A former Deputy Attorney-General, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, justified the payment of judgment debt to Alfred Agbesi Woyome in a letter copied to President J.E.A. Mills. This emerged at the Financial Division of the High Court sitting in Accra yesterday.
This came out when counsel for Woyome, Mr Sarfo Buabeng, cross-examined the Chief Director of the Ministry of Justice, Mr Suleiman Ahmed, who was testifying on behalf of the prosecution.
In the course of the cross- examination, Mr Buabeng pulled out the letter in which Mr Barton-Odro was purported to have signed justifying the payments made to Woyome, who is standing trial for causing financial loss to the state.
When Mr Ahmed was confronted with the letter, he confirmed the contents and agreed that it was indeed written by Mr Barton-Odro. Earlier in his evidence-in-chief, Mr Ahmed told the court that Woyome was paid the judgment debt in three instalments.
Before the payment was effected, he said the Ministry of Finance engaged lawyers for the accused person on the mode of payment, and the parties agreed that payment of GH¢17,094,483.53 in three equal instalments amounting to GH¢51,283,449 be done.
He explained that per the agreement the first, second and third instalments were scheduled to be paid in the first week of July, 2010, end of July 2010 and the end of August 2010 respectively, according to a letter signed by a former Attorney-General, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu.
Mr Ahmed added that the mode of payments was formally communicated to the parties by a letter signed by the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance and copied to the Attorney-General.
He pointed out that the Finance Minister at the time, Dr Kwabena Duffour, instructed the Controller and Accountant General in a letter to pay the negotiated amount to Woyome through the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB House) in Accra.
Mr Ahmed is the eighth prosecution witness in the case presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet–Nasam. Woyome has been charged with two counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state and defrauding by false pretence, for allegedly making false representation to claim GH¢51.2 million from the government through a default judgement.
He has, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently on a GH¢20 million bail.
Seven prosecution witnesses who have so far testified in the matter are a Deputy Head of the Legal Department of the MoFEP, Mrs Mangowa Ghanney; a former Minister of Finance, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, and a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu.
The others are Ms Yvonne Quansah of the Financial Sector Division of the MoFEP; Mr Lionel Vanlare Dosoo, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana; the Director of Legal Affairs at the Public Procurement Authority (PPA), Mrs Lesley Duodu, and the Managing Director of Waterville Holdings Limited, Mr Andrea Orlandi.
Sitting continues on July 10, 2013.
Source: Sebastian Syme/Daily Graphic
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