Pay and take your property – Chief Justice to Woyome

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The Chief Justice (CJ), Justice Anin-Yeboah, has advised embattled businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome to settle his debt to the state if he has money in order to avoid losing his properties which have been earmarked for sale.

The CJ gave the advice after Mr. Woyome had appeared before the Supreme Court yesterday where the Attorney General’s Department is seeking permission to hand over four (4) of Woyome’s properties for use by the National Security.

The move to hand over the properties was necessitated by challenges the licensed auctioneer is facing in his bid to sell the properties to offset the GH¢51.2 million Woyome fraudulently received as judgement debt from the state.

Deputy Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame was expected to move the application yesterday to seek leave of the court to hand over the properties to the National Security in order not to flout the orders of the court which said the properties ought to be sold through a public auction.

However, the case was adjourned as Woyome’s lawyer had written to the court that he was indisposed and could not make it to court.

The five-member panel, presided over by Justice Anin-Yeboah, decided to adjourn the matter to June 24, 2020 as it said it cannot hear the application in the absence of Woyome’s lawyer due to the nature of the case.

The move, the CJ said, was also to give the lawyer three weeks to recuperate.

SC Order

The Supreme Court presided over by a single judge, Justice Alfred A. Benin, on July 2019 ordered the state to go ahead and sell four properties of beleaguered businessman Alfred Woyome to defray the money he fraudulently took from the state when the NDC was in power.

This was after the court found that Woyome had colluded with the defunct UT Bank to hide the properties from the state.

The properties include three residential properties – two at Trassaco Valley and one at Kpehe (all in Accra), as well as a quarry at Mamfi in the Volta Region.

The state has also indicated that it has discovered two more properties belonging to the businessman and will take steps to sell them off.

Interest

The Ministry for National Security proposed that some properties belonging to Woyome be transferred to the state to offset the GH¢51.2 million fraudulently paid him as judgement debt.

The ministry, in a letter signed by the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah, and addressed to the Attorney General said they are proffering the advice due to the difficulties the auctioneer is facing in the sale of the properties.

The letter further pointed out that potential buyers are staying away from the properties, some of which are located at Trassaco Valley, Accra, due to fears they could lose them in the event that there is a change in government.

AG Application

Following challenges faced by the licensed auctioneer to sell the properties through public auction as ordered by the Supreme Court, the AG’s Department is seeking the permission of the court to transfer the four (4) properties to the National Security.

The application states that the National Security Council, pursuant to discussions between the Minister of National Security and the licensed auctioneer, has expressed an interest in acquiring the properties.

It further states that the National Security considers the location of all the properties as very vital for some of its operations and is desirous of assuming control and ownership of same.

“It is our respectful view that it will amount to the same if the National Security which is an organ of government acquires the said properties for its work, and the total values of the properties set off against the judgement debt,” the application added.

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