Former Attorney General, Mrs Betty Mould-Iddrisu has broken up her silence on the judgement debt which was paid to a business man Alfred Agbesi Woyome.
Betty Mould-Iddrisu admitted the government at the time acted erroneously and made mistakes in the manner it handled the Woyome scandal which is still being battled in Court.
Such errors, according to her were not criminally or fraudulently wrong but errors committed because they were human.
In an interview with Ghanaweb at the weekend she clarified that though there were errors made, at no point did she act unprofessionally.
Betty Mould-Iddrisu who doubles as Vice Chairman of main opposition party National Democratic Congress (NDC) held the view that the bashing she received for her actions were partially because she was a ‘woman at the very top’
“I think it is one of the hazards of politics, it’s one of the hazards of putting yourself out there and it is one of the hazards unfortunately of being a woman at the very top. Sometimes you can’t see that they are sharpening the knives for you, sometimes also we were wrong in some of our actions, erroneously wrong, not criminally wrong or fraudulently wrong but erroneously wrong. We are humans, we make mistakes, ”she admitted.
The former Attorney General insisted that at no point did she doubt her actions and believed everything she did had legal backing and her conduct was professional.
Betty Mould-Iddrisu emphasised she was competent to know what to do and readily took responsibility for her actions refusing to admit she was misled at any point in time.
“I think I am competent to know and to take responsibility for my own actions within a certain context. I don’t have a problem with that.
“It is only the good Lord who can judge our actions, that at a certain point in time, we acted professionally, we acted in accordance with the law, we acted competently. There was never a day, never one day of doubt in my mind that I was not doing the right thing”, she stated.
It will be recalled that Mr Woyome sued the state for a breach of contract relating to the construction of some stadia for the 2008 African Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana and was awarded a default judgement to a tune of Gh¢51 million because the state failed to put in a defence.
He was arrested on February 3, 2011 after the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), which was commissioned by the late President John Evans Atta Mills to investigate the matter, implicated him of wrongdoing.
According to Mr Woyome’s statement of claim on March 31, 2010, the then Attorney General, Betty Mould Iddrisu, wrote to request payment as she informed the the Finance Minister Dr KwabenaDuffuor that Woyome was claiming two percent compensation fee for financial engineering on the mobilisation of funds for the CAN Project and that she had reached a settlement with him.
According to paragraph 17 of Woyome’s statement of claim in court, the finance minister on April 6, 2010, wrote to the Controller and Accountant General requesting “the release of funds” to pay the claim of “Ghana cedi equivalent of €22,129,501.74.”
On May 28, 2010, Betty Mould wrote again to the finance minister after he did not follow her instructions. She informed him that Woyome had sued and successfully obtained a default judgement of a total of Gh¢51,283,480.59, including interests and costs.
Paragraph 18 of the Woyome statement of claim in court stated that on April 7, 2010, the Controller and Accountant General issued a “Bank Transfer Advice… to the Director, Banking Department, Bank of Ghana”, requesting “for the release of funds to pay the sum of Gh¢41,811,480.59.”
A Chief State Attorney, Mr Samuel Nerquaye-Tetteh; his wife, Mrs GiftyNerquaye-Tetteh, and the Director of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Paul Asimenu, suspected to have aided Woyome, were arrested. Mr Nerquaye-Tetteh was charged with conspiracy and corrupting a public officer.
Mr. Asimenu and Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh were charged with abetment of crime. Woyome was alleged to have paid GH¢400,000 to the couple, but they and Mr Asimenu were, on June 5, 2012, freed, following the state’s declaration of a nolle prosequi.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
Writer’s email: email@example.com