A five-member panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Anin Yeboah has directed the Attorney General’s department to mobilise resources and acquire properties of businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
The motion for leave of the court by the State is premised on auctioneers’ notice that it was unable to auction the properties because buyers fear the properties could be returned to him by a future government.
In court on Wednesday, when the motion for leave for the acquisition was called, the court said if the state wants to take over the properties, it should mobilise resource and buy the said properties.
Previously in court, the CJ urged Mr Woyome to pay his debt and claim his properties.
“You can tell your lawyer what you want to tell us,” the CJ advised him, adding that, “if you have money, go and pay, pay and get your properties back.”
It has emerged that Woyome’s properties ordered by the Supreme Court’s to be sold have still not been sold.
This is because potential buyers are reportedly afraid to purchase the properties because they feel those properties may be restored to Mr Woyome in the future.
Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, made this known in a letter dated March 4, 2020, and addressed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
The letter made reference to the Supreme Court’s order to have the properties of Mr Woyome auctioned to settle judgment debt.
It would be recalled that in July 2019, after three years of legal joggling over the true ownership of properties in the case involving the businessman and National Democratic Congress bankroller, Mr Woyome, the Supreme Court ordered the auctioning of the assets to defray the GH¢47.2 million debt he owes the State.
Assets in question include two mansions at Trassaco Estate, a house at Kpehe where he resides, an office complex of Anator Holdings, residential building at Abelemkpe and a stone quarry in the Eastern Region including its plants and equipment.
The Supreme Court at the time, with Justice A. A. Bennin serving as the sole judge held that the properties belonged to Woyome.
The Court also said that the claim by the defunct UT Bank that Mr. Woyome sold two houses at Trassaco Estate to the bank to defray his debt was a sham.
Again, the court held that Woyome’s quarry was not used as collateral, as he and the bank claimed.
Costs of GH¢60,000 was awarded against UT Bank and Woyome by the Court in 2019.
But the National Security Minister bemoaned in his letter that “the auctioneer tasked with the auctioning the properties has indicated his inability to successfully execute the task because potential buyers are afraid amongst other reasons that the properties may be restored to Mr. Woyome by the State in the future.”
“In view of the above, it has been decided that the properties be surrendered to the State to obviate the need for an auction,” the letter added.