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22
Wed, Nov

Woyome challenges valuation of his property

Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome

Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome has initiated a legal action at the Supreme Court seeking to stop the government from valuing his property

The valuation of the property forms part of the government’s efforts to retrieve the GH¢47.2 million that the businessman owes the state.

However, in his motion challenging the valuation, his lawyers claimed the writ of execution backing the valuation of the property had expired.

The writ of execution, they argued, was renewed by the Attorney-General (A-G) without permission from the court as required by law.

Writ of execution

Mr Woyome’s lawyer, Mr Osafo Buabeng, on Monday told the Supreme Court that the A-G filed the first writ of execution on January 9, 2015 and subsequently renewed it on January 6, 2016.

He, however, argued that per Order 44 (Rule 9) of the High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2004, C.I. 47, the writ of execution was supposed to be renewed every 12 months from the date it was filed by a court order, but the A-G failed in doing so.

“Whatever execution process that followed the renewal is, therefore, a nullity,’’ he said.

But his submission was rejected by a Deputy A-G, Mr Godfred Dame, who argued that at the time the A-G filed the second writ of execution on January 6, 2016, the first one filed on January 9, 2015 had not elapsed.

He averred that the exact 12 months as stated by the rule had not been activated and, therefore, the January 6, 2016 writ of execution could not be said to be a renewal of the one filed on January 9, 2015.

The court, presided over by a sole justice of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice Anthony Alfred Benin, adjourned the case to October 20, 2017.

‘Woyome is sick’

Yesterday’s proceedings were also expected to be the continuation of the oral examination of Mr Woyome as to how he intended to pay his debts, but he failed to show up.

 Mr Buabeng explained that his client was absent because of sickness.

Counsel, therefore, tendered in a medical form, explaining that his client had been granted a two-week excuse duty by the Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge.

Meanwhile, apart from the motion challenging the valuation of his property, the legal team of the businessman has also filed a motion seeking the court to halt the oral examination.

That motion will also be moved by Mr Woyome’s legal team on October 20, 2017.

Background

The Supreme Court, on July 29, 2014, ordered Mr Woyome to refund GH¢51.2 million to the state on 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.

The court held that the contracts upon 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 wish.

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 by the Supreme Court.

Writer’s email: emma.hawkson@graphic.com.gh