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Woyome case: A-G, Anator Holdings haggle over ownership of quarry

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

The Supreme Court will on Friday, December 14, 2018, hear a dispute between the state and Anator Holdings Company, a company that claims to own a quarry which the state says belongs to businessman, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

The Attorney-General (A-G) wants to sell the quarry, which is located in the Eastern Region to offset the GH¢47.2 million debt Mr Woyome owes the state.

But Anator Holdings, a company which the A-G claims is owned by Mr Woyome, has filed a case at the apex court arguing that the quarry belongs to it and not Mr Woyome.

The company is, therefore, praying the court to stop the A-G from including the quarry in the list of the businessman’s properties which the state wants to sell.

Claimants of properties

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Since 2015 when the Supreme Court ordered Mr Woyome to refund a GH¢ 51.2 million judgement debt that was paid to him, certain entities have laid claim to some properties that the state wants to sell to offset the judgement debt.

There is currently another case before the apex court in which the defunct UT Bank had claimed ownership of two properties at Trasacco in Accra when the state attempted to auction them.

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The court, presided over by Justice Anthony A Bennin, will give its ruling on that case on January 21, 2019.

Background

The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr 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 the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

The court held that the contracts on which Mr 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.

On March 1, 2016, Mr Woyome prayed the court to give him three years to pay back the money but the court declined to grant his request.

He, however, refunded GH¢4 million in November, 2016, and promised to pay the outstanding balance by quarterly instalments of GH¢5 million, commencing April 1, 2017.

That did not materialise after the businessman initiated a litany of legal cases at the Supreme Court to support his case, which were all dismissed.

Apart from fighting his cases in the country, Mr Woyome also sought relief from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) based in Paris, France, and the African Court of Justice based in Arusha, Tanzania.

In August 2017, the ICC threw out his case on the basis that he failed to properly invoke its jurisdiction.

His case at the African Court of Justice is yet to be determined.

 

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