Alfred Woyome To File Submission of ‘No Case’
The Financial Division of the High Court has given Alfred Agbesi Woyome up to March 17, 2014 to file his submission of ‘no case’.
It also directed the state to file the necessary papers in rebuttal to the businessman’s claim that the state had failed to prove a case against him.
Woyome’s lawyer, Mr Sarfo Buabeng, declared the defence team’s intention to file a submission of ‘no case’ on behalf of the businessman, who has been accused of defrauding the state to the tune of GH¢51.2 million.
Mr Buabeng announced his team’s plans and further prayed the court to give it time to file the necessary documents.
Obliging, the trial judge, Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasam, gave the prosecution and the defence team up to March 17, 2014 to file their papers.
The court will, on that day, give directions as to what will transpire next.
Woyome, his wife, a special assistant and a handful of sympathisers were in court to observe yesterday’s proceedings, which lasted less than 15 minutes.
January 30 proceedings
The state, on January 30, 2014, brought its case to a close after it had called nine witnesses.
A Chief State Attorney, Mr Matthew Amponsah, announced that the prosecution had exhausted the number of prosecution witnesses billed to testify against Woyome.
He made the announcement after Mr Buabeng had completed the cross-examination of the ninth prosecution witness, Assistant Superintendent of Police Mr Odame Okyere.
Following the closure of the prosecution’s case, Mr Buabeng prayed the court to give the defence team a short adjournment to enable it to have a meeting with Woyome to decide on the next line of action
Cross-examination of investigator
Mr Okyere, who is the investigator in the case, told the court during cross- examination that he did not come across the record of proceedings at the Commercial Court which gave the consent judgement of GH¢51.2 million to Woyome.
According to him, he did not apply for the record of proceedings at the Commercial Court.
Mr Buabeng asked the witness if he (witness) would agree with him that Woyome was not paid by the government because of his petition to the government demanding payment for financial engineering services, but Mr Okyere disagreed.
Asked if he had evidence to prove his position, Mr Okyere insisted the accused person had been paid based on the petition.
Mr Buabeng then requested Mr Okyere to produce documents which indicated that Woyome had been paid based on the petition.
However, when he realised that there was no such document available, the witness said the payment had been triggered by the petition.
Mr Buabeng probed further, which resulted in the witness admitting that the payment had been made after a court judgement.
Questioned if he knew when the judgement had been obtained, Mr Okyere said he was aware it was in 2010 but could not recall the exact date.
The investigator said he had come across only the judgement staying further payment to Woyome until the determination of an application from the state which called for the setting aside of the consent judgement.
The Commercial Court, presided over by Mr Justice Amadu Tanko, had, in 2010, ordered that GH¢17 million be paid to Woyome until the court disposed of the state’s request to the court to set aside the default judgement which awarded GH¢51.2 million to Woyome.
Mr Okyere informed the court that he had not seen a copy of the consent judgement from Justice Tanko’s court.
Witness also said what he had seen was a copy of the settlement terms which was forwarded to the Minister of Finance by Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu, the then Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
Mr Okyere was made to read out snippets of a letter containing directives from the then Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), Dr Kwabena Duffour, directing the then acting chief director of the ministry to release payments in three instalments to Woyome.
• Woyome has been charged with two counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.
• He has claimed innocence and is currently on a GH¢20 million bail.
• The accused person was first put before the court on February 6, 2013.
-Mabel Aku Banaseh / Daily Graphic