Ex-National Security Coordinator, Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, and Tony Lithur, one of the partners at Lithur, Brew and Co, have taken on the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Alamisi Amidu, suggesting he had been untruthful about events leading to his sacking from the John Evans Atta-Mills administration over the Woyome-Waterville saga.
While Tony Lithur, is taking on Martin Amidu, for claiming his law firm, heavily benefitted financially from the controversial GH¢51.2 million judgement debt, Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey, revealed that as someone who was privileged to be in the Office of The President at the time, he can say with certainty that Martin Amidu, peddled a “falsehood” over his dismissal.
Martin Amidu is quoted as saying, “I had suggested that Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu, should be persuaded to be a prosecution witness in lieu of prosecution. The Government disagreed, so I was removed from office.”
But, Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey on the Facebook wall of lawyer, Samson Lardy Ayeneni, wrote “that is not a statement of fact for those who witnessed the episode that led to the firing of Martin.”
Meanwhile, excerpts of the High Court judgment delivered by Justice John Ajet-Nasam, and available to The Herald, shockingly reveal how Mr. Martin Amidu, instead of stopping the consent judgement that facilitated the payment to Woyome, sat back as Attorney-General for the last two tranches to be paid.
He was later seen at the Supreme Court, chasing after the GH¢51.2 million, long after subtly allowing payment to Woyome.
On his part, Tony Lithur, a legal gem, who was Counsel for President John Mahama in the 2012 election petition hearing, boldly told Mr Amidu to refer his claims of unethical behaviour as lawyer to the General Legal Counsel, for action to be taken against him.
Mr. Lithur also distanced Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, from any wrong act or conflict of interest situation as suggested by both Martin Amidu and Alfred Agbesi Woyome, having been part of a law firm that worked for a partner of Woyome, Ray Smith, owner of Austro-Invest Management Limited.
Mr. Lithur, told Joy News Wednesday evening, “I am ready to face him anywhere Mr. Amidu takes me”. But The Herald is informed by close friends of Martin Amidu that he would not take up the challenge thrown by Mr. Lithur. He prefers to stay in his Haatso residence living a lonely life.
Mr. Amidu, had said in a statement Tuesday that although there was no evidence to back allegations that the Attorney General, and Tony Lithur, were ever lawyers for Mr. Woyome, the two lawyers worked for Austro-Invest, a firm that benefitted from the GH¢51 million judgement debt paid to the businessman.
Mr. Woyome had in a letter on Wednesday, demanded the resignation of Mrs. Appiah-Oppong, because her law firm Lithur Brew & Co, benefitted from the wrongfully paid judgement debt, alleging that she is not fit to see through an appeal against him, an allegation Mr. Amidu supported in his latest statement.
Mrs. Appiah-Oppong, was a partner in Lithur, Brew & Co, before assuming the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Mr Lithur is convinced the claims by Mr Woyome, and Mr Amidu especially, are attempts to tarnish his reputation and that of the current AG.
“If he [Mr Amidu] has any facts to support them, he should take them to the correct forum and he will receive an appropriate response. Damaging a fellow practitioner’s reputation so publicly based on conjecture is much more unethical and quite irresponsible”, news portal, Graphic Online also quoted Mr. Lithur as saying.
According to the news portal, Mr Lithur, offered the following explanation for Lithur, Brew & Co’s engagement with Austro-Invest, a firm Mr. Woyome, once had a substantial stake in.
“The point should be made very clear that Lithur Brew & Company did not act for Austro-Invest in relation to the actual claim or steps taken to claim any compensation from Government. We were not aware Austro-Invest, had given Woyome Power of Attorney to claim monies from government and were not part and did not advice Austro-Invest or Woyome on any of the processes leading to the payment of monies to him.
“We were instructed by Austro-Invest only after monies had been paid to Woyome and he refused to pay Austro-Invest any part of it, on grounds that Austro-Invest did not play any particular role in the financial engineering based on which the claim and payment had been made.
“The power of attorney given to Mr. Woyome by Austro-Invest to pursue the claim with the Attorney General, the various steps that were taken by Woyome pursuant to that power, the meetings with government etc were all done without knowledge or advise from Lithur Brew”.
An Accra High Court last week freed Alfred Agbesie Woyome, who had been charged with two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence, after he was accused of illegally receiving a little over 51 million Ghana Cedis in 2010 for his role in the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament held in Ghana.
But Martin Amidu in his characteristic long treatise released to the media, on the acquittal and discharge of Mr. Woyome of criminal charges, said that “I had made it clear to the Mills/Mahama Government as its Attorney General that no prosecution in the scam involving the over GH¢51million will succeed by targeting Woyome alone without Waterville, Austro-Invest, Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh, the Chief State Attorney whose spouse EOCO reveal had received GH₵400,000 from Woyome while he was handling the case as an Attorney for the Government, and others. I had suggested that Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu should be persuaded to be a prosecution witness in lieu of prosecution. The Government disagreed, so I was removed from office.”
However, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, who by virtue of his position as National Security Co-ordinator at the time was in a position to know the facts, has stated very categorically that, “that is not a statement of fact for those who witnessed the episode that led to the firing of Martin.”
Larry Gbevlo-Lartey, made the disclosure on the Facebook wall of lawyer Samson Lardy Ayeneni, who had posted a comment on his wall stating that he (Samson) was scandalized by Amidu’s claim on why he was removed from office.
“Samson Lardy and I can assure you that was not the case on the matter of the sack. Scandalized might be mild!” the highly respected Military officer cum lawyer posted in reaction to Samson Lardy Ayeneni’s post.
Pressed by other contributors to the discussion to narrate what really happened, Lt. Col. Gbevlo-Lartey
Indicated that he might not be permitted by the rules that govern his former office to divulge matters that came to his knowledge through the privilege of his office.
“Dissemination of a fact accessed by such privilege of office is not for me a task at own volition,” Gbevlo-Lartey stated.
Insisting that Martin Amidu’s claim is a falsehood, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo-Lartey stressed that “Truth stands- suffice it to say that the statement amounts to stating falsehood.”
Meanwhile, The Herald’s information is that Martin Amidu was sacked by President Mills over his inability to provide the names of people he claimed were corrupt officials serving in the government. At another secret meeting with the late President, Mr. Amidu, could not make the names available, but rather resorted to begging. It was at this point that President Mills sacked him from his government.