Charges No Sane Person Will Support Woyome Against A-G
Legal practitioner and supporter of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Egbert Faibille Jnr. has rubbished calls by businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, for the Attorney General (AG) to resign, stressing that his call was misplaced and mischievous.
According to him, the call by the embattled businessman is uninformed and is arising out of bitterness, following the notice of appeal filed against him by the AG.
Ironically, the pro-NPP group, Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), is backing the call made by Woyome for the resignation of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong.
According to the group, the demand by Woyome is legitimate, because of the role the AG’s law firm played in the payment of the infamous GH¢51.2 million judgment debt.
The group, which made the demands at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said the AG should be replaced as the state pursues the case in the Appeals court.
Mr. Woyome, who was last week acquitted and discharged in a 51.2 million cedis judgment debt scandal, on Monday, asked the AG to resign.
He maintained in a statement that the AG, Mrs Marrieta Brew Appiah-Oppong, was biased and unfit to be the Chief legal advisor of the president.
According to him, prior to becoming the AG, Mrs Appiah-Oppong, and her law firm benefitted from the 51million cedis judgment debt he was paid in 2010.
“I find it difficult to reconcile your decision to involve yourself directly in this criminal case and notice of appeal you have authorised to be issued and served on me. It is a fact that you and your clients received approximately $1 million, the equivalent in Ghana cedis from the said judgement debt you now so much criminalise and want me jailed for,” he said in a statement.
But Mrs. Appiah-Oppong, has described Woyome’s accusations as “completely false”, insisting that her outfit will pursue the case at the Appeals Court.
She revealed, Mr. Woyome owed their client, Ray and Ingeborg Smith, and Lithur Brew and Co. a private law firm she (AG) partly owned, got the debt from Woyome after a law suit at an Accra High Court.
This was after Alfred Woyome, wrote a letter to Mrs. Appiah-Oppong, accusing her of receiving GH¢1 million from the GH¢51 million judgment debt paid him, hence his call on her to resign.
Egbert Faibille Jnr, speaking on the allegations by Mr Woyome on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM yesterday, said the accusations are, “very misplaced uninformed mischievous call” because as lawyers “we operate under certain structures, we operate under certain ethics and all other considerations of good sense and common sense with respect to our conduct.”
“From the facts of this matter, it is very clear that Mr Woyome’s contention is that the learned Attorney General or her firm that she worked for has worked against him before…and that by reason of that the Attorney General is complicit and bias” and should not be the one to lead in a case against him.
Mr Faibille, noted that a lawyer becomes potentially biased, if he or she uses the facts of a case he or she worked on for a client and uses those facts to later prosecute that client.
He observed that, from the facts of the current case, “the learned Attorney General rather worked against Mr Woyome [and] how that can turn into a clear case of bias that ‘you have worked for me before and know the facts of this case while I was paying you so you cannot use it against me’,” is a non-starter.
The legal practitioner, advised that if Mr Woyome feels the AG has conducted herself as a lawyer or done anything that is against the ethics of the profession, he should go to the General Legal Council for remedies.
Egbert Faibille Jnr, believes that the AG on, “this matter should rather be applauded for having consistently worked against Mr. Woyome even from her private practice right through to the point where she is even in government.”
Asked what he believes could be the motivation behind Mr. Woyome’s attack on the AG, he said “it is very clear that Mr. Woyome’s beef is with the fact that a notice of appeal has been filed, appealing his acquittal and discharge by the trial High Court.”
“No sane person working in the legal and governance structures of this country, will uphold Mr Woyome’s contentions against Mrs Marrieta Brew-Oppong,” Mr Faibille added.
AFAG, reading a statement on behalf of the group, the General Secretary of AFAG, Arnold Boateng, stated that the AG was not committed to prosecuting the criminal charges against Woyome and accused government of shielding Woyome from being prosecuted.
According to Arnold Boateng, “This is a great indictment on the AG’s office. It bothers on whether the president failed to do due diligence before appointing Miss Marietta Brew or she was appointed to do a shoddy work to set Mr Woyome free or to cover all those who were implicated in the create loot and share.”
“We condemn the shoddy appeal pending that the AG is putting across against Mr. Woyome. AFAG believes that the AG must resign and the AG’s office must be overhauled,” he added.
The opposition NPP as a party, have also questioned why government officials who played various roles in the payment of the GH¢51.2 million to Alfred Agbesi Woyome have not been prosecuted.
Speaking also at a press conference in Accra yesterday, Communications Director of the party, Nana Akomea, questioned why such top public officials that were implicated in the payment of the money to Mr. Woyome, have not been taken on by the state.
The party said the government’s pursuit of the judgment debt case against Woyome, has been “shoddy, lackadaisical and a total waste of time.”
The NPP says evidence available indicates that key public and government officials, were involved in what the party describes as a grand scheme to defraud the state.
“We know government and public officials who were involved in this fraud are walking freely, why have they not been prosecuted.”
The NPP said the recent banter between the Attorney General and Alfred Woyome is a poor attempt at diverting the attention of the public from the key issue of retrieving the 51 million cedis illegally paid to the business man.
Describing the banter as a “sham”, the party said the AG must rather focus attention on retrieving the monies illegally paid to the Woyome.
Nana Akomea, said if government claims it was defrauded by Woyome, why is it not prosecuting the public officials who colluded with Woyome to defraud the country?
The party said they are not interested in the theatricals between the AG and Woyome.
“The NPP calls on all Ghanaians to be vigilant, stand up and fight for the payments to Mr. Woyome to be refunded to the State. GHC51.2m in 2010/ 2011 is today worth over GHC130m per the prevailing exchange rate, ” Akomea said.
The party’s Youth Organiser Sammy Awuku , who was present at the press conference was also quoted as saying the government “has taken the citizens for a ride” for far too long.
“From day one they did not show any interest in getting back the money,” he intimated accusing the AG of being shoddy in executing the case at the High Court. With the notice of appeal, Awuku said government “shouldn’t come back to us with another cock and bull story.”