State considers second Woyome criminal prosecution

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Businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome could face fresh criminal charges following a failed bid to halt the sale of assets to defray a nearly five-year-old debt to the state.

The deputy Attorney-General, Godfred Dame told reporters, the state will press criminal charges against the businessman for colluding with a defunct bank to stop the sale of the assets.

“A court having so found that Woyome attempted to collude with the bank….to me it is even an act the state can take him on in terms of criminal prosecution.”

“Clearly, this is something that I will consider prosecuting him for crime” he told reporters after emerging from court.

Woyome had been stonewalling the state’s attempt to sell off properties worth ¢20m of the remainder of his 51.2m debt.

In nearly five years, he had paid only 4million cedis of this debt.

The three earmarked properties located in Trassaco Valley estates and Accra New Town in the Greater Accra region was another step to retrieve even more.

But Woyome had argued in court through his legal counsel, the properties did not belong to him but to the receiver of the defunct bank.

The receiver claimed it owns the properties due to the businessman’s failure to repay a loan, a position the state vehemently disagrees with.

Deputy Attorney-General insisted there is collusion to prevent the state from rightfully selling off the properties.

He explained nine months after the bank had allegedly bought the property, the businessman used the same as collateral to secure a loan in excess of GH₵9million from the bank.

Justice Benin delivering his judgment in Accra Tuesday, called the purported sale of the properties to the receiver of the defunct bank a “sham.”

Justice Benin awarded cost of 60,000 cedis each against receivers of UT Bank and Anator holdings which is owned by Woyome.

Triumphant, the deputy Attorney-General has signalled Woyome that will be back in court to face criminal charges.

It will be the second time Woyome faces criminal prosecution if the state proceeds with its threat.

In 2010, he was charged with two counts of causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence.

This was after he was accused of illegally receiving 51 million Ghana Cedis in 2010 for his role in the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament held in Ghana.

But he was freed by an Accra High Court in 2015.

The judge, Justice Ajet-Nasam said the prosecution did a shoddy job and failed to prove its case against the accused person.

The judge was later implicated in a judicial bribery scandal that claimed the careers of several judges.

Critics, largely from the opposition New Patriotic Party, accused the NDC government of treating the case lightly to let off the hook a party financier.

The NDC government had sacked the Attorney-General Martin Amidu who was prosecuting the businessman.

Although the criminal case failed, the sacked Attorney-General prevailed in the civil case against Woyome and secured a 2014 Supreme court order for him to refund the cash.

It is this attempt to enforce the order that has eventually triggered the possibility of Woyome returning to a criminal court he once walked free from in 2015.

 Source: |myjoyonline.com

 

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