed to the office and nobody had even briefed me about them?

The first time this matter came to my attention was on 8th November 2011 when I read the Solicitor- General’s memo asking me to authorize the withdrawal of the Woyome case from the High Court for settlement which I refused to do. Then in December the scandal broke out. All along this matter was hidden away from me until the scandal was about to break out and then they wanted to use me to withdraw the case so I would have been responsible for the consequences. I refused to be the scape goat.

In any case I am responsible for the amended writ and statement of claim now pending in the High Court. The National Security Coordinator, Captain Kojo Tsikata and senior staff of the Attorney General’s Department know that without my efforts what had been filed in the High Court on grounds of mistake before I sought the amendments had no legs to stand upon.

The Acting Chief Director is in charge of purely administrative matters of the Ministry of Justice. The Solicitor General is the administrative head of the Legal Service and head of the Civil Division responsible for handling all civil cases for and against the Government.

How come that the Solicitor General who handled this matter under my predecessor and myself is not a witness? How come that the Chief State Attorney, Samuel Nerquaye Tetteh who handled this case throughout and is still at post not a witness? How come that the Senior State Attorney, Mr. Adadevoh who was always in Court not a witness? How come that Mrs. Afriyie-Ansah who is the Chief State Attorney handling the case in the High Court since I sought the amendment not a witness? Why will the Attorney-General use an Acting Chief Director who had no personal knowledge or anything to do with the file and never had a minute on the file during my tenure as a witness?

On 10th July 2013 I wrote to the Attorney General and called her attention to my concerns about how the case is being handled. I have received no reply. If the intention of the Attorney General is to continue to vilify me, by attributing to me what I have not done, so be it. The truth shall out one day.

-citifm

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