Court sets aside judgement debt C’ssion’s findings on Woyome

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Alfred Agbesi Woyome

The Court of Appeal presided over by Justice Victor Osei has set aside the findings of the Judgement Debt Commission in the controversial GH¢51.2 million judgement debt, wrongfully paid to Alfred Agbesi Woyome.

In stating the ruling, the learned Justice of the Court of Appeal described the findings of the judgement debt commission as unfair.

The judgement debt was paid Woyome by the erstwhile John Evans Atta Mills administration after claiming he helped Ghana raise funds to construct stadia for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

However, an Auditor General’s report released in 2010, held that the amount was paid illegally to him and subsequently, the Supreme Court in 2014 ordered Mr. Woyome to pay back the money after Martin Amidu, a then private legal practitioner challenged the legality of the payments.

The Judgement Debt Commission in its findings stated that either through inadvertence or pure mischief through connivance, both the Chief State Attorney Samuel Nerquaye Tetteh and the trial judge did not scrutinize the processes filed before them with judicious eyes. The Sole-Commissioner further stated that if the trial judge had particularly done so, he would not have granted the application for default judgement in the first place.

But according to the Learned Justice of the Court of Appeal, the Commission’s failure to invite Mr. Woyome to appear before it and testify breaches the natural justice principle of audi alterem partem.

The Court of Appeal, therefore, ordered that the adverse findings contained in the Commission’s report should be expunged.

Related: Supreme Court rejects African Court ruling on Woyome

Ghana’s Supreme Court has rejected the order by the African Court of Human and People’s Rights Tanzania, asking it to halt proceedings leading to the retrieval of the Ghc51 million judgment debt wrongfully paid to businessman Alfred Woyome.

According to the decision by a five-member panel of justices, Ghana’s Supreme Court had no real factual and legal basis to share its powers and jurisdiction with any other court that can compel it to halt its proceedings.

The justices further went on to dismiss Mr Woyome’s application for stay of proceedings pending the final outcome of the case before the African Court describing it as one without merit. Ghana News