OccupyGhana says it has discovered a GH¢35 million contract awarded to embattled businessman, Alfred Woyome, although the dust is yet to settle on a scandalous judgement debt awarded to him.
Mr Woyome is yet to refund a GH¢51.2 million judgement debt he obtained from the state which according to the Supreme Court was acquired through unconstitutional and invalid contracts between the state and Waterville Holdings Limited in 2006 for the construction of stadia for CAN 2008.
Despite the apex court’s ruling, the businessman is currently fighting the retrieval of the money by the state, claiming among other things, that he earned it.
In a statement issued Thursday, the pressure group said it “is shocked, outraged and appalled to discover that while the nation is still reeling from the effect of the Alfred Woyome judgment debt scandal, and the stalled and hesitant attempts by the Attorney-General to execute the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Government of Ghana has, on the blind side of Ghanaians, entered into a ‘confidential’ and potentially lucrative agreement with Woyome, acting through one of his companies, Anator Holding Company Limited.”
OccupyGhana explains that Anator Holding Company is one of the companies that has filed a suit claiming to be the owner of two of Woyome’s properties that the Government has to attach in the execution of the judgment.
“That matter is still pending and unresolved,” OccupyGhana, which is composed of astute lawyers and other professionals, said in the statement.
Woyome sued the state in 2009 for what he claimed to be a wrongful termination of the contract by the erstwhile Kufuor administration.
The contract, Woyome averred, was for him to raise money for the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008 tournament which was held in Ghana.
He secured a default judgment in 2010 after the then Attorney General Betty Mould Iddrisu failed to prosecute the case.
Even when the court had asked that only the first tranche of 17 million cedis be paid to the businessman until after the case had been concluded, officials of government went ahead to pay all three tranches.
A 2010 audit report made adverse findings about government officials involved in the payment made to Mr Woyome.
Mr Woyome recently filed a suit in the apex court seeking a review of an earlier decision that would have allowed former Attorney General, Martin Amidu, to cross-examine him over a controversial ¢51 million judgment debt.
The former Attorney General had initiated the proceedings to retrieve the money paid the businessman.
Read below OccupyGhana's full statement.
24th NOVEMBER, 2016
OCCUPYGHANA® PRESS STATEMENT
WOYOME AGAIN! GH?35 MILLION CONTRACT DISCOVERED: OCCUPYGHANA® EXPOSES GOVERNMENT
OccupyGhana® is shocked, outraged and appalled to discover this: That while the nation is still reeling from the effect of the Alfred Woyome judgment debt scandal, and the stalled and hesitant attempts by the Attorney-General to execute the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Government of Ghana has, on the blind side of Ghanaians, entered into a “confidential” and potentially lucrative agreement with Woyome, acting through one of his companies, Anator Holding Company Limited.
This same Anator Holding Company, in the current proceedings in court, is one of the companies that has filed an interpleader, claiming to be the owner of two of Woyome’s properties that the Government has finally managed to attach in execution of the judgment. That matter is still pending and unresolved.
We have seen a Framework Agreement dated as recently as 21st December 2015, for Anator Holding to “develop deep seaports (including) industrial parks and green townships” in Ghana.
The Agreement is signed by Woyome as Executive Chairman of Anator Holding Company Limited, and the then Minister for Transport, Dzifa Aku Attivor. That Agreement was entered into on the basis of a non-binding scantily drafted Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the same Woyome company and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority on the same subject on 28th August 2015.
The Framework Agreement with Ghana is expressed to have been entered into so that Woyome’s company can raise an initial financing of US$8.5M just for feasibility studies. In other words, Woyome is relying on the country’s goodwill to raise financing for a sweetheart deal that he has entered into with the GPHA and is possibly shopping around banks all over the world for money, on the back of this agreement.
That bogus Agreement was signed with the express approval of Cabinet, as conveyed by a letter signed by the Chief of Staff from the Office of the President, dated 16th December 2015. It is instructive to point out that the Agreement was signed on the same day that the Cabinet approval was received by the Ministry of Transport.
We have seen how Woyome operates. He hit us for GH¢51.2M that he did not deserve, on the basis of a non-existent contract. Our Government and its lawyers, either unconcerned or guilty of complicity, sat back when Woyome went to court and obtained a default judgment against us.
Even though Mr. Martin Amidu has obtained judgment for the people of Ghana, we are struggling to recover that money from him, and this same Anator Holding is battling to stop us from selling at least two of Woyome’s properties to pay the debt.
It, therefore, beggars belief that in the face of all of these, our government would enter into any kind of agreement involving the same character and/or his companies.
The irony of the date that agreement was signed cannot be lost on us. 21st December 2015 was the date that the former Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, appeared in Parliament to lament that her Ministry was broke and that its budget was “woefully inadequate to meet developmental needs of the sector.” Incidentally, that was also the date that the impugned Smarttys deal, involving the same Dzifa Attivor, broke in Parliament.
We are shocked beyond words! We demand from the Government, full disclosure and a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding this contract. Who authorised it? Did the President know that Dzifa Attivor was entering into this contract on our behalf, and if so, did he do anything to stop it? Did the President know about the Cabinet approval? We demand from the Government and GPHA evidence that all proper statutory and procurement approvals were duly obtained in entering into these agreements and memoranda with Woyome. Further, we demand that the Government immediately cancels that agreement.
Woyome has our money. He obtained that money under dubious circumstances. Thanks to Mr. Martin Amidu, we have judgment against him. He has failed to pay. We should not be doing business either with him or with any corporate entity that he owns, controls or is associated with, under any circumstances.
Yours, in unwavering service to God and Country,