Supreme Court puts on hold ruling on Woyome's houses
The Supreme Court has adjourned indefinitely a ruling on whether or not two houses that the state wants to sell belongs to businessman, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome or the defunct UT bank.
The court, presided over by a single judge, Mr Justice Anthony A Benin, made the decision due to a review application filed by Mr Woyome.
Lawyers for the businessman filed an application seeking to have a three-member panel of the court quash a decision of Justice Benin to entertain the case.
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In view of that application, Justice Benin decided to put on hold the ruling that he was expected to give on Monday.
Mr Woyome, the A-G and the receivers of the defunct UT bank, Mr Vish Ashiagbor and Mr Eric Nana Nipah, are before the Supreme Court, with the bank claiming ownership of the two houses on the basis that Mr Woyome sold the properties to UT Bank.
The state, on the other hand, is seeking to prove that the properties are still for Mr Woyome and that the defunct UT Bank, through its receivers and Mr Woyome, are colluding to prevent the sale of the two mansions to offset part of the GH₵47.2 million that Mr Woyome owes the state.
The UT Bank, in April 2016, claimed ownership of the properties when the state attempted to auction them to defray the GH¢51.2 million the businessman owed the state.
The Manet Towers branch of then UT Bank claimed two residential properties at Trasacco in Accra.
Lawyers for then UT Bank, Manet Towers, Airport City, Archer, Archer and Co., filed a notice of claim at the High Court for the properties and served notice on the A-G’s Department.
The effect of the claims is that the state cannot sell those properties until it is proved that the bank’s claim is false.
The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the state on the grounds that he got the money out of unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the state and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
Woyome went to the International Court of Arbitration to contest the court’s decision after reneging on his promise to the Supreme Court to pay the money by the end of December 2015.
On March 1, 2016, Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his wish.
The court had, in the 2014 review decision, held that the contracts upon which Woyome made and received the claim were in contravention of Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.