Alfred Agbesi Woyome has been dealt another legal blow by perhaps his arch-foe, Martin Amidu, after the Supreme Court ordered him (Woyome) to refund to the state, the Ghc 51.2 million he illegally received.
In all, the former Attorney-General has knocked down Mr Woyome thrice; the WATERVILLE ruling on June 14, 2013, where Waterville was expected to refund 25 million euros it received from the government following the court’s unanimous ruling that the said contract it entered into with the government for stadia construction for the CAN 2008 was unconstitutional; the ISOFOTON Ruling on June 21, 2013, where the court ordered Isofoton S.A. to refund the cedi equivalent of $325,472 it received from the government in March, 2011 and finally Tuesday's JUDICIAL REVIEW APPLICATION ruling.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, ruled that the contracts upon which he made and received the claim was in contravention to Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which requires such contracts to be laid before and approved by Parliament.
The eleven-member panel included Julius Ansah, Sophia Adinyira, Rose Owusu, Jones Dotse and Anin Yeboah.
The others were Paul Baffoe Bonnie, N. S. Gbadegbe, Vida Akoto Bamfo, A. A. Bennin and J.B. Akamba.
It was presided over by the Chief Justice, Mrs Georgina Theodora Wood.
The ruling was based on a reviewed application filed by a former Attorney General, Mr Martin Amidu. Mr. Amidu first went to court indicting government for using illegal means to dole out monies to Mr. Woyome. He followed his plea up by asking the court to reclaim the amount given to Mr. Woyome, Waterville and Isofoton.
Mr. Amidu sought various reliefs in the two separate cases.
The CITIZEN VIGILANTE, as the former A-G was affectionately called, represented himself in court and argued that the Attorney General, who was one of the respondents in the case, facilitated Waterville Holdings’ “unconstitutional” acts in the construction of stadia for the CAN 2008.
Mr. Amidu after prevailing on the Supreme Court wanted aspects of its decision, which declined to order the businessman, Mr. Alfred Woyome, to refund GHc51.2 million he received from the government in the form of judgment debt.
The Supreme Court, on June 14, 2013, directed Waterville Holdings to refund all monies paid to it by the Ghana government on the premise that it had no valid and constitutional contractual agreement with the government.
Waterville was expected to refund 25 million euros it received from the government following the court’s unanimous ruling that the said contract it entered into with the government for stadia construction for the CAN 2008 was unconstitutional because it had contravened Article 181 (5) of the 1992 Constitution, which required such contracts to go to Parliament for approval.
In the other judgment, the court, on June 21, 2013, ordered Isofoton S.A. to refund the cedi equivalent of $325,472 it received from the government in March, 2011.
The court also directed the company to refund all monies it had so far received from the government on the grounds that the agreements resulting in the payments were unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void
The two suits were filed by Mr. Amidu, who had argued that both payments were illegal, null and void and of no legal effect.
He had prayed the court to order Mr. Woyome to refund monies he had received as a result of the void contract the government had entered into with Waterville.
The court declined jurisdiction over the issue, with the reason that the Attorney-General was currently pursuing the matter at the Commercial Court to retrieve the GHc51.2 million paid to Mr. Woyome.
With respect to the suit against Isofoton S. A., Mr. Amidu had joined the local agent of Isofoton, Mr. Anane Agyei-Forson, and prayed the court to jointly order him to refund all monies the company had received, but the court held a different view and exonerated Mr. Agyei-Forson.
The court found no wrongdoing on the part of Agyei-Forson on the grounds that Mr. Amidu had failed to show a cause of action against him.
The court also refused to hold the Attorney-General liable, but Mr. Amidu said the exclusion of Mr. Woyome, Mr. Agyei-Forson and the Attorney-General could amount to a miscarriage of justice.
Osafo Buabeng, counsel for Woyome, filed an affidavit in opposition on the grounds that the review sought by the former AG was flawed.
On the Isofoton S. A case, Carl Adongo, counsel for Anane Agyei Forson, prayed the court to strike out the review application.
Martin Amidu argued that no action was taken on the reliefs he sought against the Attorney General in the first case he filed.
He said per the judgement of June 2013, Isofoton acted unconstitutionally, saying appointing an attorney was unconstitutional in itself.
Mr. Adongo, however, argued that the court’s failure to make any decision on the reliefs sought against the Attorney General amounted to making a decision.
He said his client could not be said to have acted unconstitutionally because his appointment was made long before the Supreme Court ruling of June 2013.
The eleven-member Supreme Court panel, chaired by Chief Justice Georgina Wood, adjourned both cases to 29 July for ruling.
Fast forward to 2014.
Georgina Wood's eleven-member panel on Monday (July 29) reinforced the earlier ruling and ordered Mr Woyome to refund the Ghc 51.2 million he illegally received.
In June 2013, the former A-G dealt the self-styled NDC financier his first legal blow when the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that Waterville Holdings Limited had no contractual agreement with government regarding the renovation and construction of sports stadia ahead of CAN 2008.
The court again ruled that businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who received similar payment, had no valid contract with government of Ghana to warrant such payments.
The nine-member panel ordered Waterville to pay back any amount on the grounds that government abrogated the contract it had with them.
It criticized the lower court for not going through the claims made by Waterville before awarding such huge amounts to them.
Panel member Justice Jones Dotse commended former Attorney General Martin Amidu for initiating the action and criticized civil society for failing to take interest in the pursuit by the plaintiff to challenge the payments in court.
The Court also encouraged any citizen who wishes to do so in the future to go ahead.
The court unanimously granted 5 out of the 14 reliefs sought by Martin Amidu.
It denied the nine remaining reliefs because it said it did not have jurisdiction and referred the matter to the High Court.
Part of the reliefs Mr Amidu sought included: a declaration that the second defendant (Waterville), in making their claims against the government, had no legitimate contract because the agreement had been approved by Parliament and was inconsistent with the law.
He also held that the court should also make a declaration that Woyome together with Austro Invest Management had no legitimate contract in making their claims against the government.
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