A single Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Alfred Benin, has ordered that several properties identified as belonging to embattled businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, be sold to offset some 51 million Ghana Cedis judgment debt paid illegally to him by the State.
The properties are two executive buildings located at Trassaco in Accra, the office complex of Anator Holdings, a company owned by Mr Woyome, two residential buildings at Caprice and Abelemkpe, both suburbs in Accra, as well as a mining quarry owned by the judgment debtor in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The state identified the properties owned by Mr Woyome which are estimated at GHC 20 million believes could prove vital in retrieving the GH¢ 51.2 million judgment debt he received from the state unlawfully.
The now defunct UT Bank claimed some of the properties identified by the state as theirs. It was the claim of lawyers of the defunct UT Bank that Woyome, used the said properties as collateral for loans at the bank which he failed to pay back. Ownership of the properties according to UT Bank, based on the failure to pay back the loans, transferred to the bank automatically.
The state represented by the Deputy Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, argued that there was no evidence to show that the said properties were used as collateral by Woyome to secure loans from UT Bank.
The properties, the state maintained, are owned by Mr. Woyome and therefore prayed the court to declare same as true to pave way for the state to sell them.
The apex court was expected to deliver its judgment on the 13th of May, 2019. However, after meeting with all the parties involved in the case in chambers, enquiries by journalists revealed that judgment on the UT Bank side of the case according to the judge was ready but that of the Anator Holdings was not ready. The Presiding Judge therefore instructed that the parties should return to court on June 27, 2019 for a joint decision.
In his judgment yesterday Justice Benin said, he had concluded that the claim by UT Bank that Mr. Woyome used the two buildings at Trasacco as collateral for a loan was false as they did not provide any credible evidence to substantiate their claim.
On the issue of the office complex of Anator Holdings, the Court held that all evidence point to the fact that they are indeed owned by Mr Woyome and not anyone else. Subsequently, all the properties identified by the State are to be sold in satisfaction of the judgment debt owed the State.
Meanwhile he African Court on Human and People’’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania, is expected today June 28, 2019 to deliver judgment in the matter of Mr Woyome versus the Republic of Ghana.
Mr Woyome applied to the Continental Court, arguing that his human rights were being trampled upon by Ghana in relation to the case in which he sued Ghana for abrogating a financial engineering services contract and was paid GH?51.2million.
It follows a ruling by Ghana’s Supreme Court that there was no contract between Woyome and Ghana; and ordered that he should refund the money.
Mr Woyome proceeded to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights when government began a valuation of his properties in an attempt to retrieve GHC51.2 million paid to him in a judgment debt.
The African Court during the proceedings had asked Ghana to suspend all efforts to retrieve the GHC51.2 million judgment debt paid to Woyome, until the court determines an appeal filed by him.
Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH
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