Who paid GH¢51m Woyomoney?

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Betty Mould Iddrisu, was Friday invited by the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service to answer questions on her role in the alleged fraudulent payment of GHC51m to NDC bankroller, Alfred Agbesi Woyome. Mrs Mould Iddrisu was the Attorney General when the infamous GH¢51 million judgement debt was won by Mr Woyome in 2010. But before her encounter with the Police investigating team Friday, the embattled former A-G had caused her lawyers to issue a statement insisting that only the first sum of GHC17m was paid to Mr Woyome under her watch, adding that she had done nothing wrong since that payment was ordered by the Court. “The only payment made by the State to Mr Woyome during her tenure as Attorney General was made pursuant to a High Court Order dated 7th September 2010,” the statement signed by Nana Atto Dadzie, her lead counsel, maintained. “Our client states that she neither authorized payments nor was she at post as Attorney General when subsequent payments were made to Mr Woyome,” the statement added, virtually shifting the blame on Martin Amidu, the man who took over from her, and the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Kwabena Duffuor. In the view of Mrs Iddrisu, dismissed A-G Mr Amidu and Finance and Economic Planning Minister Dr Duffuor are the people who should be held answerable for the extra payments of GHC 34m for the roles they played in making the money available to Mr Woyome. The claim by Mrs Betty Iddrisu comes as a sharp contrast to an earlier claim by Dr Duffour that he caused the payments to be made acting on the instructions of former A-G Betty Mould Iddrisu. Meanwhile, information available to the New Statesman indicates that the ruling government has been seeking to protect the woman who appears to be the “main culprit” in the Woyome saga out of the fear that she might spill the beans on the complicity of President Mills in the whole saga. This appears to have been confirmed by the failure of the authorities to arrest her, even though they found it prudent to arrest former deputy Education, Youth and Sports Minister, Osei Bonsu Amoah, in respect of the scandal. Mrs Iddrisu’s was only invited for questioning Friday at the offices of the Criminal Investigations Department and released without being charged. The New Statesman has intercepted a memo from “the head” of the Communications team of the ruling National Democratic Congress giving out clear instructions as to what should be done to “save” Mr Betty Iddrisu, together with President Mills, for their alleged complicity in the Woyome Affair. The memo was issued before the arrest of Mr Alfred Woyome, which took place on February 3, 2012, and not surprisingly its recommendations have been carried out to the letter. The memo from the NDC communications head reads: "Reading through the EOCO Report, I've come to the conclusion that we must begin to find ways to save the President now. My suggestion is that the BNI must be made to arrest Alfred Woyome, Chairman of National Board for Small Scale Industries, Mr. Paul Asimenu, Director Legal - Min of Finance and Mr. Nerquaye Tetteh, Chief State Attorney, Min. of Justice. The BNI should also arrest MR OSARFO MARFO to make it look like the problem was created by the two of them.” According to the memo the biggest defence the ruling party has for Betty Mould-Iddrisu “is that she was misled by this Nerquaye whose wife Gifty Nerquaye got GH¢400,000 (¢4bn) from Woyome's Unibank account. It added: “Let’s help Aunty Betty too. Let’s argue she was misled. This is the position of the Party and the Castle.”